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Arvagh (Irish: Ármhach, meaning "Battlefield") or Arva, is a town in County Cavan, Ireland, on the shores of Garty Lough and overlooked by Bruse Mountain.[1] It is located on the junction of the R198 and R203 regional roads.

It is a scenic town situated in the centre of the drumlin belt. It lies on the border of Counties Longford and Leitrim and is famous as the town where the three provinces of Ulster, Leinster and Connacht meet, being located about 3 km southeast of the tripoint.[2]

Arva on fair day (1940s)

As of 2016, the town had a population of 411.[3]


  • Arvagh has a hotel, the Breffni Arms Hotel, with a restaurant, bar, nightclub and there are several pubs in the town, many of which have music at the weekends.[2]


The Arvagh area was settled by Scottish planters in the early 17th century. A story is told that one of them, John Brown, sold the land here for a horse. The Earls of Gosford, the descendants of the man who bought it, developed the town in the early 19th century, building a Market House which is still standing.[4] In 1841 there were four pubs in the town and the monthly fairs were of considerable local trade importance.[1]

Ármhach (meaning "Place of Slaughter") was brought about because Arvagh is on the borders of 3 counties and provinces, Leitrim, Longford and Fermanagh (Connaght, Leinster and Ulster). The royal families of these counties would battle in Arvagh and as a result many died, Hence "Place of Slaughter".


  • The Annual Breffni Challenge 20 km run takes place from Cavan and finishes in Arvagh every August, with all proceeds going to St. Luke's Hospital in Dublin.[2] Breffni Challenge Website
  • Each year the Arvagh Agricultural Show takes place in the town.[2]
  • The 3 Province Festival runs for 10 days from the last weekend in July till the 1st weekend in August. The festival has a massive line-up of music, theatre, comedy, art and competitions including the busking competition which has €2000 in prizes.

Places of interest[edit]

  • Arvagh Market House is a nine-bay, two-storey building built before 1837 by the Earl of Gosford. It may have been designed by W D Butler. The outer six bays have been greatly altered and appear now as two three-bay houses.[5]
  • Nearby Bruse Mountain is a small hill topped with three stone cairns, dating from the Neolithic period.[2]



Whartons Travel operate bus route 975 on behalf of the National Transport Authority. It serves the town six times a day (not Sundays) providing services to Longford via Drumlish and Cavan.[6][7] Bus Éireann route 465, (Carrigallen-Killashandra-Cavan) serves the town on Tuesday.


Arva Road railway station on the erstwhile Killashandra branch was the nearest station to Arvagh. Nowadays bus route 975 provides a link to Longford railway station.


The area is very popular for fishing and lakes such as Hollybank, Gulladoo and Rockfield offer excellent angling all year round. The Arvagh International Fishing Festival takes place in Arvagh every September.[2]


In the 1841 Census Arvagh had a population of 615.[1]


William H. Bleakley (1888–1929), born in Arvagh, went to America in 1905. He was a pioneer of aviation and was the first to perform the aerobatic feat of looping the loop.[4] He attempted to set an altitude record in 1928 and crashed and died in 1929.[8]

Siva Kaneswaran (1988-), member of British-Irish boyband The Wanted.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c O'Neill, Kevin (2003). Family and Farm in Pre-Famine Ireland. University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-299-09844-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Arva". Cavan Tourism. Archived from the original on 30 April 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  3. ^ "Sapmap Area: Settlements Arva". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office. 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Arvagh - County Cavan". Discover Ireland. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  5. ^ "Arvagh Market House". Irish Antiquities. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-09. Retrieved 2015-12-19.
  8. ^ "William H Bleakley". Early Aviators. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Siva Kaneswaran". Retrieved 18 July 2013.

Coordinates: 53°55′N 7°35′W / 53.917°N 7.583°W / 53.917; -7.583