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Bridge Street, Gort
|Elevation||43 m (141 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference||M451019|
Gort (//; Irish: Gort Inse Guaire or An Gort) is a town in south County Galway, in the west of Ireland. It lies just north of the border with County Clare on the main N18 Galway–Limerick road. Gort is situated in the territory of Uí Fiachrach Aidhne also known as Maigh Aidhne ("the plain of Aidhne"), which is coextensive with the diocese of Kilmacduagh / Cill Mhic Dhuach.
Gort takes its name, Gort Inse Guaire, from gort (a meadow), "inse" (island) and Guaire Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin, the sixth century King of Connacht and patron of St. Colman MacDuagh. During the Middle Ages the chiefs of Cenél Áeda na hEchtge, the O'Shaughnessys (Ó Seachnasaigh, a clan descended from Guaire Aidhneach) had their principal stronghold in Gort, on a site which later became a cavalry barracks. At the end of the seventeenth century the O'Shaughnessy lands were confiscated and granted to Sir Thomas Prendergast, 1st Baronet, whose grandson was John Prendergast Smyth, 1st Viscount Gort. In 1831, the town had a population of 3,627 and 563 houses. The Great Hunger of the mid-1840s devastated the population.
A number of historic sites around Gort are included in the Sites and Monuments Record. Kilmacduagh monastery and round tower are situated approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) west of Gort. Rahaly Castle lies approximately 4.8 km (3 mi) east of Gort.
Gort railway station opened on 15 September 1869 and was closed for goods traffic on 3 November 1975 and for passenger traffic on 5 April 1976. it was reopened in 2010 as part of the Western Railway Corridor project.
The M18 Motorway bypass of the town has been completed since the 12th of November 2010.
The poet William Butler Yeats renovated an old tower house near the village (Thoor Ballylee) and took up residence there. He was also a frequent visitor to the home of Lady Gregory at nearby Coole Park. Coole Park is located just off the Galway Road, just 1 km from the town of Gort. Thomas Laughnan, recipient of the Victoria Cross, was born in Gort.
Some 40% of the residents of Gort were non-Irish, according to the 2006 Census, a massive majority of these being Brazilians. These people originally came to work in the meat processing plants in Gort where the pay is generally much higher than in similar plants in Brazil. According to Claire Healy "a large community of Brazilians now live, work and attend school in Gort, gradually altering the appearance and the character of the town". The Roman Catholic Church caters to the Brazilian community with a mass in Portuguese every Saturday held in Gort Catholic Church.
By the time of the 2011 Census, non-Irish nationals accounted for 27.2% of the population. The largest group (417 people) were still Brazilians, followed by UK nationals (81).
Gort Community School
The school was founded in 1995 and serves a large area of south Co. Galway. The current student population is over 650. The current Principal is Mr. Dennis Corry and the Vice-Principal Ms. Amy Talbot. The school campus contains the main school building, a GAA pitch, rugby union pitch, football pitch, canteen and the Noone Building which holds the Oratory, dressing rooms, music room and the career guidance office. The school has many sports teams including Hurling, Rugby, Soccer, Basketball, Athletics, Golf and an Equestrian team. Gort's only national title ever won by the school was during the 2007/2008 season of first year boys' basketball national championships.
- "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
- Census for post 1821 figures.
- Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency - Census Home Page
- Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
- Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic History Review. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x.
- "Gort station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
- Carnaval do Galway: The Brazilian Community in Gort, 1999-2006 — Claire Healy, in "Irish Migration Studies in Latin America" 4:3 July 2006 (www.irlandeses.org), accessed 14 August 2007
- Staff Lists « Gort Community School
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