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Ballylongford (historically ''Bealalongford'', from ) is a village near
Listowel Listowel ( ; ) is a heritage market town in County Kerry, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is on the River Feale, from the county town, Tralee. The town of Listowel had a population of 4,820 according to the Central Statistics Office of Irela ...
in northern
County Kerry County Kerry ( gle, Contae Chiarraí) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers ...

County Kerry
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
.


Geography

The village is situated at the top of a creek of Ballylongford Bay on the tidal estuary of the
River Shannon The River Shannon ( ga, Abhainn na Sionainne, ', '), at in length, is the longest river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows i ...
, close to Carrigafoyle Island and on the coast road between
Tarbert Tarbert ( gd, An Tairbeart) is a place name in Scotland and Ireland. Places named Tarbert are characterised by a narrow strip of land, or isthmus. This can be where two lochs nearly meet, or a causeway out to an island. Etymology All placenames ...
and the seaside town of
Ballybunion Ballybunion or Ballybunnion () is a coast The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% o ...

Ballybunion
. The farmland in the area is used primarily for
dairying A dairy is a business enterprise established for the harvesting or processing (or both) of animal milk – mostly from cattle, cows or Water buffalo, buffaloes, but also from goats, sheep, horses, or camels – for human consumption. A dairy is t ...
, which is a mainstay of the local economy. Three kilometers to the north, on Carrigafoyle Island, stands the castle and anchorage commemorated in the name of the village. For centuries, Ballylongford shared the political, military and religious fate of the castle and the nearby
Franciscan , image = FrancescoCoA PioM.svg , image_size = 250px , caption = A cross, Christ's arm and Saint Francis's arm, a universal symbol of the Franciscans , abbreviation = OFM , predecessor = , ...
Lislaughtin Abbey Lislaughtin Abbey is a medieval Order of Friars Minor, Franciscan friary and National Monument (Ireland), National Monument located in County Kerry, Ireland. Location Lislaughtin Abbey is located north of Ballylongford, on the east bank of the B ...
.


History

Carrigafoyle Castle was built between 1490 and 1500 by Conchuir Liath Uí Conchuir (Connor Liath O’Connor) using a design borrowed from the
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
. In addition to its windows and archways, it features a spiral staircase of 104 steps that visitors can climb today. The castle, now a listed
National Monument A national monument is a monument is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the ...
, stands 100 feet (almost 30 m) high and its battlements provide views of the estuary and the monastic Scattery Island in
County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers ...
. The O'Connors of Kerry held political sway from this strategic base which allowed them to "inspect" ships passing to and from the port of
Limerick Limerick ( ; ga, Luimneach ) is a city in County Limerick County Limerick ( ga, Contae Luimnigh) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chamber ...

Limerick
. Thus, "taxation" and smuggling were the main sources of income. The castle was fortified and the narrow spiral staircase ascends clockwise thus disadvantaging any attacker, particularly right-handed ones. In 1580, during the
Second Desmond Rebellion The Second Desmond Rebellion (1579–1583) was the more widespread and bloody of the two Desmond Rebellions The Desmond Rebellions occurred in 1569–1573 and 1579–1583 in the Irish province of Munster Munster ( gle, an Mhumhain or ...
, the castle was defended by a garrison composed of some 70 Irish, Italian and Spanish troops, led by Captain Julian, an Italian. The
Siege of Carrigafoyle Castle The siege of Carrigafoyle Castle took place on Easter in 1580 near modern-day Ballylongford, County Kerry, Ireland, on the southern bank of the River Shannon, Shannon estuary. The engagement was part of the English crown's campaign against the ...
by Elizabethan forces under Lord Justice Sir William Pelham began on
Palm Sunday Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels. Palm Sunday marks the first day of Holy Wee ...

