Dungiven Irish: Dún Geimhin
Dungiven shown within Northern Ireland
Population 2,993 (2001 Census) Irish grid reference - Belfast 53 miles District Limavady County County Londonderry Country Northern Ireland Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town LONDONDERRY Postcode district BT47 Dialling code 028, +44 28 EU Parliament Northern Ireland NI Assembly East Londonderry List of places: UK • Northern Ireland • County Londonderry
Dungiven (from Irish: Dún Geimhin, meaning "Gevin's fort") is a small town and townland 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 O'Cahan (Cooey na Gall O' Cahan), laid to rest in 1385. A thicket of thorn bushes hung with rags, on the right, conceals a bullaun stone, visited for wart cures.
Between the 12th and 17th centuries the area was ruled by the O'Cahan clan, one of the most influential clans in Ulster and respected throughout Ireland. During the days of James I they built Dungiven Castle, which remains today as a restaurant and guesthouse. World famous song Danny Boy is taken from a melody composed by O’Cahan bard Rory Dall O’Cahan. The original version concerns the passing of the Chief Cooey-na-Gall, whose death brought an end to a long line of O’Cahan chiefs in northern Ireland.
During The Troubles in Northern Ireland seven people were killed in or near Dungiven in connection with the conflict, six of them members of the security forces. The one civilian, Francis McCloskey, is sometimes deemed the first person killed in the Troubles.
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 and Kevin Lynch's is the local hurling club. St Canices play at O'Cahan Park, while Kevin Lynch's play at Kevin Lynch Park.
Kevin Lynch's have won the Derry Senior Hurling Championship a record 22 times and are the current county champions, for the fourth successive year.
Dungiven is classified as an intermediate settlement by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie 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.
- 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, Internationally recognised folk singer
- Kevin Lynch, hunger striker who died in 1981. The Dungiven hurling team was renamed Kevin Lynch's Hurling Club in his honour 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 in Camnish, near Dungiven and Burnfoot. The area Mitchel Park is named after him.
- John Eddie Mullan, former Derry player.
- Eamonn O'Kane, professional boxer, 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist at middleweight.
- Eoghan Quigg, singer.
- ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
- ^ a b c "Dungiven Settlement Designation". Planning Service - Draft Northern Area Plan 2016. http://www.planningni.gov.uk/AreaPlans_Policy/Plans/Northern/draft_plan/Volume2/Part6/Towns/Dungiven_settlementdesignation.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- ^ a b "Dungiven". Culture Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 2008-06-09. http://web.archive.org/web/20080609022346/http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/YourArea.aspx?location=444. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- ^ Sutton Index of Deaths - 1969
- ^ "St Canice's GAC, Dungiven". St Canice's GAC website. http://www.dungiven.derry.gaa.ie/index.html. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- ^ "Dungiven station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. http://www.railscot.co.uk/Ireland/Irish_railways.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
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