IPA Ireland Regions
In October 2014, the roll out of the new Regional structures which were agreed at National Congress in Athlone last April began and this major initiative is now completed in all of the Regions listed on the map.
It is hoped that these changes will deliver tangible benefits to our members throughout the Section. Each Regional Committee has 10 specified positions and can add to those if a particular need exists in their respective area and is also at liberty to put in place Sub Committee/s for particular purpose/s.
To find out about your nearest Region, please select a Region number below.
GARDA HEADQUARTERS REGION
Chairman: John Tuohy
Secretary: Brian O’ Dea
Treasurer: John McMonagle
Region No.1 encompasses all of Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, the headquarters of Policing in Ireland since the 1800’s. The historical buildings here have a special place in the hearts and minds of all members of An Garda Síochána.
DMR EASTERN REGION
Chairman: Gillian Curran
Secretary: JP Durcan
Region No. 2 is in the council area of Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown and is locally known as the “Borough” as before the reorganisation of the councils in 1994 Dun Laoghaire was separate from Dublin City Council and run by its own Borough Council.
It is bordered to the east by the Irish Sea, to the north by Dublin City, to the west by the Dublin Mountains and to the south by County Wicklow. The region has a population of around 206,500.
The name Rathdown is an Anglicisation of the Irish “Ráth an Dúin”, meaning “ringfort of the fort”. Dún Laoghaire, means “Laoghaire’s fort” after King Lóegaire mac Néill the High King of Ireland in the fifth century, who resided in the area.
The Region includes the towns of Dun Laoghaire, Dundrum and Stillorgan with many prominent villages including Dalkey, Foxrock Rathfarnham Stepaside and Ticknock. The Region is very well served by public transport with the DART and suburban rail along the coast and the LUAS tram from Dublin city out to Cherrywood.
Dún Laoghaire is a about seven miles (11km) south of the capital Dublin. Its focal point is a splendid harbour and the town is surrounded by spectacular rolling hills. There are lots to do and a wide range of top quality accommodation, services and amenities on the doorstep. Its easy access to Dublin city and transport links nationwide makes it an ideal place to begin or end your journey through the Ireland.
Historically Dún Laoghaire has always been a ‘Gateway to Ireland’; Dún Laoghaire gets its name from the Irish translation Fort (Dún) of Laoghaire. It was once the seat of King Laoghaire, the ancient High King of Ireland before the Vikings sailed from Scandinavia and established themselves in Dublin.
When the English later arrived in the late 11th century, they renamed the town Dunlary (Dunleary) to suit the English tongue. In 1821 it was renamed Kingstown by King George IV of England to honour his visit to the town that year.
It remained Kingstown through Victorian times until in 1921, one year before the Irish won their independence from Britain, when the town council voted to change the name back to the ancient Irish name Dún Laoghaire. The person most responsible for this was the Irish martyr Patrick Moran, who was commemorated with the naming of Moran Park in the town.
The town is also home to the National Maritime Museum which is well worth a visit; look out for the Marconi Radio which was donated to the Museum by IPA Ireland.
One of the earliest mentions of the area concerns the location of the original St. Nahi’s Church in the 8th century on which site today’s 18th-century church currently stands. The ancient name for Dundrum is “Taney” which derives from Tigh Naithimeaning the house or place of Nath.
Recent archeological excavations near the church have revealed three enclosures associated with the church, the earliest dating from the 6th century, and a significant find was an almost complete Flemish Redware jug from the 13th century.
When the Normans arrived in 1169, a series of fortifications were built around Dublin. A castle was built in Dundrum as part of this series of outer fortifications around the 13th century. Later in 1590, a newer castle was built by Richard Fitzwilliam as part of a strategic line of castles within the Pale. The original village clustered around Dundrum Castle and was considered a rural defensive outpost against assaults and raids from Irish tribes and families such as the O’Tooles and the O’Byrnes.
