Kircubbin, County Down
Kircubbin (Irish: Cill Ghobáin, possibly derived from Scots Kirk and Irish Gobáin meaning "church of Gobáin") is a village and townland in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is on the shores of Strangford Lough, between Newtownards and Portaferry, in the Borough of Ards. The population is roughly 2,000. The village harbour contains leisure craft, yachts, and a sailing club. The main street was redone in 2008 with some old houses knocked down and rebuilt as new buildings.
Kircubbin (then known as Cubinhillis) and nearby Inishargy are mentioned in early medieval records. This possible translation of the Irish name is the only evidence that connects the Irish Saint Goban to the village. John de Courcy, a Norman knight who invaded Ulster, brought Benedictines from Stoke Courcy in Somerset and Lonlay in France, for whom he founded Black Abbey (St Andrews in Ards), near Inishargy in the 1180s.
Two significant incidents occurred during the Troubles. No-one was killed or injured in either attack. In 1974, St Mary Star of the Sea Church, Nunsquarter, was badly damaged by a bomb which was planted at the side door of the chapel. One man, a local joiner, who was working in the church hall adjacent to the church, left the premises shortly before the bomb went off. During 1988-1989, McKenna Community Centre on the outskirts of the village was bombed several times in the course of the troubles. The last attack on the centre, rumoured to have been carried out by Red Hand Commandos resulted in it being completely destroyed. The centre since then has been rebuilt and is still in use today.
Boys' Home abuse
In 2014 the Christian Brothers admitted to the physical and sexual abuse of boys in their care from 1951 to 1985 at the De La Salle Boys' Home, Rubane House, Kircubbin, often referred to as "Kircubbin Boys' Home" or simply "Kircubbin", and issued an apology to its victims.
Kircubbin is classified as a village by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 1,000 and 2,250 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 1,214 people living in Kircubbin. Of these:
- 25.0% were aged under 16 years and 17.4% were aged 60 and over
- 48.9% of the population were male and the other 51.1% were female
- 66.8% were from a Catholic background and 31.2% were Protestant
For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service
- Placenames NI
- DeBreffny, D & Mott, G (1976). The Churches and Abbeys of Ireland. London: Thames & Hudson. pp. 60–61.
- Northern Ireland Assembly: Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse Bill: De La Salle Order Briefing, 19 September 2012 "claims arising out of Kircubbin boys' home..."
- The Guardian newspaper, 14 January 2014
- Belfast Telegraph: Rubane House 'like Hell upon Earth' for 69-year-old branded a liar for reporting his abuse as boy, 9 October 2014
- Culture Northern Ireland
- Kircubbin website
- Kircubbin Integrated Primary School
- Ardbrae Country House
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