Kenagh Village and District
Kenagh Village is one of the most picturesque and compact
villages in Co.
Longford. While retaining all its old charm and traditions it looks forward
into the twenty-first century as a modern up-and-coming hamlet: it is
ideally situated on the main Athlone-Longford road about 10 miles from the
county capital in a South Westerly direction. Kenagh has already been
described as an attractive dormer village, due to its ideal location near
enough to Longford town, yet far enough away to present a truly rural
atmosphere. The village itself, combined with the rural hinterland which
goes to make up the ancient and historic parish of Kilcommoc, is a self
supporting community in almost every way; in agriculture, in business, small
industry, trades and professions, culture and sport.
Born Na Mona
Kenagh is one of the fortunate villages to have a major semi-state industry
at its backdoor, namely, Bord na Mona. A vast area of bog which covers most
of the Western half of the parish has been fully developed and has now
reached full production of milled peat and sod turf. Bord na Mona gives
very welcome, constant employment to many people from the Kenagh district,
since it first began bog development way back in the early 1940's. In fact,
we can thank Bord na Mona for keeping the district ticking over during the
harsh years of unemployment, during the fifties and sixties when other small
rural communities were almost wiped out through mass emigration.
Agriculture has been the main source of income in the district for centuries
past. Again the village is fortunate in its location being only six miles
from a modern and progressive cattle mart in Ballymahon and just 10 miles
from the very efficient Killeshandra Co-op branch creamery in Longford. In
by gone days when farming was a way of life, and the sole occupation of
rural Ireland, Kenagh had its own fair day on the 10th October every year.
This was a great social occasion for the people. Farmers took the day off
and children got a free day from school, thus providing a holiday atmosphere for
While farming might still be regarded as a way of life for many, it has
become a very serious business for others. Kenagh can boast of some of the
best farmers in Co. Longford. They carry on the traditional system of mixed
farming on modern lines. There are many top class dairy farmers in the
area, producing highest quality milk from modern milking parlours and using
the most modern techniques for housing and milking and feeding their stock.
Unfortunately, modern techniques have rendered some of our
highly skilled tradesmen redundant and their skills are in danger
of being lost. But we have to keep pace with progress
and we have as far as is possible, remained self-supporting. Today we have a modern factory in the village owned by a local family. Harrison Brothers, who produce a range of buckets and other equipment for diggers. Other businesmen in the area are O'Boyle's who carry on the traditional bar and grocery along with their fertiliser and seeds, grain buying, fuel, animal feeds, and builders' requirements
Business and Trade
While we have written of the success of farming and farmers in the parish of Kilcommoc, we must not forget the numerically smaller, but equally dedicated group of businessmen and industrialists and their allied tradesmen who service the needs of the community in general. Kenagh has a great tradition of highly skilled tradesmen down through the years. There were several forges in the district, even one in the village - one at Corina, Abbeyderg, Corlea and Foigha. There were two carpenters "shops" in the village, two bakeries, a harness maker and several coblers.
Taking place in August with the dates still to be confirmed. There will be poetry readings, recitals, live music, with competitions for the Queen of kenagh and Talent competitions taking place during July, with the finals as part of the festival. On the Sunday morning a Heritage Parade will take place. A race night will take place on June 2nd to raise funds for this festival.