In the garden at Abbeylara
it was always summer,
Bees fumbling the Lilac
the pink and white blossoms
of the flowering potatoes......
In the house in Abbeylara
it was always busy and warm......
These few lines taken from a poem called Abbeylara give an accurate description of the feeling you get when walking through this lovely rural village. It is only three miles from Granard and is bisected by the main Granard-Cavan road. But this river of stone does not take from the pastoral peace, that greets visitors on a day of exploring the jewels of County Longford.
Abbeylara certainly can be classed as one of the jewels of county Longford. In recent tidy towns competitions it has been showng well in its class, while steadily increasing its points total.
The village has a population of approximately 830 inhabitants. They are living in the 24 townlands, which make up the parish of Abbeylara.
Due to government policy in 1967 many of the area's small schools were closed and a new central school, "St Bernard's", was established near the church in the village.
Abbeylara's main ocupation is in farming(80%)The other 20% is mainly employed in Granard and Cavan.
St Patrick erected a church on the Granard Road and placed St. Guasacht in charge. His feastday is celebrated on 24th January. The story goes that the first labourers cottage at the entrance to the village was build on the site of this church.
THE ABBEY: The main visible historical monument is the imposing ruin of the Cistercian Abbey founded by the Anglo Roman Richard Tuite. The original Abbey was sacked on several occassions (1066, 1272)
STONE CIRCLES: The stone circle in Cloughernal consists of 24 stones, six being upright, seven on their sidesand the remainder fallen. In Cartronbore the circle originally consisted of 16 stones.
THE PIG'S DYKE: This is an ancient defensive dyke near Lough Kinale.
THE BULLY'S ACRE: This is in the other part of the parish and dates back to the famine times.
Tourism and community development are often closely linked. In Abbeylara there is no exception. The local development group have strong plans to develop angling in the area, because of the proximity of many lakes and rivers. The village also boasts a newly renovated handball alley, which has become a meeting point in the village. It also has revived an interest in the game of handball.
Abbeylara is a village with ambition and the people to bring it to fruition.
To facilitate the expected anglers, The Abbeylara area is well supplied with hotels and guesthouses. There are two fishing clubs who'd love to hear from you.
Abbeylara Fishing Club contact: Sec. Seamus Reilly, Kilbride, Co Longford
North Longford Angling Club contact: John Boyle, Molly Aughnacliffe, Co. Longford.