Coordinates: 53°58′34″N 6°43′08″W / 53.976°N 6.719°W / 53.976; -6.719
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Carraig Mhachaire Rois
Main Street
Main Street
Carrickmacross is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°58′34″N 6°43′08″W / 53.976°N 6.719°W / 53.976; -6.719
CountyCounty Monaghan
44 m (144 ft)
 • Total5,032
Eircode routing key
Telephone area code+353(0)42
Irish Grid ReferenceH837039

Carrickmacross (Irish: Carraig Mhachaire Rois, meaning 'rock of the wooded plain')[4] is a town in County Monaghan, Ireland. The town and environs had a population of 5,032 according to the 2016 census,[1] making it the second-largest town in the county. Carrickmacross is a market town which developed around a castle built by the Earl of Essex in 1630. The town is 20 km west of Dundalk and 75 km north-north-west of Dublin city centre and 106 km south west of Belfast. Carrickmacross won the European Entente Florale Silver Medal Award in 1998.[5] The local Gaelic football and hurling club is Carrickmacross Emmets. The local soccer team is Carrick Rovers.


Foundation and development[edit]

Carrickmacross is a market town which developed around a castle built by the Earl of Essex in 1630. The Convent of St Louis now stands on the original castle site, as the castle itself was destroyed in the late 17th century during the Williamite Wars.[6]

The town developed further as a market town during the 18th century,[6] and a number of large municipal and religious buildings were built to serve the growing population during the 19th century.[6] The town experienced population decline in mid- to late-19th century, during the Great Famine,[7] with the population decreasing from 2,063 in 1861 to 1,779 inhabitants by 1891.[6] The town's Poor Law Union Workhouse and Fever Hospital were built in this period - the latter later becoming the offices of the Urban District Council which was originally formed in 1899.[6][8]

Built heritage[edit]

Among the historic buildings in the town is the Roman Catholic church which was completed in 1866 and is dedicated to Saint Joseph.[9] It contains ten stained-glass windows which were designed by the artist Harry Clarke in 1925. The town's Church of Ireland church, dedicated to Saint Finbarr, is older, and was built c.1770 before being remodelled c.1845.[10]

Magheross Church, located on the outskirts of the town, is also of historical interest, and originally dates from c.1550.[11][12] Other notable buildings include the Carrickmacross Courthouse (built in 1837)[13] and the restored Poor Law Union Workhouse (built in 1841).[14]

The grave of Patrick Byrne (1794–1863), the last major exponent of the Gaelic harp and the first Irish traditional musician ever photographed, is in the area.[citation needed]


The town is known for the lace bearing its name. Carrickmacross lace is worked in an individual style, devised by Mrs Grey Porter, wife of the rector of Donaghmoyne, who introduced it in 1820. When she left the district the teaching of Carrickmacross lacemaking was continued by Miss Reid of Rahans, but it was only after the Great Famine in 1846, when a lace school was set up by the managers of the Bath and Shirley estates at Carrickmacross as a means of helping their starving tenants, that the lace became known and found sales.

Subsequently, the lacemaking declined, but in the last decade of the 19th century the Sisters of St Louis founded their own lace school to revive the craft, and this was quite profitable for several years.[15] Although the outbreak of the 1914–18 war marked the virtual end of commercial production of hand-made lace in Europe, the lace school kept the technique alive throughout most of the 20th century. In 1984 the St Louis Sisters assisted in the formation of the Carrickmacross Lace Co-operative, which maintains the tradition to this day.[16]

Luftwaffe attack[edit]

Although Ireland was neutral during World War Two, there were some incidents during the period. On 20 December 1940, as well as two bombs falling on Sandycove in Dublin, two more fell on Shantonagh near Carrickmacross, causing minor damage to house property.[17]


Carrickmacross railway station opened on 31 July 1886, the terminus of a branch from the DundalkEnniskillen line at Inniskeen. The station, and the branch, closed to passengers on 10 March 1947, but remained open for goods traffic until final closure on 1 January 1960.[18]


St. Joseph's RC Church, Carrickmacross

Primary schools[edit]

There are three primary schools in Carrickmacross:

  • St. Joseph's Boys National School, situated near St. Macartan's Villas, is an all-boys national school which was previously run by the Patrician Brothers.
  • Bunscoil Lughaidh Naofa, which is in Cloughvalley, is an all-girls school, was run by the St. Louis nuns who came to Carrickmacross in 1888.
  • Scoil Rois is a Gaelscoil (an Irish language-medium school) in Carrickmacross. It is a mixed school that, having moved from the Convent Avenue, now occupies newer premises built across from Bunscoil Lughaidh Naofa.

