Cluain na nGall
|Elevation||83 m (272 ft)|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC-1)|
|Irish Grid Reference||S916607|
Clonegal, officially Clonegall (// KLOH-nə-gawl; from Irish: Cluain na nGall, meaning "meadow of the foreigners"), is a village in the southeast of County Carlow, Ireland. It is in a rural setting, 5 km from Bunclody, County Wexford, 22 km from Carlow and 17 km from the proposed interchange of the N9 and N80 roads at Rathcrogue. It is just over a mile north of where the River Slaney and the River Derry meet. Clonegal has a much smaller "twin" village across the River Derry in County Wexford, Watch House Village.
The town is served by a primary school, and is central to a thriving agricultural hinterland, although it has little business development. Further housing development is imminent.
The name Clonegal comes from the Irish Cluain na nGall or Meadow of the Foreigner. This could have originated from when Cromwell’s soldiers, during the Irish Confederate Wars, fought the Irish in the village in 1650 after which all Irish surviving males were massacred. Others contend that it came from foreign students who came to study in a monastery near the village. Clonegal has won the tidiest village in Ireland Award for 2014 and again 2015.
According to the 2006 Census, Clonegal had a population of approximately 280, an increase of 20% since the 2002 Census.
It once had eleven malt houses in and around the village, along with a wool and corn store, a police station and other shops.
Places of interest
- Huntington Castle (also known as Clonegal Castle) was built on the site of an old manor house by the Esmonds in 1625. It is one of the few castles still lived in by direct descendants of the builder. In 1588 Queen Elizabeth I’s forces had captured the area and it was given to the Netterville family who in turn gave it to the Esmonds.
- St. Brigid’s Church - the present church replaced the old Roman Catholic church which was built of mud walls and had a thatched roof. It is a barn type construction, built in 1824 around the old church. When the new building was completed the old building was taken out through the doors of the new church.
- St. Fiaacs Church is a Church of Ireland church situated on a slope to the north of the village. It was originally founded about the time of Saint Patrick on a Dun surrounded by a deep moat enclosed by a rath, and was believed to have been the residence of an ancient chieftain in the 6th century.
- The Old Rectory is now a private house, but was the residence of John DeRenzy, commander of the yeomen in Clonegal during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Prisoners to be hanged were brought to a yard just above the rectory. The archway leading into this yard is known as the Hanging Arch and is marked by a stone slab on the wall.
RTÉ Radio and television broadcaster Peter Murphy was born and reared on the Huntington Castle Estate. Clonegal was the birthplace of Patrick O'Donoghue, the 19th century Irish Nationalist revolutionary and journalist. Also home to Thomas Murphy
- Placenames Database of Ireland: Clonegall/Cluain na nGall
- "Clonegal - Draft Local Area Plan 2007" (PDF). Carlow County Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-18.