Limavady Scots: Limavadie Irish: Léim a' Mhadaidh
Limavady shown within Northern Ireland
Population 12,135 (2001 Census) District Limavady County County Londonderry Country Northern Ireland Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town LIMAVADY Postcode district BT49 Dialling code 028 Police Northern Ireland Fire Northern Ireland Ambulance Northern Ireland EU Parliament Northern Ireland NI Assembly East Londonderry Website www.limavady.gov.uk List of places: UK • Northern Ireland • County Londonderry
Limavady ( //; from Irish: Léim a' Mhadaidh meaning "leap of the dog") is a market town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, with Binevenagh as a backdrop. It lies 17 miles (27 km) east of Derry and 14 miles (23 km) south west of Coleraine. It had a population of 12,135 people in the 2001 Census, an increase of some 17% compared to 1991. In the 30 years after 1971 Limavady’s population almost doubled.
- 1 Features
- 2 History
- 3 Townlands
- 4 Politics
- 5 Places of interest
- 6 Popular culture
- 7 Transport
- 8 Education
- 9 Sport
- 10 2001 Census
- 11 People
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
During the past 50 years the town has experienced sustained growth, related to significant development of modern industry and its perception as an attractive residential town. Limavady is a prosperous service centre for the Roe valley, but as a retail centre it is subject to increasing competition from Derry, Coleraine and to a lesser extent Ballymena. One of the distinctive features of the town’s growth has been the predominant southward and eastward expansion of its suburbs, with the River Roe flood plain continuing to contain the town to the west and north. From mid 1988 to mid 2004, a total of 1,332 dwellings were built in the town, mainly at Bovally along the south eastern edge of the town. The large industrial estate at Aghanloo is 3 km north of the town.
Limavady and its surrounding settlements derive from Celtic roots, although no-one is sure about the exact date of Limavady's origins. Estimates date from around 5 AD. Early records tell of Saint Columba, who presided over a meeting of the Kings at Mullagh Hill near Limavady in 575 AD, a location which is now part of the Roe Park Golf Resort.
Celtic Ireland was divided into kingdoms, each ruled by their own family or clan. In the Limavady area, the predominate family was the O'Cahans. Their mark is found everywhere in the town and surrounding area. O'Cahan's Rock is one of Limavady's main historical points. This is where, according to local myth, a dog belonging to one of the Chiefs jumped the river to get help from nearby clans after a surprise enemy attack. This gave Limavady its name, Limavady being the anglicised version of Leim an Mhadaidh, which means leap of the dog. This rock, along with other relics of Limavady's history, can be seen at Roe Valley Country Park.
The town developed from a small Plantation settlement founded in the early 17th century. It had an early association with the linen industry, but did not benefit from subsequent expansion of linen manufacturing in the 19th century. as a result it remained a modest sized market town until the late 20th century.
During the troubles in Northern Ireland, four people were killed in or near Limavady by the IRA. Two were members of the security forces and two were civilians who were killed by a bomb as they drove past Limavady RUC station.
Limavady sprang up within the townland of Rathbrady Beg in the parish of Drumachose and was original known as Newtown Limavady. Over time, the urban area has expanded into the surrounding townlands. These include:
- Bovally (from Irish: Bó Bhaile meaning "townland of cows")
- Coolessan (from Irish: Cúil Leasáin meaning "nook of the little fort")
- Enagh (from Irish: Eanach meaning "marsh")
- Killane (from Irish: Coill Leathan meaning "broad wood")
- Rathbrady Beg (from Irish: Ráth Brighde Beag meaning "little fort of St. Brigid")
- Rathbrady More (from Irish: Ráth Brighde Mór meaning "great fort of St. Brigid")
The headquarters of Limavady Borough Council are based on Connell Street. Together with the neighbouring district of Coleraine, it forms the East Londonderry constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.
Places of interest
- Limavady lies in the scenic Roe Valley area and the Roe Valley Country Park on the River Roe lies to the south west of the town.
- The birthplace of New Zealand prime minister William Massey is on Irish Green Street. Nearby Massey Avenue is also named after him.
- The archaeologically significant Broighter Gold collection was found nearby in 1896. It is currently in the National Museum in Dublin.
