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Ceann Poill
Dunbrody Abbey lies 1 km west of Campile
Dunbrody Abbey lies 1 km west of Campile
Campile is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°17′00″N 6°56′00″W / 52.283333°N 6.93333°W / 52.283333; -6.93333Coordinates: 52°17′00″N 6°56′00″W / 52.283333°N 6.93333°W / 52.283333; -6.93333
CountyCounty Wexford
48 m (157 ft)
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceS726155

Campile (Irish: Ceann Phoill or Ceann Poill, meaning 'head of the creek')[2][3] is a small village situated in County Wexford in the south of Ireland. It is 14 kilometres (9 miles) south of the town of New Ross. As of the 2016 census, Campile had a population of 448 people.[1]


Archaeological evidence of ancient settlement in the area include several burnt mounds and ringforts in the neighbouring townlands of Ballyvelig, Tinnock, and Dunbrody.[4] Approximately 1 km southwest of Campile is the 12th century Dunbrody Abbey, and the 17th century bawn of the (incomplete) Dunbrody Castle.[5]

In 1798, during the United Irishmen Rebellion, a rebel camp was located on nearby Slieve Coillte hill.

WWII bombing[edit]

Memorial in Campile marking the bombing of the area during WW2

During World War II, in which Ireland remained officially neutral, the German Luftwaffe bombed Campile. The bombing took place on 26 August 1940. The bombs were dropped by a lone German bomber that appeared over Campile around lunch time.[6]

The first bomb dropped failed to detonate. Local man Teddy Drought, who was fifteen years old and worked in Shelburne Co-op at the time of the bombing, described witnessing the aircraft approach and the first bomb being dropped while sat on a wall with a friend. In an interview with RTÉ in 1990, Drought recalled the following scene:

"A bomb come down-we didn't know at the time it was a bomb-came down through the roof and down on the ground alongside the two of us (...) it busted, it didn't explode".[6]

After dropping this first bomb, the plane circled and dropped an additional three bombs over the Shelburne Co-op creamery and restaurant area. Approximately 150 employees worked at the Shelburne Co-op at the time of the bombing.[6] Three women were killed during this daylight bombing – Mary Ellen Kent (30), her sister Catherine Kent (26), both from Terrerath, and Kathleen Hurley (27) from Garryduff.[7][8][9] The bomb that exploded and killed the three women landed on the restaurant section of the Co-op where the women had been working.[6] A total of four German bombs were dropped on the creamery and restaurant sections of Shelburne Co-op, and the railway line was also targeted. Greater loss of life was narrowly avoided due to approximately fifty employees leaving the restaurant after the lunch time rush shortly before the bomb was dropped.[6]

The attack has never been fully explained, although some historians have suggested that it was a deliberate attack to discourage the supply of foodstuffs to wartime Britain.[10] Despite this, a commonly given explanation for the bombing is that the German pilot had gotten lost and mistook Ireland's South-East for Wales.[6]

Following the bombing, precautions were taken in an attempt to protect locals in the event of another attack. For example, sirens were involved in the village that would sound at the Shelburne Co-op any time a plane flew overhead for the duration of the war.  In an interview with RTÉ reporter Michael Ryan in 1990, the area manager of Waterford Cooperative Tom Connery claimed that upon hearing these sirens locals would "lay awake at night wondering if it was them again".[6]

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the bombing, a memorial garden was dedicated to the memory of the three women who died.[11]


The village has two small supermarkets, a Centra store and a Londis store. There are also two smaller local shops. The Shelbourne Co-Op, founded in 1919, still has premises in the village albeit under the Glanbia banner. There is also a pharmacy, joinery, hardware store, filling station, take-away, soccer pitch, hair salon, community hall and two pubs. The local churches are situated in Horeswood and Ballykelly, approximately a half-mile and four miles from Campile respectively. The parish school is situated in Ballyfarnogue, adjacent to the Horeswood GAA complex, two miles from the village.[citation needed]


Rail transport[edit]

Campile railway station closed in 2010

Campile railway station opened on 1 August 1906.[12] On 21 July 2010, Irish Rail announced that it would suspend its rail service through Campile, and this took effect after the operation of the evening train on 18 September 2010.[13] Before that date, it was served Mondays to Saturdays by one passenger train in each direction.

Bus transport[edit]

Prior to the cessation of the rail service Campile's Bus Éireann service was infrequent consisting of the commuter route between Duncannon and Waterford city via New Ross and on certain days by a cross-country bus to Wexford. After the rail service ceased, the bus service was enhanced significantly. A revised Bus Éireann route 370 service came into effect from Monday 20 September 2010.[14]


The local sports teams for Campile and the surrounding area are Campile United in soccer, who play in the Wexford soccer league, and Horeswood GAA who play in the Wexford Gaelic football and hurling leagues. Horeswood GAA has won the Wexford Senior Football Championship 4 times in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011.[citation needed]


Scoil Mhuire is situated in the townland of Ballinamona on the New Ross-Campile road. It is a central school for the parish of Sutton's, which is divided into Horeswood Parish and Ballykelly Parish. In 1979, four schools in the parish amalgamated into Scoil Mhuire. These four schools were Aclare NS, Ballykelly NS, Horeswood NS, and Killesk NS.


  1. ^ a b "Sapmap Area - Settlements - Campile". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office. April 2016.
  2. ^ A. D. Mills (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ "Ceann Poill / Campile". Irish Placenames Commission. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  4. ^ Recorded Monuments Protected Under Section 12 of the National Monuments (Amendment) Act 1994 - County Wexford (PDF). Office of Public Works. 1995. p. 39.
  5. ^ "Left Unfinished - Dunbrody Castle". 13 April 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Campile Bombing". RTÉ Archives. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
  7. ^ Furlong, Nicholas (2003). A History of County Wexford. Dublin: Gill & MacMillan. p. 143. ISBN 0-7171-3461-X.
  8. ^ "Bombing of Campile remembered". Wexford People. 1 September 2000. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  9. ^ "August 27th, 1940: From The Archives (reprint of article published 27 August 1940)". Irish Times. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  10. ^ "The day Hitler's bombs brought death to a quiet Wexford village". Independent News & Media. 9 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Wexford village to commemorate World War II bombing". Irish Examiner. 6 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Campile station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  13. ^ "End of the line". Independent News & Media. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2020. the last ever journey of the Waterford to Rosslare train on Saturday evening [..travelled..] via Campile, Ballycullane, Wellingtonbridge, Bridgetown and Rosslare Strand, before arriving at the last stop in Rosslare Harbour
  14. ^ "Timetable - Route 370" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.

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