Louth, County Louth
The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Louth
|Elevation||34 m (112 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-1 (IST (WEST))|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Louth (Irish: Lú) is a village at the heart of County Louth, Ireland. It is roughly 11 km south-west of the town of Dundalk, 10.9 km to neighbouring town Ardee. The village is approximately 15 km south-east of Carrickmacross town in County Monaghan. The village gave its name to the county.
The village is named after Lugh, a god of the ancient Irish, and may once have been the site of a shrine dedicated to the god. Historically, the place-name was spelt in variously different ways such as; "Lughmhagh", "Lughmhadh" and "Lughbhadh". The first is thought to mean "Lugh's plain" or "Lugh's field", but the meaning of the other two is unclear. Lú is the modern simplified spelling.
According to tradition, Mochta—a Christian missionary from Britain—founded a monastery at Louth in the 6th century, known today as St. Mochta's House. In the 1920s the structure was completely dismantled and rebuilt in an attempt to save it from damage caused by ivy. In the 12th century, Saint Mary's Monastery was built approximately 50m east, but today lies in ruins after the dissolution of the monasteries under the English king Henry VIII. The current structure dates mainly from the 1300s it is believed that Edward Bruce of Scotland stayed at the priory in 1315, leading to the estate being fined by the English crown.
The remnants of a motte-and-bailey castle stand in a private field overlooking much of the village, on the edge of the Artoney townland. The eight meter tall motte - known locally as the Fairy Mound - is the highest point in the village and in Norman times had a wooden structure atop.
Until early in the 21st century, the village was also home to the last remnants of St John's Abbey. The last standing portion of the walls of the monastery, a 12-foot-high (3.7 m), 4-foot-wide (1.2 m) piece known locally as The Pinnacle, suddenly collapsed overnight.
At the heart of the village is the Church of the Immaculate Conception, which was built in 1892, and sits atop a hill overlooking the village and surrounding area. It was destroyed in 2003 by an accidental fire, started during renovation work, leaving only the exterior walls and spire standing, the inferno which had gutted the 110-year-old church. In early 2006, it reopened with a modern-style interior.
The local GAA team took the name St. Mochtas and play at the nearby Pairc Mochta founded in 1949, in honour of the saint who founded the small church in the village in the 6th century. The local primary school, St. Mochta's NS, was established in 1973.
- AI818.2 The shrine of Mochta of Lugmad in flight before Aed, son of Niall, and it came to Les Mór.
The village was home to former Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) Eddie Filgate. Filgate was first elected to the 21st Dáil at the 1977 general election in the Louth constituency. He died in 2017, aged 101, at which time he was living next to the site of his childhood home on the outskirts of the village, in the Priorstate townland.
- "Sapmap Area - Settlements - Louth". Census 2016. CSO. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
- "Louth - Placename database of Ireland". Retrieved 2018-12-17.
- < "Louth (Ireland) Census Town". citypopulation.de. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
- Lynch, David (2017-01-19). "Former Louth TD Eddie Filgate passes away aged 101". www.dundalkdemocrat.ie. Retrieved 2018-12-17.