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Fermoy - Cork - View of town
Fermoy (Irish: Mainistir Fhear Maí) in County Cork, Ireland is a town of some 4,800 inhabitants, environs included (2002 census), situated on the River Blackwater in the south of Ireland. The name of the town comes from the Irish and refers to a Cistercian abbey founded in the 12th century and a ford on the Blackwater, around which the town grew up.
Fermoy (Irish: Mainistir Fhear Maí) in County Cork, Ireland is a town of some 4,800 inhabitants, environs included (2002 census), situated on the River Blackwater in the south of Ireland. The name of the town comes from the Irish and refers to a Cistercian abbey founded in the 12th century and a ford on the Blackwater, around which the town grew up. At the dissolution of the monasteries during the Tudor period, the abbey and its lands passed through the following dynasties: Viscount Roche of Fermoy, Sir Richard Grenville; Robert Boyle, Scientist ('Boyles Law'); and William Forward. Fermoy today still retains the religious tradition and two orders are currently educating the young: Presentation Sisters and Loreto Sisters.
In 1791, the lands were bought by a Scotsman, John Anderson. He was an entrepreneur who developed the roads and started the mail coach system in Ireland. He designed the town and the streets remain much the same as they were originally built.. His descendants, now living in Australia, have named a wine after the town which he established. A plaque and bust in his honour were unveiled by the town park in 2001.
Fermoy was the site of a major British Army barracks when Ireland was under imperial rule. By the 1830s this was the largest military establishment on the island of Ireland. In 1791 John Anderson purchased two thirds of the manor. In 1797, when the army was looking to establish a new and permanent base, Anderson gifted them the land as an inducement to locate in Fermoy. Anderson and the whole town received considerable economic benefit from that gift. In 1806 the first permanent barracks, the East Barracks, were built. They were located on 16½ acres of land and provided accommodation for 112 officers and 1478 men of infantry, and 24 officers, 120 men, and 112 horses of cavalry. A general military hospital of 130 beds was also built. In 1809 the smaller West Barracks were built which also included a 42 bed hospital. When both barracks were complete there was accommodation for 14 field officers, 169 officers, 2816 men, and 152 horses. The town of Fermoy expanded around these facilities and retained its British military facilities until 1922, when the Irish Free State was first established.
During the War of Independence, Fermoy was the scene of the first of the British government reprisals, when soldiers of the East Kent Regiment and members of the Royal Flying Corps looted and then burnt the main shops of the town, after one soldier had been killed and his companions relieved of their weapons (on their way to church) by the local IRA the day before.
Fermoy is in a very scenic location, in the Blackwater valley, nestled at the foot of the Galtee Mountains. The Blackwater river is the town's major tourist attraction, attracting fishermen, mainly from England. The river is abundant with salmon, which can be seen leaping up the salmon steps on the weir.
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