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County Longford
Contae an Longfoirt
Coat of arms of County Longford
Motto: Daingean agus Dílis  (Irish)
"Strong and Loyal"
Map highlighting County Longford
Province: Leinster
County seat: Longford
Code: LD
Area: 1,091 km2 (421 sq mi)
Population (2006) 34,361
The Royal Canal, Keenagh.

County Longford (Irish: Contae an Longfoirt) is one of the traditional counties of Ireland and is located within the province of Leinster. It was named after the town of Longford (Irish: an Longfort).

With an area of 1,091 km² (421 square miles) and a population of 34,361, Longford is the fourth smallest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area and second smallest in terms of population[1]. It is also the fourth smallest of Leinster’s 12 counties in size and smallest in terms of population.



The territory now comprising County Longford was traditionally known as Annaly (Anghaile in Irish), Tethbae or Teffia (Teabhtha in Irish) and formed the territory of the Farrell clan. After the Norman invasion of the 12th century, Annaly was granted to Hugh de Lacy as part of the Liberty of Meath. An English settlement was established at Granard, with English Cistercian monasteries being established at Abbeylara and Abbeyshrule, and Augustinian monasteries being established at Abbeyderg and at Saints' Island on the shore of Lough Ree. Monastic remains at Ardagh, Abbeylara, Abbeyderg, Abbeyshrule, Inchcleraun Island in Lough Ree and Inchmore Island in Lough Gowna are reminders of the county's long Christian history.

However, by the 14th century, English influence in Ireland was on the wane. The town of Granard was sacked by Edward Bruce's army in 1315, and the O'Farrells soon recovered complete control over their former territory.

The county was officially shired in 1586 in the reign of Elizabeth I, but English control was not fully established until the aftermath of the Nine Years War. County Longford was added to Leinster by James I in 1608 (it had previously been considered part of Connacht), with the county being divided into six baronies and its boundaries being officially defined. The county was planted by English and Scottish landowners in 1620, with much of the O'Farrell lands being confiscated and granted to new owners. The change in control was completed during the Cromwellian plantations of the 1650s.

The county was a centre of the 1798 rebellion, when the French expeditionary force led by Humbert which had landed at Killala were defeated outside the village of Ballinamuck on 8 September by an English army led by Cornwallis. Considerable reprisals were inflicted by the British on the civilian inhabitants of the county in the aftermath of the battle.

A revolutionary spirit was again awoken in the county during the Irish War of Independence when the North Longford flying column, led by Seán Mac Eoin, became one of the most active units on the Irish side during that war.


Most of Longford lies in the basin of the River Shannon, which forms its western boundary, much of it in the form of a large lake, Lough Ree. The northeastern part of the county, however, drains towards the River Erne, and much of Lough Gowna is within the county boundary. Lakeland, bogland, pastureland, and wetland typify Longford's generally low-lying landscapes: the highest point is Carn Clonhugh (also known as Cairn Hill) in the northwest of the county at 279 m (916 feet). Cairn Hill is the site of a television transmitter broadcasting to much of the Irish midlands. In general, the northern third of the county is hilly, forming part of the drumlin belt stretching across the northern midlands of Ireland. The southern parts of the county are low-lying, with extensive areas of raised bogland, and the land being of better quality for grazing and tillage.

Towns and villages


Longford’s population growth during the period 2002-2006 (10.6%) has been stronger than the National average (8.2%).[8]

County Longford Facts:[9]

Agriculture (Source: 2000 Census of Agriculture, CSO)

Agriculture is an important facet in the way of life and for the economy in County Longford. There are 73,764 hectares of area farmed in the County. There are approximately 126,904 cattle in the county too.

Area (Source: Ordnance Survey)

The area of the County is 109,116 hectares.

Live Register (Source: Live Register Analysis, CSO)

People on the Live Register - March 2009 reached 4,851.

Vehicles Licensed for the First Time (Source: CSO)

Sixty nine new Private Cars were licensed for the first time in Longford County in February 2009.

See also


  1. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186–191. 
  2. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy March 14, 1865.
  3. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". in Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A.. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  7. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November), "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850", The Economic History Review Volume 37 (Issue 4): 473–488, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x, 
  8. ^ "Demographic context" (PDF). Offaly County Council Development Plan 2009 - 2015. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  9. ^

External links

Coordinates: 53°40′N 7°45′W / 53.667°N 7.75°W / 53.667; -7.75



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