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Coordinates: 54°14′54″N 6°42′17″W / 54.2483°N 6.7046°W / 54.2483; -6.7046

Irish: an Céide
Keady is located in Northern Ireland

 Keady shown within Northern Ireland
Population 2,960 (2001 Census)
Irish grid reference H844340
District Armagh
County County Armagh
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BT
Dialling code 028, 048
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament Newry and Armagh
List of places: UK • Northern Ireland • Armagh

Keady (from the Irish: an Céide meaning "the flat-topped hill"[1]) is a village in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It is situated south of Armagh city and very close to the border with the Republic of Ireland. The town had a population of 2,960 people in the 2001 Census.

A tributary of the river Callan known as the Clea flows from its source in Tullynawood lake through the centre of the town. The river Clea once powered the towns millwheels. It's prosperity comes from the small village of Darkley which supplied the linen to the tailors and even made its own range of bed linen. In the centre of the town stands the Old Mill, which has been converted into a modern Visitor Centre, Cafe and community enterprise resource. The building is complete with its own millwheel and acts as the entrance to a beautiful riverside walk.



The name Keady is recorded as long ago as 1674 in a letter from Symore Richardson to the Provost of Trinity College, Dublin (the district was part of a grant of county Armagh lands to that college). However, the town did not emerge as an important centre until the mid 18th century when the use of waterpower led to the growth of great linen mills and factories. By 1837, Keady was noted as being the centre of an important flourishing linen trade by Samuel Lewis in his Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. The Keady Monument was erected by the local people to honour William Kirk, who through his mills at Keady and Darkley, provided so much economic prosperity in the area. The town was also became a centre of tailoring before World War I, and the arrival of the railway brought the town great commercial benefit, although the lines for both goods and passenger traffic have since closed. Until recently Keady retained its links with clothing manufacture, with a major textiles firm employing many local people, this has since closed. Situated on the river Clea (which flows from Clea Lake to the River Callan), Keady is noted chiefly for the 'Keady trout Lakes'. It is also of interest to the industrial archaeologist as the centre of a district with many derelict watermills. Tassagh Glen, just outside the town has a mill and viaduct of monumental proportions. The newly restored mill in the centre of town offers the visitor a unique glimpse into Keady's industrial heritage.

The Troubles

For more information see The Troubles in Keady, which includes a list of incidents in Keady during the Troubles resulting in two or more fatalities.


  • The railway arrived in Keady in 1909, with the opening of a line from Armagh which was extended to Castleblayney in 1910. Keady railway station opened on 31 May 1909, closed for passenger traffic on 1 February 1932 and finally closed altogether on 1 October 1957.[2] As a cross border line, when the Irish Free State was created in 1922, it lost all passenger traffic in 1923, with freight being withdrawn from the cross border section from Castleblayney to Keady in 1924. The Armagh to Keady freight service was withdrawn on October 1 1957.
  • There is a viaduct for the railway in Keady as well as one of the more interesting artefacts of Irish railway history, the tunnel for the Ulster and Connaught Light Railway. This was a proposal for a narrow gauge line from Greenore, County Louth to Clifden, County Galway, for which the tunnel under the railway embankment at Keady was built, but never used. Ulsterbus now use part of the tunnel as a bus garage.



2001 Census

Keady 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 2,960 people living in Keady. Of these:

  • 25.6% were aged under 16 years and 15.5% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.8% of the population were male and 51.2% were female
  • 94.2% were from a Catholic background and 5.6% were from a Protestant background
  • 6.2% of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Keady station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 

See also

External links

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