Some Local History of South Armagh

1798 in South Armagh

See the excellent account by Kevin (Ned) Murphy from the 1989 Journal of The Creggan Local History Society


Murder in Foughiletra

In 1836 tithe collector James Morris was taken from his house in Foughiletra (anybody know where it was?) by up to a dozen men, stabbed and beaten to death and his body thrown on a dunghill. See the attachment below, an extract from an article in Seanchas Ardmhacha by Kevin McMahon of Cullyhanna and Thomas McKeown.

Troubles 1919-21

Kevin McMahon has also written an excellent chronology of the Old Troubles

The Time of the Trouble 1919-21: Armagh, South Down and North Louth

Seanchas ArdMhacha Vol. 15, No.1 1991Pages 217-271
Part One can be read online here:
No link for Part Three




The shooting of Meredith Chambre

We heard the story in outline on our Slieve Gullion walk in February 2011 but for more detail have a look at the Newry Journal which is a great source of local history.

But there are plenty of stories about Chambre in the area and I would be interested in hearing about them on My father told me about Chambre’s coach overturing on ice on Ayallogue Hill and when they told Meredith the coachman was all right, he said: “Never mind the coachman, what about my horses?”


There was also a story about a blacksmith who may have lived in what is known as George Wilson’s house (now rebuilt) beside the Protestant Schoolhouse. He shoed 40 horses for Chambre and when he asked for cash payment he was offered some kind of rent discount deal. He refused and went up and took the shoes off again. Chambre put him and his family out on the road.


Other things we know about the affair, if I remember properly from a talk Kevin Ned Murphy gave some years back in the Football Club, is that John Ryan in Dernaroy was the head Ribbonman, the plot was cooked up in a shebeen in what later became Paddy Nicholas’s shop, and the actual shooters came from Silverbridge and Cullyhanna. I do remember him saying that the Ribbonmen in Dromintee became the butt of a few jokes because  ‘they only half shot their landlords’.


The real bard of Armagh was Dr Patrick Donnelly, one of only two bishops operating in Ireland in the worst of the Penal Days. The area where he lived under the assumed name of Phelim Brady, close to where the Longfield Road joins the Crossmaglen-Newry road, is still known as Doctors’ Quarters.

Click on the link for Hugh Murphy’s article:


1641 Rising

The Newry Journal – – has good accounts of the Rising of 1641 (which was planned in a house on a man-made island in Lough Ross) and of the revenge taken by a Scottish army under General Robert Munroe the following year:


“Another party, sent out from Newry to comb the mountains killed many in the area between Newry and Dundalk. ( the Slieve Gullion/Jonesborough area?) ‘The next day another party was sent into the mountains and a place appointed to them to meet the maine bodie which marched another way into the mountains passable for the cannon. At night they mett and they brought in many cowes and killed manie women and children. Of the Scottish soulders (soldiers) few were lost. The rebels made no fight at all. They had not anie powder but endeavoured  to drive away their cowes.’”

Another report not immediately to hand speaks of one of Munroe’s captains chasing people close to Slieve Gullion … “We hanged a half hundred of the rogues”. The steep slope from Ballintemple up towards Ballard was reportedly known as Hanging Hill. Any information welcome.

Owen Roe O’Neill gave Munroe a taste of his own medicine at Benburb in 1646. At some point during these turbulent years Killeavy Old Church was fortified on behalf of O’Neill and the Confederation of Kilkenny.



Munroe himself recorded the event as,

‘Near the Newrie we killed in one day 700, men women and children who were driving away their cattle’.


Construction of the Turf Road from Ardaghy to Edentubber

See attached article (below) from the Omeath History Society


Lissachiggel,Ringfort,Doolargy Co. Louth

See attached article (below) from the Louth Archaelogical Journal detailing excavation notes from 1939 dig.The photo below is from our New Year walk 8/1/2012.Evidence of habitation from Neolithic times through early christian and even Raparees drinking wine possibly liberated from King Billy’s armies of 1690 ! Also reputed to be where Queen Maebhs army stole the brown bull of Cooley,An Tain Bo Cuailgne.


Roche Castle


Lady Rohesia de Verdun, who built Roche Castle in1236, resolved a dispute with the architect by unconventional means.


TurfRoad MurderinFoughiletra1836 Davies1939article