Video of Longford Town, County Longford, Republic of Ireland
Longford is the county town of County Longford in Ireland. It has a population of
7,622 according to the 2006 census. It is the biggest town in the county and about
one third of the county's population lives there. Longford lies at the meeting of
the N4 and the N5 primary routes, which means that traffic travelling between Dublin
and Counties Mayo and Roscommon passes through the town.
The Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre is located near to Longford, in Keenagh. The Centre
houses an Iron Age bog road which was built in the year 148 BC across the boglands
in proximity to the River Shannon. The oak road is the largest of its kind to have
been uncovered in Europe and was excavated over the years by Professor Barry Raftery
of University College Dublin. Inside the building, an 18 metre stretch of preserved
road is on permanent display in a specially designed hall with humidifiers to prevent
the ancient wood from cracking in the heat. Bord na Mona and the Heritage Service
have carried out conservation work on the surrounding bog to ensure that it remains
wet and that the buried road is preserved. There are other historical artifacts and
some exhibits at the centre.
St. Mel's Cathedral in the town features several stained glass windows by Harry Clarke
studios. These include one of his earliest works The consecration of St. Mel as Bishop
of Longford which was exhibited at the RDS Annual Art Industries Exhibition in 1910,
where it received second prize. It was also exhibited at The Arts and Crafts Society
of Ireland fourth exhibition in the same year. The Cathedral was extensively damaged
in a fire on Christmas Day 2009. The two most intricated stained-glass windows in
the transepts of the Cathedral it seems will be able to be restored - these depict
St Anne and the Resurrection.
The mother of actor Mel Gibson, Anne Reilly Gibson, was born in Colmcille Parish,
County Longford, Ireland. Gibson's first name comes from the 5th-century Irish saint,
Mel, founder of the diocese of Ardagh (which contains most of his mother's native
county), while his second name, Colmcille, also linked to an Irish saint, is the
name of the parish in County Longford where Anne Reilly was born and raised.
Michael Gomez, champion professional boxer was born in an Irish Traveller family
in Longford. Ray Flynn, Irish mile record holder, grew up in Longford. Dermot Hegarty
, Irish showband singer was born here in 1940. Harold Browne, Surgeon. Sean Noone,
teacher at St.Brigids BNS, Killester