In 1971, Dundrum was one of the earliest places in Ireland to open a purpose-built shopping centre (the first being in Stillorgan). A much bigger shopping centre opened just south of Dundrum on 3 March 2005. Known as Dundrum Town Centre it contains within the complex one of the largest cinemas in Ireland, opened in early October 2005.
DMR NORTH CENTRAL REGION
Chairman: Chris Cahill
Secretary: Michael McGrath
Region 3 includes the Garda Division of DMR (North Central). This Division has three Garda districts; Store Street, Mountjoy and the Bridewell. While Region No. 3 encompasses a relatively compact geographical area, it has a large proportion of Dublin’s one million population residing in these areas. That population give this Region a vibrancy all of its own and the many sporting, cultural and social facilities here makes it the place where members from every other Region in the country visit from time to time.
Our Region is a busy place to be, whether you are working here or just visiting. A great many of our IPA members will have had occasion to have work related visits to one or more of the prisons here (Mountjoy, St.Patrick’s and Dochas) and for those members from home and abroad coming into the city by public transport, then Dublin Port, Bus Aras and Connolly Train Station will be familiar places.
Here in Region 3 we are proud of everything that this part of our capital city has to offer and all that we have to for our fellow IPA members who visit Dublin from far and near.
Chairman: Denis Forde
Secretary: Brendan Matthews
Iona is located on the North side of Dublin and reflects the Garda DMR North Divisional boundaries. Within the Region are a number of notable land marks, which draw many people to the area. Those landmarks include the following:
Bull Island and Dollymount Strand
Bull Island Is located in Dublin Bay. It is about 5 km long and 800m wide, lying practically parallel to the shore off Clontarf (including Dollymount), Raheny, Kilbarrack, and facing Sutton. The island, with a sandy beach known as Dollymount Strand running its entire length, is a relatively recent, and inadvertent, result of human intervention in the bay.
Clontarf Castle Is a much-modernised castle, dating to 1837. It is situated in Clontarf, Dublin, an area famous for its location in the 1014 Battle of Clontarf. There has been a castle on the site since 1172. In modern times, it has functioned as a bar, cabaret venue and hotel.
Dublin City University (DCU)
This university has around 6,000 undergraduate students, over 600 research postgraduates, 1,800 taught postgraduate students and over 45,000 alumni. In addition the university has around 1,100 distance education students.
The Helix (on site of DCU)
At a cost of €36.5 million, The Helix is an Arts Centre comprising Concert Hall, Theatre, Studio Theatre, Exhibition Area, Artists in Residence Studios. The Helix has been host to world-class performances ranging from the Russian State Philharmonic Orchestra, The St. Petersburg Ballet, International Theatre and World Singers to hit west End Shows.
Is a peninsula northeast of Dublin City in Ireland. Howth falls under the local governance of Fingal County Council. Entry to the headland is at Sutton while the village of Howth and the harbour are on the northern shore. Baily Lighthouse is on the South Eastern side Howth Head.<
Malahide Castle parts of which date to the 12th century, lies, with over 260 acres (1.1 km2) of remaining estate parkland (the Malahide Demesne Regional Park), close to the village of Malahide.
Saint Annes Park, the second largest municipal park in Dublin, is part of a former 202 hectares (500 acres) estate assembled by members of the Guinness family. Features include an artificial pond and a number of follies, a fine collection of trees, a playground, parkland walks and recreational facilities, including golf.
Also within this region are some important transport infrastructure’s, including Dublin Airport, Dublin Port Tunnel and the M50 and M1 Motorways. An important state body, Met Eireann is located within the Region and The Garda Divisional HQ for the Region is in Ballymun Garda Station.
Famous Northsiders and Facts
Two former Taoisigh, Mr Bertie Ahern and the late Mr Charles Haughey, hailed from the Northside; Drumcondra and Donnycarney respectively and in showbiz terms, all the members of Boyzone are North-siders.
