|Newtownforbes is located on the N4 Dublin to Sligo road about 4 miles from longford Town. Therefore it benefits greatly from passing tourist trade. The 1996 census tells us that Newtownforbes is one of very few rural areas, where there is an increase in population. Of course its proximity to Longford makes it an ideal village to live in. There are several private housing estates and two small council estates.|
|Newtownforbes has several features:
Although Newtownforbes geographically has always been in the shadow of Castle Forbes, it can not be regarded as an estate village. There are only a few houses in the centre of the village, near the main entrance to the estate, that were built by the estate owners for the workers on the estate. They were some of the first houses in the county to have flush toilets Castle Forbes was the home of Lord and Lady Granard. The present occupant is Lady Georgina, although she lives in France at present and only uses the castle on a few occasions on visits during the year. As with other villages in the county, there were many estate houses in and around the parish and some are still being used by farming families, although the lands have been divided between farmers.
The village of Newtownforbes is lucky that its population has a high sense of community spirit. This has manifested itself in a strong community development movement. This has led to the setting up of a Co-op, which has been able - through strong fundraising - to acquire a premises in a central location in the village.
This building has been developed into a tourist information centre, a teashop and a craftshop. The craftshop stocks items, which are produced within a 30 miles radius from Newtownforbes.
The real success of the Co-op lies behind the teashop, where an old outbuilding has been developed into a second-hand schoolbook shop. This shop is also used as a meeting place and administration centre for the Co-op. It is the only bookshop in a wide catchment area to deal in secondhand school books. It has proven to be very successful and is a prime example how community development can benefit several areas of interest in the community.