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Ballyragget - Kilkenny

circa 1910

Ballyragget is an Anglicised form of the Irish Beal Atha Raghad, which means 'Mouth of Ragget's Ford'. The name 'Ragget' is Anglo-Norman in origin, and denotes a once-prominent Norman landowner Richard le Ragget who held these lands in the early part of the 13th century.

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Photo Details

  • County: Kilkenny
  • Town: Ballyragget
  • Scene: The Square
  • Date: 1910 (estimate)

Specification

  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
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  • Read about Ballyragget below


Ballyragget

Ballyragget is a small town with a population of 1,900 people in County Kilkenny, Ireland. It is located 11 miles north of Kilkenny on the N-77.

Ballyragget is an Anglicised form of the Irish Beal Atha Raghad, which means 'Mouth of Ragget's Ford'. The name 'Ragget' is Anglo-Norman in origin, and denotes a once-prominent Norman landowner Richard le Ragget who held these lands in the early part of the 13th century.

Older names of the settlement include 'Donoughmore' (Irish: Domhnach Mór 'Large Church') and an even more ancient 'Tullabarry' (Irish: Tualach Bare) - the name of a Celtic or possibly pre-Celtic tribe which held their seat in the vicinity. There is some debate as to the meaning of Donoughmore. The very first Journal of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society 'Old Kilkenny Review, Number 1 (1946–1947). January 1948' has an article about Ballyragget and it's environs and states the belief that Domhnach Mór means Big Sunday and relates to the fact that thousands of people congregated at the now ruined church in Donoughmore for its opening on a Sunday and the name stuck.

Location

The River Nore flows beside the town, which nestles in a wide alluvial valley between the Castlecomer Plateau and several hills to the west, including 'Knockmannon' and 'The Ballock'. The nore passes by one of the most significant ancient sites in North Kilkenny 3 miles south of Ballyragget at Rathbeagh

To the north lies the town of Durrow in Co. Laois, to the south the River Nore flows on towards Kilkenny City.

The town itself is dominated by a large medieval keep, fallen into disrepair, and its adjoining walls. This tower dates roughly from the time of Queen Elizabeth I. A large Catholic Church also sits on a rise overlooking the town's central square.

Population

The majority of residents are nominally Roman Catholic, although there are minority Protestant and Non-Religious populations.

Local economy

Agriculture and the Agri-Food Industry are the largest employers, with the large Glanbia (www.glanbia.ie)Factory across the river dominating the town's industry for the past forty years. A large percentage of the town's residents are employed in the services sector in nearby Kilkenny City and in Carlow, with some also commuting to Dublin.

Politics

Local politics is at present dominated by Fine Gael and Labour (see Irish Labour Party), with four of the five local authority seats having gone to those parties in the 2004 local elections (see Irish Local Elections, 2004). Fianna Fáil retains strong historical support in the region however, and local politics is best described as conforming to the 'Civil War' cleavage common to many other rural towns in Ireland.

Ballyragget today

The town is currently undergoing a large expansion as a large number of new homes, along with shops and other services, have been constructed in its environs. This reflects a pattern across the Republic of Ireland, as many residents of larger towns flee rising property prices to relocate to nearby smaller communities.