THE SQUARE REGION
Chairman: Aidan Curtin
Secretary: James O’Meara
Harcourt Square or ‘The Square’ as it is known is the smallest region in IPA Section Ireland. However while it may be small in size, it has the highest amount of Gardaí per square metre than any other region in the country. With its concentration of national units, the work of members in the Square often attracts the attention of the media and the public, some wanted and sometimes unwanted. Most of the units based in the Square come under the umbrella of National Support Services, including the National Bureau Criminal Investigation (NBCI), Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, Criminal Assets Bureau, Garda National Drugs Unit and Garda National Immigration Bureau The region also consists of Garda Traffic, Garda Community Relations Bureau and the Communications Centre.
The main part of the region consists of 4 main blocks, designed by Keane Murphy Duff and built in 1977. It measures 10,850 square metres and there are 158 ‘official’ car spaces. As anyone who has ever visited the underground car park can testify the best description is that it resembles a game of Tetris with visitors often perplexed the be told to park in what appears to be non- existent space. The region’s central location is convenient to many attractions including the National Concert Hall, Iveagh Gardens and Dublin Castle and well known hostelries including Copper Face Jacks. As a new region in the section, the new regional committee will work to bring the spirit of IPA to the Square and fulfil the motto of ‘Servo per Amikeco’.
Chairman: Eamon Lynch
Secretary: Eleanor O’Halloran
DMR SOUTHERN REGION REGION
This Region is still in the process of being formed.
THE LIFFEY VALLEY REGION
Chairman: Vincent Connolly
Secretary: Paul Fanning
The DMR West Division includes the K, L and Q Districts, a total of 8 stations.
K District:- Blanchardstown, Finglas and Cabra
L Disatrict:- Clondalkin, Ballyfermot and Rathcoole
Q District:- Lucan and Ronanstown
The DMR West Garda Division came into being in 1998 with the incorporation of part of the DMR North and South Districts to create the new Division, with its headquarters in Blanchardstown. This Division covers the main arteries into and out of the city, including the N2, N3, N4 and the N7. The Division is home to the President of Ireland and the city’s famous parkland in the Phoenix Park. Blanchardstown and Cloverhill Court Houses are within this Division as well as Wheatfield Prison.
The places of interest within the Liffey Valley Region include; Phoenix Park Aras on Uachtarain; Dublin Zoo; Farmleigh; Westmanstown Garda Golf Club; Lutterlstown Castle and Golf Club; Clondalkin Round Tower; Weston Airdrome; City West Hotel; Blanchardstown and Liffey Valley shopping centres.
THE CURRAGH PLAINS REGION
Secretary: Eugene Mullany
Bordering Dublin, Kildare is famous for its racing. Kildare has the Curragh, Puchestown and Naas, which have racing all year round, including the famous Irish Derby held every June. In Tully, Co Kildare, you also will find the Japanese Gardens and the Irish National Stud.
The Japanese Gardens portray the journey of life from oblivion to eternity.
The National Stud in Tully was brought about in 1900, by a Scotsman named Colonel William Hall-Walker. Against his father’s wishes, Hall-Walker decided to breed thoroughbred horses at Tully.
SLIABH BLOOM REGION
Chairman: Carlo Griffin
Secretary: John Hopkins
We have to go back to Anglo Norman times to find the first mention of the old Irish area of Ui Failghe. This midland county stretches from the Slieve Bloom mountains to the river Shannon. In 1556, a scheme called the Plantation of King’s County (Ui Failghe) and Queen’s County (old Irish area of Laoighis/Loígis and Ui Failghe) named these areas after King Philip and Queen Mary respectively. Philipstown (Daingean) was the county town of King’s County and Maryborough (Portlaoise) the county town of Queen’s County.
During this Plantation, the lands were confiscated from the native Irish in Ui Failghe by the English at the time of the re-naming to Kings county. It remained with that name until Ireland’s independence was established in 1921, when the county was renamed Co. Offaly. Many of the older generation continued to use the term “King’s County” and this could still be heard in parts of Offaly right up until the 1970’s.
