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Shercock - Cavan - B/W Lough Sillan

old photo

Shercock (Irish: Searcóg) is a small town situated in the east of County Cavan, Ireland. The current population of the town is around 600 people with almost triple this amount in the surrounding areas. Shercock has more pubs than any other type of business.

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Photo Details

  • County: Cavan
  • Town: Shercock
  • Scene: Main Street
  • Date: 1910 (estimate)

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  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper, also available in larger sizes
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  • Read about Shercock below


Shercock

Shercock (Irish: Searcóg) is a small town situated in the east of County Cavan, Ireland. The current population of the town is around 600 people with almost triple this amount in the surrounding areas. Shercock has more pubs than any other type of business.

History

The town was founded in the early 17th century as a Plantation town to accommodate mainly Presbyterian British settlers who colonised this part of County Cavan.

Usually these new settlers gave their towns English or Scottish names - near neighbours are Kingscourt, Cootehill, and Bailieborough - but the existing Irish names were maintained in Shercock. The modern Irish language name is Searcoig or Searcog; either name may be translated literally as 'young love', and there is no reason to believe that the name has changed in the last 400 years. Possibly the straitlaced and God-fearing Scots of the early 1600s did not realise the risque implications of the name they inherited from the local Gaelic population.

Equally strangely, the local townlands in this northern Protestant enclave almost all retain their ancient Gaelic names. For example, the townland of Lecks, on the Kingscourt road on the outskirts of Shercock, has been so named for a thousand years because of the flat-slabbed rocky landscape (leac is the Irish word for a flagstone). By contrast, townlands in the predominantly Gaelic west of Ireland very often have distinctly English names.

By the mid 19th century the town and immediate area had a population of about 5,000. However, the great famines and subsequent emigration severely affected the county of Cavan, reducing the population by 50 between 1841 and 1891.

Industry

The area is 'drumlin' country, being a landscape of small hills and lakes formed as the last ice age withdrew.

The Shercock area's main industry for nearly 300 years was the growing of flax for linen-making. The industry gradually died away with the decline of the linen industry in Northern Ireland.

Nowadays the town is an attractive and prosperous place with some light industry and a thriving tourist business based mainly on the excellent local angling. Lough Sillan, on the edge of the town, is a noted coarse fishing lake with thousands of metres of safe shore for free all-year angling. There are several smaller lakes within easy reach of the town.

People

The family of playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan (The School for Scandal) had an estate in Shercock; Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland cites Shercock as Sheridan's birthplace, though most sources say Dublin.

Patrick Kavanagh's 1948 novel Tarry Flynn is set in the countryside around Shercock.

The great-grandfather of U.S. Rep. John Murtha, also named John Murtha, was born in Shercock c. 1858, coming to the United States in 1882.