|Irish: Dún Geimhin|
Dungiven shown within Northern Ireland
|Population||2,993 (2001 Census)|
|Irish grid reference|
|– Belfast||53 miles|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Dialling code||028, +44 28|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
|UK Parliament||East Londonderry|
|NI Assembly||East Londonderry|
Dungiven (from Irish: Dún Geimhin, meaning "Gevin's fort") is a small town, townland and civil parish in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is on the main A6 Belfast to Derry road. It lies where the rivers Roe, Owenreagh and Owenbeg meet at the foot of the 1,525 ft (465 m) Benbradagh. Nearby is the Glenshane Pass, where the road rises to over 1,000 ft (300 m). It had a population of 2,993 people in the 2001 Census, an increase of 6% over 1991.
Dungiven sprang up around Dungiven Castle and the Church of Ireland church at the eastern end of the town, later spreading westwards along Chapel Road and Main Street towards the bridging point on the River Roe. Because of the River Roe's flood plain and the line of a proposed by-pass, housing development has been mostly to the east and north of the town. It is an important service centre for the surrounding rural hinterland; offering educational, health, commercial, social, community and recreational facilities.
An interesting site in Dungiven is the 11th century Augustinian priory of St Mary's and the tomb of Ó Catháin (Cú Mhaighe na nGall ("Cooey-na-Gall") Ó Catháin), laid to rest in 1385. A thicket of thorn bushes hung with rags conceals a bullaun stone, visited for wart cures.
Between the 12th and 17th centuries the area was ruled by the Ó Catháin clan, one of the most influential clans in Ulster and respected throughout Ireland. In the early 17th century they built Dungiven Castle, which - having been substantially rebuilt in the 19th century - remains today as a restaurant and guesthouse. The world famous song Danny Boy is taken from a melody composed by the Ó Catháin bard, Ruairí Dall Ó Catháin. The original version concerns the passing of the Chief Cú Mhaighe na nGall, whose death brought an end to the long line of Ó Catháin chiefs.
During The Troubles in Northern Ireland seven people were killed in or near Dungiven in connection with the conflict, six of whom were members of the security forces. The one civilian, Francis McCloskey, was found beaten to death in disputed circumstances during street riots, in which the police were called to respond. He has sometimes been deemed as the first person killed in the last installment of the Troubles (1969-1997).
The village is part of the East Londonderry Parliamentary constituency, coterminous with the Northern Ireland Assembly constituency of the same name. It forms part of Limavady Borough Council district.
Places of interest
- Near Dungiven are Banagher Glen (popular with birdwatchers) and Altaheglish Reservoir (an impressive lake set up in the mountains and surrounded by forest).
- At Dungiven Castle, built during the reign of James I on the south side of the town, there is a 20-acre (81,000 m2) Environmental and Conservation Park consisting of Victorian gardens, wetlands, woodlands, a duck pond and picnic area.
- Altahullion Wind Farm is near Dungiven and is owned by RES-Gen Ltd. It was designed and built by RES using local contractors and commissioned in 2003. Altahullion’s 20 turbines can generate up to 26MW. Electricity from the wind farm is sold to Belfast-based Energia who supply hospitals, schools and Northern Ireland businesses. The public can visit the site by following the signs from the A6 Dungiven to Derry road. There is car parking, an information board and a path up to the visitor turbine.
Gaelic games are the most popular sports in the area. St Canice's Dungiven is the local Gaelic football club; the team plays at O'Cahan Park and have won the Derry Senior Football Championship 7 times, and won the Ulster Senior Football Championship once, in 1997.
Kevin Lynch's is the local hurling club; they have won the Derry Senior Hurling Championship a record 22 times and are the current county champions, for the fourth successive year. The team plays at Kevin Lynch Park.
Dungiven is classified as an intermediate settlement by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 2,250 and 4,500 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 2,993 people living in Dungiven. Of these:
- 29.3% were aged under 16 and 11.7% were aged 60 and over
- 50.4% of the population were male and 49.6% were female
- 96.8% were from a Catholic background and 3.1% were from a Protestant background
- 6.7% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.
For more details see:NI Neighbourhood Information Service
- Dungiven sits on the main A6 road and has good road links to Derry (29 km to the west) and Limavady (13 km to the north). A proposed by-pass for Dungiven, following a route to the south west of the town, has been marked-out since the 1973 Limavady Area Plan.
- Dungiven was the terminus of the Limavady railway, which closed in 1950. Dungiven railway station opened on 4 July 1883, closed for passenger traffic on 1 January 1933 and closed altogether on 3 July 1950.
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- Francis Brolly, former Sinn Féin MLA for East Londonderry
- Joe Brolly, member of Derry's 1993 All-Ireland winning team; won All Stars in 1996 and 1997
- Cara Dillon, folk singer
- Kevin Lynch, hunger striker who died in 1981; the Dungiven hurling team was renamed Kevin Lynch's Hurling Club for him after his death
- Paul McCloskey, professional boxer, former British and European light welterweight champion
- Brian McGilligan, member of Derry's 1993 All-Ireland winning team; won All Stars in 1987 and 1993
- Geoffrey McGonagle, former Derry dual player
- Kieran McKeever, member of Derry's 1993 All-Ireland winning team; won an All Star in 2000
- John Mitchel, a 19th-century Irish patriot who inspired the Young Ireland Movement, was born at Camnish, between Dungiven and Burnfoot; the Mitchel Park area is named for him
- John Eddie Mullan, former Derry player
- Eamonn O'Kane, professional boxer; 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist at middleweight
- Eoghan Quigg, musician, singer
- Placenames Database of Ireland
- "Dungiven Settlement Designation". Planning Service - Draft Northern Area Plan 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2008.
- "Dungiven profile". Culture Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
- Sutton Index of Deaths - 1969, cain.ulst.ac.uk; accessed 5 May 2014.
- "St Canice's GAC, Dungiven". St Canice's GAC website. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "Dungiven station" (PDF). Railscot–Irish Railways. Retrieved 12 October 2007.