Palm Sunday
. After two days, it was breached by cannon fire and taken, following which the surviving defenders were all hanged. The cannon breach remains visible to this day. Towards the end of the
Nine Years War The Nine Years' War (1688–1697), often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg, was a conflict between France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...
, taking advantage of the distraction of the English, Chieftain John O'Connor briefly re-occupied the castle only to be put out again in 1603 by
George CarewGeorge Carew may refer to: *George Carew (admiral) (c. 1504–1545) soldier and adventurer, died in the sinking of the Tudor warship the ''Mary Rose'' *George Carew (priest) (1497/8–1583), English Anglican Dean of Christ Church, Dean of Windsor an ...
, the Governor of Munster. King James I restored the castle to the O'Connors in 1607 but in 1651 during the
Cromwellian conquest of Ireland The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland or Cromwellian war in Ireland (1649–1653) was the conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English g ...
, it was again captured, this time by Oliver Cromwell, Cromwellian forces under Edmund Ludlow. Ludlow was Henry Ireton, Henry Ireton’s second in command and, after Ireton's death, commander in chief in Ireland. Ludlow ensured that the castle could never again be fortified and garrisoned, by knocking the outer defensive walls. The O’Connor lands were confiscated under the Act for the Settlement of Ireland 1652, Act for the Settlement of Ireland of 1652 and given to William Sandes of Cumberland, who had arrived in Ireland with Oliver Cromwell in 1649. Following the English Restoration, restoration of the monarchy the lands were subsequently granted to Trinity College Dublin in 1666. The College remained the principal landlord in the Ballylongford area up to the passage of the Land Act in 1903. Some land titles are still vested in the college to this day. On the other side of the creek, the O'Connors built the Friary of Lislaughtin in 1478, known locally as
Lislaughtin Abbey Lislaughtin Abbey is a medieval Order of Friars Minor, Franciscan friary and National Monument (Ireland), National Monument located in County Kerry, Ireland. Location Lislaughtin Abbey is located north of Ballylongford, on the east bank of the B ...
(''Lios Laichtin'', meaning Lachtin's Enclosure). St Lachtin was the first to preach Christianity in the area. Two of the O'Connor chiefs are buried within its walls. The Abbey was raided twice by English forces coinciding with the military action against Carrigafoyle Castle. The Abbey was dissolved in the 17th century. A processional cross, possibly buried by the friars for safekeeping, survived the raids and was later discovered by a farmer. This processional cross, known as Lislaughtin Cross, is now on display in the National Museum of Ireland, National Museum in Dublin. Today, the Abbey and its grounds serve as the town's primary Roman Catholic cemetery. The village in its present form dates from the end of the eighteenth century, though a bridge over the ford existed long before then. The old bridge was destroyed by flood in 1926. A reinforced concrete bridge was completed in 1930 and stands to this day. Photographs taken at the turn of the century show the village to have been largely made up of thatched houses, but many of these were burned by the Black and Tans during the Irish War of Independence, War of Independence. A concrete coastal artillery fort, Fort Shannon, is located six kilometers from the village. Constructed in 1940, it is the only such fortification built by the Irish Defence Forces during World War II, termed The Emergency (Ireland), the Emergency in Ireland.


Economy and amenities

Farming, fishing and tourism are key contributors to the local economy. there were renewed proposals to open a liquefied natural gas terminal in the area. Ballylongford parish is within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kerry and is served by the church of St Mary, Asdee, and the church of St Michael the Archangel, Ballylongford. The latter church was built in the 1870s to a Hiberno Romanesque style. A former church in the area, Aghavallin church, on the edge of Ballylongford, dates from the 14th century. Now in ruin, at different times it served both the Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland adherents of the area, before it was closed in 1829 and a new church built on the opposite side of the road.


People

*Brendan Kennelly, poet and novelist, was born in Ballylongford in 1936, and a festival celebrating his work is held annually. *Horatio Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, Horatio, and later Lord, Kitchener was born in Ballylongford in 1850. *Malachi Martin, Father Malachi Martin, Roman Catholic priest, former Jesuit and author *Death of Jerry McCabe, Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, of the Garda Síochána, was born in Ballylongford. He was killed in 1996 by members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, Provisional IRA during the attempted robbery of a post office. *The O'Rahilly, Michael O'Rahilly ("The O'Rahilly"), a member of the Gaelic League and one of the founders of the Irish Volunteers was born in the village in 1875. A plaque marks his house and a portrait, presented to the village by his family, is in Michael Finucane’s Public House, which was formerly an O’Rahilly family business premises. Ballylongford's local Gaelic football Club is known as "O'Rahilly's Gaelic football Club".


See also

* Ballylongford GAA * List of abbeys and priories in the Republic of Ireland#County Kerry, List of abbeys and priories in Ireland (County Kerry) * List of towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland, List of towns and villages in Ireland


References

{{Authority control Towns and villages in County Kerry