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Killoe (Cill Eo in Irish) is a parish in County Longford, Ireland. It is a largely rural community, and is one of the largest parishes in County Longford bordered by Clonguish (Newtownforbes), Drumlish, Ballinamuck, Clonbroney (Ballinalee), Mostrim (Edgeworthstown) and Longford Town.
The major attractions that Killoe has to offer its visitors are its tranquility, proximity to key fishing areas in North Longford and Cavan and the views from the slopes of Corn Hill (the highest point in County Longford). There are two main villages in Killoe at Ennybegs & Cullyfad. Killoe offers the following local services and facilities...
- Ennybegs Community Centre
- Cullyfad Community Centre
- St. Theresa's National School & autistic unit (Clontumpher)
- Begleys Pub & Shop (Ennybegs)
- Olde Forge Pub (Kilnatruan)
- Kiernans Shop & Service Station (Kilnatruan)
- Hughes Shop (Ennybegs)
- St. Marys Catholic Church (Ennybegs)
- St. Olivers Catholic Church (Cullyfad)
- St. Catherines Church of Ireland (Killoe Glebe)
- James Farrell Titanic Monument & Garden (Ennybegs)
- Native Arboretum and Village Garden (Cullyfad)
- Emmet Park GAA Facilities (Clonee)
- Basketball & Tennis Facilities (Cullyfad)
- Soccer field & GAA training field (Cullyfad)
- Corn Hill walking path (Dernacross)
- Bed & Breakfast Facilities (Ennybegs)
Killoe is the ancient Gaelic for Church of the Yew.
Education & Culture – St Theresa's National School (Scoil Náisiúnta Naomh Treasa) was founded as a central school in the early 1970s. The impressive modern school facility also include one of the counties largest autistic care units. Other cultural organisations in the parish include the local community centres in Ennybegs and Cullyfad, which offer bingo nights, concert events and support a thriving amateur drama group – Cill Eo Yew Tree Players.
Sports – Sporting clubs in the community include Killoe F.C. Soccer Club and Killoe Gaelic Athletic Association. Killoe has a vibrant Gaelic Football scene with Killoe Young Emmets GFC, Killoe Minor GFC and Killoe Ladies GFC producing the most successful teams in County Longford. In 2012 the Killoe Young Emmets team won the Longford Senior Football Championship for the 10th time, and progressed to the Leinster Club semi-final stages. In April 2013 the Killoe GAA website received the honour of Best GAA Website from Croke Park. Website
Historic Sites – There are a number of ring forts and Mass rocks in the parish, as well as St Patrick's Holy Well in Cartron and St. Catherine's Church of Ireland in Killoe Glebe. Killoe is also home to Gandon Gates and Lodgesmay located on the road leading to Farragh Cross Roads. James Gandon (1743–1823) was one of the most celebrated Georgian architects of his time. Gandon's well-known masterpieces are the Customs House and Four Courts in Dublin. Domestic architecture by Gandon is rare in Ireland and the architect prepared drawings for Sir William Newcomen, Bart., of a residence, stable yard, etc., for Carriglass Manor, c. 1794–96. The impressive cut stone entrance gates at Farragh are among the finest in Longford, where other good examples of Palladian or Georgian architecture are lacking.
Historic References – The earliest mention of Killoe in history was when St Patrick passed through on his way from Granard to Magh Sleacht. Queen Maeve is also supposed to have visited the area. The next time Killoe is mentioned is after the Irish plantations, when in 1612 in a survey carried out in the area of Clan Hugh corresponded to the area of Old Killoe. Many of the old names still appear on today's maps, although some have disappeared. In those days Killoe consisted of nearly 40,000 acres and divided between 16 larger estates and many smaller ones.
Titanic Link – Three natives from Killoe travelled aboard Titanic. Katie Gilnagh and Kate Mullen from Rhyne and James Farrell from Clonee. On the night of the disaster, James accompanied Katie Gilnagh and Katie Mullen as well as sisters Margaret and Kate Murphy from Aghnacliffe towards the upper deck. When prevented from going further he shouted "Great God man, Open the gate and let the girls through". Much to their fellow passengers amazement the sailor complied. After leading the women to the lifeboats, he gave his cap to Katie Gilnagh and shouted "Goodbye forever". Eight days later, James' body was recovered still clutching his rosary beads. It was given a brief religious service and buried at sea on 24 April 1912. The Titanic Monument and Garden in memory of the bravery of James Farrell was unveiled by his Nephew Dr. James Farrell of Miami Florida, in Ennybegs village on 15 April 2012, exactly 100 years after Titanic sank.
Carrigglas Manor – Much of the estate of Carrigglas Manor lies within the parish of Killoe. Carrigglas Manor, former home of the Irish-Huguenot Lefroy family, was built in 1837 by Thomas Lefroy. the former MP and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. Thomas Lefroy was once acquainted with the author Jane Austen and it is believed that he inspired the character of Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. Daniel Robertson designed the Carrigglas manor house, with its imposing façade that also appears to have come from the pages of a period novel. The manor features a unique and famous stable yard, designed in the 1790s by James Gandon, the architect who designed the Customs House and the Four Courts in Dublin. The stable yard was originally attached to a house that stood here before Carrigglas was built, and is valued as the last example of Gandon's agricultural designs. In recent years, the manor and estate was sold for a major development including hotel, golf course (designed by Retief Goosen) and housing. However, the project fell victim to the Irish property crash and downturn in the Irish economy.
Corn Hill & St. Patrick – Corn Hill or Cairn Hill stands on the northern side of the parish and lovely views can be enjoyed from its slopes. From the summit lakes and rivers stretching over many neighbouring counties can be seen. Though many speak of this hill as Cairn Hill, no one who ever grew up near it ever refers to it other than Corn Hill. St. Patrick traversed this area, and many traditions are associated with him. The story goes that he visited Bawn and was served with a dog, which when blessed came alive with the result that the saint cursed Sliabh Cairbre from the fort of Bawn. This curse is regarded by some as an explanation for the infertility of the slopes of the hill.
Corn Hill History – There are several written accounts of cairns, dolmens and passage graves on the hill, but the exact positions are not known. These structures date back to 2500 BC. This would indicate that this area was inhabited at the time of the building of the pyramids in Egypt. It is the custom in the parish to climb Corn hill on the first Sunday of June and stand on the mescon – which is at 916 feet – is the highest point in County Longford. On 1 June 2000, a special walk was organised with a stone from each townland in the parish left beside the mescon during a special ceremony. Today the hill is home to the new RTE midlands transmitter mast, which replaced the old familiar red & white transmitter, first erected in 1977. Also in recent years, the planting of conifers on the hillside has ruined for many the once spectacular view from certain vantage points on the top of the hill. Despite this, the hill offers the best view in the county.