|Irish: Cois Abhann Dalla or
Bun Abhann Dalla
Cushendall village with hurling mural
Cushendall shown within Northern Ireland
|Population||1,241 (2001 Census)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
|UK Parliament||North Antrim|
|NI Assembly||North Antrim|
Cushendall (from Irish Cois Abhann Dalla, meaning "foot of the River Dall"), formerly known as Newtown Glens, is a village and townland (of 153 acres) in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is situated in the historic barony of Glenarm Lower and the civil parish of Layd.
It is on the A2 coast road between Glenariff and Cushendun, in the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It lies in the shadow of the table topped Lurigethan Mountain and at the meeting point of three of the Glens of Antrim: Glenaan, Glenballyemon and Glencorp. This part of the Irish coastline is separated from Scotland by the North Channel, with the Mull of Kintyre about 16 miles away. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 1,241 people, of whom 98% were Catholic.The main sports played in the area are hurling and camogie.
Much of the historic character of the 19th century settlement on the north bank of the River Dall remains. In 1973 it was designated as only the second Conservation Area in Northern Ireland, and includes the largely intact Irish Georgian buildings of the town’s four original streets. Since 1990, Cushendall has hosted the Heart Of The Glens festival every August.
Cushendall is classified as a village, and the population of Cushendall on Census day (29 April 2001) was 1241 people. The demographic characteristics of the people living in Cushendall was as follows:
- 26.1% were aged under 16 years;
- 16.8% were aged 60 and over;
- the average age was 34.8 years (NI average age 35.8 years);
- 47.9% of the population were male and 52.1% were female;
- 96.9% were from a Catholic Community Background;
- 3.1% were from a 'Protestant and Other Christian (including Christian related)' Community Background;
- 9.3% were born outside Northern Ireland; and
- 1.1% were from an ethnic group other than white.
Places of interest
The Curfew Tower in the centre of the village was built by then landlord of the town, Francis Turnley, in 1817, to confine riotous prisoners. Dan McBride, an army pensioner, was given the job of permanent garrison and was armed with one musket, a bayonet, a brace of pistols and a thirteen-feet-long pike. The tower is now owned by artist Bill Drummond.
Oisín's Grave, off the main Cushendall to Ballymoney road, is a megalithic court cairn on a hillside in Lubitavish, near the Glenann River. It is believed to be the burial place of Oísín - the Celtic Warrior Poet. A stone cairn was erected here in 1989 in memory of John Hewitt, the poet of the Glens.
Layd Church and Churchyard
The ruins of Layd Church (grid ref:324428), a Franciscan foundation possibly partially from the 13th century, are found 1.5km north of Cushendall. They are also accessible by a cliff path from Cushendall, as well as by road. There are old vaults in the churchyard and it was one of the main burial places of the MacDonnells. There is a stone cross memorial to Dr James MacDonnell, one of the organisers of the last Belfast Festival of Harpists in 1792 and pioneer of the use of chloroform in surgery. By the gate of the churchyard is a holestone and nearby two 'corp stones' on which coffins were rested. Layd Church saw service as a parish church from 1306 until about 1790.
Red Bay Castle
Red Bay Castle, situated between the villages of Cushendall and Waterfoot. Built by the Bisset family in the 14th century and later occupied by the MacDonnells, one of the outposts of the Kingdom of Dál Riata.
Glenariff Forest Park
Glenariff Forest Park, 5 miles inland from Cushendall, covers an area of 1185 hectares. In the park are two small rivers containing spectacular waterfalls, tranquil pools and stretches of fast flowing water tumbling through rocky gorges. There is a café, toilets and an exhibition centre. Four way-marked trails of varying length (1–9 km) wind through the forest leading you into some of the park’s wooded areas. One follows the Glenariff River with its famous waterfalls and passes through the National Nature Reserve.
The Troubles in Cushendall
- Sergeant Joseph Campbell, a Catholic Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officer, was shot dead on 25 February 1977 as he locked up the local RUC station by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The circumstances regarding the murder were suspicious and the case was referred to the police ombudsman amid rumours of security force collusion with loyalists.
- RUC officer Alexander Bell died as a result of his injuries on 25 July 1989 from a previous Provisional Irish Republican Army land mine attack on his patrol car.
Founded in 1906, the local club Ruairí Óg's plays its home matches at Páirc Mhuire in Cushendall. Senior success has been mirrored in under-age competitions as well. In 2007 Cushendall became one of the most successful hurling clubs in Co. Antrim. The club have won 10 County Championships in their history, the third most overall - Behind McQuillans, Shamrocks, and O'Donovan Rossa. They have also won numerous underage tournaments including the North Antrim Féile na Gael beating Ballycastle in the 2007 final.
Cushendall Golf Club is a tricky little course presenting many challenges for those wanting to improve their short game. The course is a great place to develop for young players and has produced numerous successful amateurs over the years. Located in a superb wooded valley and the Abhainn Dala (River Dall) running through its centre.
Established in 1951, Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club is the ideal place to learn basic introductory, as well as advanced Sailing skills. The club is situated in Red Bay and the views of the surrounding Glens of Antrim make a stunning backdrop for those on the waves. Cushendall CSBC has a sailing school which runs throughout the summer using RYA's learn-to-sail scheme. The school welcomes all ages and abilities, ensuring progression is achieved by each individual student.
Holiday accommodation in the area ranges from Self Catering to Bed & Breakfast and caravan and camping. Cushendall has three caravan and camping sites.
Cushendall offers a diverse range of shops, which offer local gifts and crafts, as well as many other items.
There is also an annual vintage car rally which is held in the village.
- "Cushendall". IreAtlas Townland Database. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- Sandford, Ernest (1976). Discover Northern Ireland. Belfast: Northern Ireland Tourist Board. pp. 62–63. ISBN 0 9500222 7 6.
- "Layd Church". Walk NI. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "Layd Church Yard". Cushendall.info. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- CAIN List of deaths 1977
- Widows Appeal Over Killing-BBC News
- CAIN List of deaths 1989
- Camping & Caravans
- .Vintage Enthusiasts Promoting Good Relations Ballymoney Times (1 August 2011)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cushendall.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Cushendall.|
- North Antrim Community Network - Cushendall
- Culture Northern Ireland
- BBC News
- Cushendall website
- Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club
- Ulster Architectural Heritage Society - Cushendall