Most of County Offaly is flat terrain with large areas covered by bog-land. A relatively recent highlight in this county, (1970’s) was Darby’s goal, depriving Kerry of five in a row in Gaelic football.
Laois is a small county, but it home to most of the Slieve Bloom Mountain range. The magnificent Slieve Bloom Mountains boast an almost unlimited amount of opportunity on the “activities” front, including walking, cycling, auto touring, heritage tours, equestrian trails and Irish music/dancing festivals. An older name to these hills is the Sliabh Bladhma, but this name has all but been lost over time. Whether you love an action packed holiday, or simply just love the outdoors, the Sliabh Bloom mountains has it covered.
Our chosen name for this Region – Slieve Bloom Region is very apt as this mountain range straddles both counties of Laois and Offaly.
TARA na Rí REGION
Secretary: Damian Crummy
Meath is one of the outer surrounding counties of Dublin and many if its inhabitants commute to the city to work. The capital town is Navan where the Boyne and Blackwater rivers join. This Region stretches from Enfield on its West side to the costal towns of Laytown / Bettystown on the East and from Dunboyne and Clonee on the Dublin border to the outskirts of Kingscourt in Cavan to the north, and with the motorways of M1/2/3 and 4 running through it, this Region is within easy reach of the rest of the Section.
The area is significant for its many famous tourist attractions including the hill of Tara, the Neolithic site at Newgrange and it includes Dowth and Knowth / Oldbridge where the battle of the Boyne took place. Trim castle and Loughcrew are also places of historical importance and interest and the Region boasts two of the finest racecourses in the country; Fairyhouse and Navan.
Chairman: Matt Harte
Secretary: Joyce O’Grady
Our Region in Co. Westmeath mirrors the Garda Division here near the centre of Ireland. Within this Region are the Garda Districts Mullingar and Athlone with a total of thirteen Garda Stations and it has a population of approximately 86,000.
This midlands Region is best known for its very fine lakes and exceptionally fine music stars. Major Irish music stars including the late Joe Dolan (RIP), singing duo Foster and Allen, Niall Breslin (Bressie – The Blizzards) and Niall Horan (One Direction) to name but a few were all born and lived in Westmeath.
The three major lakes to be found here are Lough Owel, Lough Ennel and Lough Derravaragh and of course the majestic River Shannon together with the Royal Canal both wind their way through our Region, greatly enhancing it.
Kilbeggan town boasts one of Ireland’s oldest distilleries, Lockes Distillery, which operated as a small pot distillery, can now be visited as a whiskey museum. It was first licensed in 1757 and produced excellent Irish whiskey for more than two hundred years.
The Westmeath Region is proud to be the host Region to the 2015 IPA Anniversary Friendship Week and National Congress which will be held in the Shearaton Hotel in the town of Athlone, on the banks of the Shannon, in April.Matt
THE GARDEN REGION
Secretary: David Robinson
Wicklow is known as the Garden of Ireland. Bordering Dublin to the South, it’s a perfect place from which to tour the East Coast of Ireland. Being recognised as the garden of Ireland, what better name for the region that the Garden Region. It is without doubt one of the most beautiful areas in the country and a major tourist destination for travellers from all over the world. It is within easy reach of Dublin Airport and in it you have mountains, forests, coastlines and pasture lands. You also have the Wicklow way; a walk that starts in Dublin and meanders through Wicklow, taking in some of the most striking scenery in the country and is very popular with hill walkers and ramblers alike. Glendalough and its ancient monastic site is world famous and one of the main tourist destinations in the country. Wicklow Gaol, in Wicklow Town, has been refurbished and is a very popular landmark for visitors. The towns of Bray, Greystones, Wicklow and Arklow are all on the east coast and have something for everyone. West Wicklow is well worth visiting with attractions ranging from the Blessington lakes to Russboro house.
