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An Bhoth / Baile an Scotaigh
|Elevation||72 m (236 ft)|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC-1)|
Scotstown (Irish: Baile an Scotaigh / An Bhoth) is a village in the townland of Bough in north County Monaghan, Ireland. Scotstown is located in the parish of Tydavnet, along the River Blackwater, Scotstown being the village closest to the river's source. Scotstown is centred in the townland of Bough, but extends into Carrowhatta, Teraverty, Drumdesco and Stracrunnion townlands.
A couple of theories exist around the origin of the English name, either deriving from the fact that a lot of Scots were located there during the Ulster Plantation, or it may have been named after a local landowner, George Scott in the 1660s. Older documents, including Thom's Irish Almanac of 1862 alternate between referencing the village as Scottstown and Scotstown.
With regard to its Irish language names, the traditional name of An Bhoth comes from the townland of Bough, where the village is centered, with the likely meaning of tent or hut, suggesting humble origins for the village. This is the name appearing on signs as you enter the village. On Ordnance Survey maps and road signs, the village also carries the name Baile an Scotaigh, which literally means 'town of the Scot'. This is a comparatively rare occurrence of the Irish form being a translation of the English form (and in this case, possibly, an erroneous one), as opposed to the Irish form being the original. An Bhoth is used by the local Gaelic Athletic Association club and the local school.
A crannog in the local Hollywood lake was the headquarters of Patrick Mac Art Moyle MacMahon. In 1591, Lord Deputy Fitzwilliam broke up the MacMahon lordship in Monaghan when "The MacMahon", hereditary leader of the sept, resisted the imposition of an English sheriff; he was hanged and his lordship divided. Patrick Mac Art Moyle MacMahon became one of the independent leaders of the divided MacMahon lordship. The MacMahons generally fought amongst themselves during most of the Nine Years' War (1594–1603), and Patrick Mac Art Moyle MacMahon, along with other MacMahon leaders, ultimately surrendered to Baron Mountjoy in 1601. Although the MacMahon's retained most of their land after the war, unable to raise taxes they would eventually give up their land as payment for those taxes.
A Catholic church was built in the neighbouring townland of Drumdesco in 1785 (rebuilt in the 1820s), referred to locally as Urbleshanny Chapel, but officially dedicated to St Mary. Church registers go back to 1835 for births and 1825 for marriages. It is one of the three catholic churches in the Parish of Tydavnet. St. Mary's has an adjoining cemetery with graves dating back to the late 18th century. Urbleshanny chapel served as a pro-cathedral for the Catholic Diocese of Clogher from 1801 to 1824, while Dr. James Murphy was bishop. At the time it was noted to have no ceiling, no boards on the floor, and only partially fitted with pews. A tradition in Urbleshanny after weddings was to hold a race for a bottle of whiskey, and there is still a place near the chapel called Whiskey Hollow were these races were said to have taken place. Another Presbyterian cemetery exists close to the village centre, but is no longer in use.
The village national school is also called Urbleshanny and is located in Carrowhatta. Urbleshanny National School is thought to be the earliest Catholic school in the Diocese of Clogher, having been set up in 1791, just after the penal laws were repealed.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the lowlands surrounding Scotstown were favoured by the landed classes, and as a consequence, they have left some ornamental woodland behind, including Hollywood and Mullaghmore.
During the 18th century, Scotstown developed as a small market centre and by the 1830s, Scotstown was known to have a thriving fair, which centred on the village green, and the green is still an open space today. Records show that traders came to sell calico, printed and course linens, stockings, socks, combs, brushes, cutlery and other hardware. Also in the 18th century, Scotstown served as a depot for quarried stones coming from a number of locations in the Sliabh Beagh mountains.
It is on record in 1938 as having a blacksmith. Scotstown also had a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) barracks, with probably 4 officers stationed here. Electric power first arrived in Scotstown in 1948.
In October 1878 five thousand "Fenian's" attended a rally at Scotstown under "Green and Gold banners" demanding the release of "Fenian" prisoners, "ownership of the soil by the toillers" and an end to the parliamentary road to home rule. The first branch of the Land League in Monaghan was established by John Dillon in Scotstown in 1880.
In the 1970s and 80s, Scotstown and the rural community around were known for having a number of active members of the Provisional IRA. One of these, Seamus McElwain was killed close to Roslea in 1986, and his funeral at Urbleshanny chapel was a significant media event, drawing an estimated 3000 people to the village.
Scotstown GAA is the local Gaelic football club, which has had some success in the past, and is currently ranked 3rd in towns winning the Ulster Senior Club Football Championship. Its last victory was in 2013 and before that was 1989. Seán McCague a native of Scotstown, was also GAA president from 2000-2003.
Formerly Scotstown had two furniture manufacturers, which provided a significant employment source directly within the village. It also has 4 Public Houses, a small grocery shop/post office, a pharmacy and several other small retail outlets.
In October, Scotstown also hosts a traditional music festival, Scoil Cheoil na Botha, which features workshops, concerts and sessions.
Each summer, the Tydavnet Parish Show is held near Scotstown in the townland of Drumshevra.
Places of interest
- Just outside Scotstown, is the Hollywood recreational area, centred on a lake. A local voluntary committee purchased the lake and surrounds in 1969 and since then have developed the park with the support of various funding agencies, private donations and Monaghan County Council. The lake itself is stocked with bream, rudd (which locals call roach), perch and pike.
- A number of marked mountain trails are maintained in the nearby Sliabh Beagh area. A tourism centre and hotel have been opened in Corlat as a staging point for these walks.
- A commemorative "famine stone", marking the location where potato blight was first noticed in County Monaghan, can be seen in the nearby townland of Sheskin.
- http://www.libraryireland.com/articles/MonaghanCountyDirectoryThom1862/index.php From Thom's Irish Almanac - Monaghan Directory
- http://www.libraryireland.com/plnm/ From Irish Local Names explained - by P. W. Joyce