Ardagh gets boost with two new information plaques

Longford Leader Reporter

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St Patrick’s Church of Ireland in Ardagh village

St Patrick’s Church of Ireland in Ardagh village

The beautiful village of Ardagh now features two new information plaques provided by the Tidy Towns Committee as part of its ongoing work to maintain the village and attract visitors to the area.

The plaques are located at St Patrick’s Church of Ireland and at the nearby ancient ruin of St Mel’s Church. A joint blessing of the plaques will be performed by Ms Ruth Galbraith, Church of Ireland Lay Pastor, and Fr Vincent Connaughton, Parish Priest, on Sunday, April 28 at 3pm.

The blessing will be followed by a talk by County Archivist and Ardagh native, Martin Morris, about the churches and their place in Ardagh’s history. All are welcome to the event and to refreshments afterwards in the community centre. The plaque at St Patrick’s Church complements the extensive work undertaken by Luke Baxter and published in his book, Our Roots in Stone, in 2013 in association with the Tidy Towns Committee.

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The plaque includes a map of the churchyard along with a numbered index of family names which makes it easy to locate individual burial stones. The old St Mel’s Church is thought to have been built in the 900s. St Mel was the first bishop and is patron saint of the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois.

The new plaque gives a brief history of the church which was excavated in 1967 by the late Liam de Paor and a team from University College Dublin.

Tom Bannon of the Tidy Towns Committee, said, “These plaques follow on from the one we commissioned for the Old Lower Churchyard in 2017. All three will be very useful guides for visitors to the area and indeed for the local population.

“Conservation of Ardagh as a heritage village is greatly helped by appropriate signage that enhances its wonderful appeal for both tourists and the community.”

The plaques were designed by Grey Wizard Design in Longford in close consultation with the Tidy Towns Committee, St Patrick’s Church and the County Heritage Officer. They are financed by the Tidy Towns Committee with funding support from Longford County Council’s Community Grant Support Scheme.

All are welcome to the ceremony on Sunday, April 28 at 3pm and to the community centre afterwards for refreshments.