One of the world’s great gardens, Powerscourt is situated twelve miles south of Dublin in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. The garden was begun in the 1740s and stretches out over 45 acres. It is a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statuary and ornamental lakes together with secret hollows, rambling walks and walled gardens.
Powerscourt gardens includes:
- Italian Gardens
- Japanese Gardens
- Pet Cemetery
- House Exhibition
- Terrace Cafe
- and much more
Powerscourt Waterfall boasts:
- The highest waterfall in Ireland
- A popular picnic area
- A refreshment kiosk
- Nature Trails
- and a Playground
BREIFNE ORIEL REGION
Chairman: Tom Ryan
Secretary: Adrian Durcan
The ‘Breifne Oriel’ Region, encompassing the counties of Cavan and Monaghan lies to the north of Ireland. Both counties are in the province of Ulster and have borders with Northern Ireland.
County Monaghan is the birthplace of poet and writer, Patrick Kavanagh who is one of the most significant figures in 20th Century Irish poetry. The poem ‘stony grey soil’ refers to the county of Monaghan. A sporting county where boxer Barry McGuigan and rugby player Tommy Bowe hail from. The town of Clones holds the GAA Ulster Final, annually.
Castle Leslie is located in the village of Glaslough and is famous for having the wedding of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. County Monaghan is twinned with Prince Edward Island, Canada.
County Cavan is characterised by Drumlins countryside dotted with many lakes and hills. The Shannon Pot in County Cavan is the source of Ireland’s longest river, The River Shannon. They say there is a lake for every day of the year in County Cavan, which results in an abundance of wildlife and fauna. Fishing is a very popular activity in Cavan. The ‘International Scouting Shannon Pot Centre’ is based at Castle Saunderson near Belturbet, Co. Cavan.
Chairman: Willie Maye
Secretary: Ian Phillips
The Colmcille Region, covering the land of Inishowen and Tir Conaill lies to the North West of Ireland, and it is there you will find Malin Head, the most northerly point of Ireland. The county covers an area of 483,042 hectares and has a 140Km border with Northern Ireland. To the south, the county has a 9Km border with County Leitrim. The beauty of Donegal is enhanced not only by the islands that lie off its coastline, the best known of these being Árainn Mór and Tory (Toraigh) which are both inhabited, but also by its rugged mountain ranges, including the beautiful Bluestacks.
Donegal also proudly boasts the highest sea cliffs in Europe at Sliabh a’Liag, west of Killybegs. Mount Errigal, the best known and most prominent mountain in Donegal stands 2,466 feet high (751m). Two of the counties other prominent mountains are Slieve Snacht in Inishowen at 682m high and Muckish (lies beside Mount Errigal) at 669m high.
Donegal benefits from an amazing coastline, along which runs the Wild Atlantic Way. For anyone involved in water sports or other outdoor activities, this coastline is supplemented by many inland lakes and rivers, providing ideal locations for a wide variety of water related activities, including fishing. Sheltered seas are to be found in Donegal Bay, Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle, where sailing, pleasure boating and fishing can be enjoyed and of course the welcome of the hills of Donegal and of her homes, remembered in song and verse is now legendary.
Chairman: P. J. Galvin
Secretary: Patrick Donnelly
Louth, Ireland’s smallest county is known as the “wee county”, with Dundalk as the county town and is home to the famous Irish Group “The Corrs”. For those interested in history, Dundalk boasts a 60 foot mound called Dun Dealgan, which is reputed to be the birthplace of the legendary hero Cúchulain. For over 6,000 years people have lived in this area. County Louth is central to Ireland’s most famous myths. In ancient times a famous war known as the “Táin Bó Cúailnge” (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) was fought over a brown bull. The hero of this legend is Cúchulainn, Ireland’s greatest warrior. Dundalk official town crest reads “Mé do rug Cú Chulainn Cróga, which means “I gave birth to brave Cú Chulainn”.