Secondary schools[edit]

The Patrician High School (or PHS) is one of three secondary schools in Carrickmacross.[19] It was set up by the Patrician Brothers, and was previously situated next to the Church on O'Neills street; that building is now the Scout Hall. It moved to Rockdaniel Road in 1970, and a new extension was opened in 2007.[20] As of 2015 it had approximately 500 pupils enrolled.[21]

Inver College, called the TEC by students and townspeople due to its being a technological school, is a mixed school situated on the Castleblayney Road.[22] As of 2019, it had approximately 320 students enrolled.[23] Inver College won the U16 VEC GAA County Championship for the second consecutive year in January 2011.[citation needed]

St. Louis Convent is an all-girls secondary school set up by the St. Louis nuns in the 19th century. There were approximately 570 pupils enrolled in the school as of 2017.[24] The school was set up in honour of St. Louis (Louis IX of France). The motto of the school is Ut Sint Unum, Latin for 'that they may be one'. The school is situated on the Convent Avenue.

Town twinning[edit]

Carrickmacross is twinned with the commune of Carhaix, Brittany, in France.[25]

Governance and politics[edit]

Carrickmacross town council elects 9 members and is responsible for the provision of local services. At the last local elections in 2009 three members were elected from Fine Gael and two each from Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party. It forms part of the five-seat Carrickmacross Local Electoral Area for elections for Monaghan County Council.

In February 2010, the town council voted 5:4[26] to remove a page signed by the Israeli ambassador from the town's visitors' book in response to the illegal use of Irish passports by agents of Mossad in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.[27]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Sapmap Area - Settlements - Carrickmacross". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office. 2016. Archived from the original on 7 December 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  2. ^ "CSO: Census: Census Home Page". Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2012. and Post-1991 figures include environs of Carrickmacross. For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census returns see JJ Lee "On the accuracy of the pre-famine Irish censuses" in Irish Population, Economy and Society edited by JM Goldstrom and LA Clarkson (1982) p54, and also "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850" by Joel Mokyr and Cormac Ó Gráda in The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Nov. 1984), pp. 473–488.
  3. ^ "F1015: Population and Average Age by Sex and List of Towns (number and percentages), 2022". Census 2022. Central Statistics Office. April 2022. Retrieved 29 June 2023.
  4. ^ "Carraig Mhachaire Rois / Carrickmacross". Irish Placenames Commission. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Carrickmacross - 30 years as a tidy town". Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Carrickmacross History". Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Carrickmacross". Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Carrick History". Monaghan County Council. Archived from the original on 28 March 2007.
  9. ^ "Saint Joseph's Church, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan". National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Saint Finbarrs Church, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan". National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Magheross Cemetery". Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Magheross Church, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan". National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Carrickmacross Courthouse, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan". National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Carrickmacross Workhouse". Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  15. ^ Ó Cléirigh, Nellie (1985). Carrickmacross lace: Irish embroidered net lace. Mountrath, Ireland: Dolmen Press. ISBN 0-85105-436-6.
  16. ^ "Carrickmacross lace gallery". Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  17. ^ The day they bombed Dublin
  18. ^ "Carrickmacross station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 15 September 2007.
  19. ^ "Patrician High School website".
  20. ^ "History of Our School". Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Whole-School Evaluation Report - Patrician High School, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan" (PDF). Department of Education. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  22. ^ "Inver College website".
  23. ^ "Subject Inspection Report - Inver College, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan". Department of Education. 11 February 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  24. ^ "Subject Inspection Report - Saint Louis Secondary Schoo, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan" (PDF). Department of Education. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Carrickmacross / Carhaix Town Twinning". Archived from the original on 24 June 2010.
  26. ^ "Carickmacross town council Minutes" (PDF). Retrieved 6 June 2010.[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ Sheehan, Maeve (28 February 2010). "Council sparks diplomatic row by snubbing Israeli ambassador". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  28. ^ McDonnell, Dan (22 November 2010). "The match: 'I hate the game. I actually hate the game.'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  29. ^ "New generation takes charge of remote control". The Irish Times. 27 September 2003. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  30. ^ "VC group awarded to Private Thomas Hughes, 6th Battalion, The Connaught Rangers, for his actions at Guillemont, 3 September 1916". National Army Museum. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  31. ^ "First woman district justice dies aged 69". The Irish Times. 13 October 1983. p. 13. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  32. ^ "Weather Presenters - Gerry Murphy". RTÉ. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  33. ^ Dwyer, Ciara (7 May 2012). "Ardal O'Hanlon: Stand up for a life well lived". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  34. ^ "O'Hanlon steps down after 33 years". Northern Standard. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  35. ^ "Guide to the Henry O'Reilly Papers". Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  36. ^ Smith, Andrea (21 July 2014). "Ruth and Joyce O'Leary: We had a goal and went for it". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  37. ^ "WATCH: The Flaws make their comeback". Hot Press. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2017.

External links[edit]