- Jane Ross, who first transcribed Londonderry Air, was born and lived in Limavady. A plaque is shown above her old house on Main Street.
Between the 12th and 17th centuries the area was ruled by the O'Cahan clan. 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.
The town hosts international events such as the Danny Boy Festival, the Limavady Jazz and Blues Festival and the Roe Valley Folk Festival.
- In 2003 a road bypass was completed to the north of Limavady at a cost of £11.5 million. This bypass aimed to reduce the time taken to travel on the A2 between Derry and Coleraine.
- The Limavady Railway was a branch line to the main Derry – Belfast line. Limavady station opened on 29 December 1852, closed for passenger traffic on 3 July 1950 and finally closed altogether on 2 May 1955. Limavady Junction station opened on 1 March 1855 and finally closed on 17 October 1976. Limavady is no longer served by rail links – the nearest station is at Bellarena, approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) from the town.
- The Broharris Canal was constructed in the 1820s when a cut, some 2 miles (3.2 km) long on the south shore of Lough Foyle near Ballykelly was made in the direction of Limavady. The inhabitants of Limavady appealed for the building of a canal from Lough Foyle to the town but were turned down, and the Broharris Canal was the nearest they came to achieving such a navigable link.
There are four primary schools, three secondary schools, a regional college and a special needs school in Limavady. Limavady's schools are closely located in an 'education circle'. The three secondary schools are all located along the same stretch of road (Ballyquin Road and Irish Green Street), with Limegrove Special School opposite Limavady Grammar School, Termoncanice Primary opposite Limavady High School and St. Mary's High School. Limavady Central Primary School is located a short distance from the other schools.
- Termoncanice Primary School
- Roe Valley Integrated Primary
- Limavady Central Primary School
- Drumachose Primary School
Gaelscoil Leim an mhadaidh
Special needs schools
- Rossmar Special School (formerly Limegrove/Greystone Hall)
- Limavady United F.C. football club
- Wolfhounds GAC is the local Gaelic Athletic Association club
- Newtown Y.F.C.
- Drummond Cricket Club
- Limavady Cricket Club
- Limavady Rugby Club
- Roe Valley F.C.
Limavady is classified as a medium town by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with population between 10,000 and 18,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 12,135 people living in Limavady. Of these:
- 25.4% were aged under 16 years and 14.3% were aged 60 and over
- 48.8% of the population were male and 51.2% were female
- 41.6% were from a Catholic background and 56.5% were from a Protestant background 
- 5.1% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.
For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service
Notable people who have come from or have been resident in the town and environs include:
- John Deighan – Current Derry Gaelic footballer.
- Victor Griffin – formerly Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin
- Ruth Kelly – Labour MP and former Cabinet Minister.
- William Ferguson Massey – 19th Prime Minister of New Zealand (from 1912 to 1925) was born and educated in the town before migrating.
- Gerry Mullan – Former Glentoran, Everton and Northern Ireland footballer.
- Samuel Young (1822–1918) MP was Limavady brewery founder.
- Paula Reed - Editor of Grazia magazine.
- ^ Banagher and Boveagh Churches (Ulster-Scots translation) Department of the Environment.
- ^ a b c d "Limavady". Planning Service – Draft Northern Area Plan 2016. http://www.planningni.gov.uk/AreaPlans_Policy/Plans/Northern/draft_plan/Volume2/Part6/Limavady/DevelopmentContext&Strategy.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- ^ a b c d "Limavady". Culture Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 2008-06-09. http://web.archive.org/web/20080609022419/http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/YourArea.aspx?location=437. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- ^ Parish of Drumachose www.ulsterancestry.com Retrieved 28 June 2010
- ^ "Northern Ireland Placenames Project". http://www.placenamesni.org/Index.html. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
- ^ "OSI Limavady". Ordnance Survey Ireland. http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,667986,922053,4. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
- ^ "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.
- ^ "A2 Limavady bypass". http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/roads/A2limavadybypass.html. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
- ^ "Limavady and Limavady Junction stations". Railscot – Irish Railways. http://www.railscot.co.uk/Ireland/Irish_railways.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-28.
- ^ NISRA Key Statistics for Settlements Tables
Towns in Northern IrelandList of towns by population Large Medium Small Places in County Londonderry Cities Towns Villages
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- Nixon's Corner
- The Loup
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