Granard is one of the largest towns in the county of Longford. It is situated in the north of the County close to the Cavan border.
The town is famous for the large Motte and Bailey built by Richard Tuite in 1190. It is the largest Motte in Ireland - some 543 feet above sea level. Beautiful views over nine counties, five lakes and numerous rivers can be enjoyed from there on a fine day.
Granard is an old market town dating back to the charter of James I.Today Granard is a modern sub-regional centre on the N55, which links with the N4 in Edgeworthtown.
The remains of the Buttermarket can still be seen in Market Street and the market house, where once oats and potatoes were traded, now houses the local library, courtrooms and also the Town Commissioners meeting.
Traditional monthly cattle fairs, were held on Main Street. Pigs were sold weekly and turkeys and geese at Christmas.
With Ireland about to join the European Union, increased properity was heralded, especially in agricultural circles. The fairs were replaced by a purpose built Cattle Mart in the 1970's, At the end of the swinging sixties, people were better educated with the advent of secondary education.
A branch of Macra na Feirne was formed in Kilsonna school and later moved into Granard. Granard Macra was supported by young peple from all walks of life. The club competed with success and distinction in the many Macra competitions, up to national level. some of its members made distinguished careers in farming and cattle breeding circles. Granard agricultural Show celebrates its 50th anniversary this year(2000).
Contributed by Bill Bennett, Ardgullion, Granard.
Kitty Kiernan was born in Granard in 1892. She died in Dublin in 1945. She is probably the best known Granard person in history. Her life story is forever linked with Michael Collins, whom she first met in May 1917, when he and Harry Boland first stayed at the Greville Arms - the hotel owned by her brother Larry - during a by-election in Co. Longford. They kept up a lengthy correspondence and while Collins was in London during the Treaty negotiations, he wroteto her every day. These letters are the subject of a book written by Leon O'Brion entitled "In Great Haste".
Kitty always worried about Michael and her worst fears were realised when he was assassinated at Beal na Blath on 22 August 1922. Kitty married Felix Cronin in 1925. She died in 1945 and lies buried in Glasnevin Cemetary in Dublin.
The story of her friendship with Michael Collins is part of a film made about Collins' life, called "The Big Fellow". It was filmed in Dublin and Kitty is played by Julia Roberts and Michael is played by Liam Neesen.
Granard is an ideal headquarters for people wanting to fish. It is surrounded by lakes and rivers. Many of them within 3 miles of the town. People who want to walk and enjoy nature are also well catered for as many roads around North County Longford are quiet country roads. There also is a woodland area neer Dring along the shores of Lough Gowna. It is at present being rejuvinated, as it has been neglected for a long time.There are lovely views over the lake with its reedbeds and large variety of waterbirds.
Granards and its environs have a good infrastructure to attract and entertain visitors. There are many excelent Guesthouses, B&B's, restaurants etc.
There are many events which include horses and ponies.Even as far back as 1873 there were steeplechases in and around Granard. There are still regular Hunts, Point to Point races, Hunter Trials, Pony Derbies and an Agricultural show.Eddie Macken (showjumper) and Frank Berry (former Jockey and now trainer) were born in the area.
CO LONGFORD FLEADH CEOIL Granard 3rd & 4th June 2000
Saturday 3rd June 2.30pm - 4.30pm Community Centre Sean Nos singing workshop with Seamus McMathuna
8pm Community Centre Set Dancing competition
Sunday 4th June Singing, Comhra Gaeilge and usual instrumental competitions
5pm - 8pm street entertainment Closing Ceili in the Community Centre with the
GLENSIDE CEILI BAND
When visiting Granard, you will enjoy
For further and more elaborate information consult the brochure "Granard" as published by the Granard Regional Development Office, Main Street, Granard Co Longford.
Phone 043 86922.
International 353 43 86922.
GRANARD HARP COMPETITION 2000, 12th August
GRANARD MUSIC FESTIVAL, 11th August to 13th August
Competitions in under 12, Under 15, Intermediate under 18 and Senior Open for over 18 There is over £1500 in prizes for this day.
GRANARD HARP COMPETITION 2000, 12th August