Situated in the north east of the Republic of Ireland, County Louth is the smallest county in the country. It is a wonderful place to visit, having Museums, Nature walks, Golf courses, Cinemas, Shopping Centres and many other attributes for those wishing to explore. Drogheda has its fabulous Arts Centre, Martello tower and a bustling centre. Historic spots include a 150-year-old traditional music venue, and further along the river the beautiful Beaulieu House and its motor racing museum. Fishing is also well catered for in the river Boyne where the legendary Salmon of Knowledge was caught, so, who knows, there may be more of those still lurking in the waters here, just waiting to help someone else to become an expert on Co Louth. The ruins of the Jumping Church of Kildemock provide Louth with one of its most outlandish tourist attractions.
This phenomenon from the 18th Century is situated a couple of miles south of Ardee, just off the N2 (after leaving Ardee, heading towards Collon, turn left at the crossroads just before the Hunterstown Inn) and offers visitors an unnerving experience. Shrouded in mystery and local mythology, the spooky jumping wall draws many curious visitors from near and far. Legend says the enchanting wall of the church moved in 1715 to exclude the grave of an excommunicated man outside of the building. While this sounds implausible, the notion that the wall (which remains largely intact) could possibly have moved (or been moved) in any other way seems equally improbable.
Secretary: Philip Maree
Sligo is the gateway between the provinces of Connaught and Ulster. Sligo was immortalised by Yeats, whose work was inspired by his childhood. Drumcliffe is the final resting place of W.B. Yeats, whose grave is to the left of the churchyard under a simple headstone bearing the inscription, ‘Cast a cold eye on life, on death, Horsemen pass by’. Overlooking Drumcliffe stands the flat topped Ben Bulben mountain. This mountain is steeped in legend and W.B. Yeats featured Ben Bulben in seven of his poems.
The Region takes its name from another one of his poems “Lake Isle of Innisfree” whose shores touch our neighbouring county of Leitrim. Carrick on Shannon as the name suggests on the banks of the river Shannon is a bustling cosmopolitan town with a vibrant Arts community. The town has just celebrated the towns 400 Anniversary.
For beautiful scenery, archeologically heritage sites, beaches and the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as being the home of Fleadh Ceoil Na Eireann again for 2015, Region 17 is one of Irelands best kept Secret and now that you know that, it’s time to pay us a visit.
THE KINGDOM REGION
Secretary: Gillian O Donoghue
County Kerry, is located in south-western region of Ireland. Kerry is well known globally for its beautiful and rugged landscape and scenery. Popular points include Muckross House (near Killarney), Staigue stone fort and Derrynane House, home of Daniel O’Connell (The liberator). Just south of Killarney, Ross Castle, Lough Leane and Ladies View (a panoramic viewpoint), all located within Killarney National Park, are major attractions located along the Ring of Kerry.
A more complete list of major attractions along the Ring of Kerry includes: Gap of Dunloe, Bog Village, Rossbeigh Beach, Cahersiveen Heritage Centre, Derrynane House, Skellig Experience, Staigue Fort, Moll’s Gap, Ladies View, Torc Waterfall, Muckross House, The Blue Pool, Ross Castle, Ogham Stones, Muckross Abbey, Franciscan Friary, O’Connell Memorial Church, Skellig Michael, Beehive Cells and the Stone Pillars marking an important grave.
There is also an established walking path named The Kerry Way, which takes its own route, and a signposted Ring of Kerry cycling path which uses older quieter roads where possible. The Kerry Way roughly follows the scenic driving route of the Ring of Kerry. Kerry can cater for all kinds of sporting activity and is home to some of Ireland’s best golf courses which include Ballybunion and Waterville. Kerry is steeped in tradition and folklore and there is always a warm Cead Mile Failte for all our visitors.
19. CORK CITY
SHANDON BELLS REGION
Secretary: John O’Connor
20. CORK NORTH
BLACKWATER VALLEY REGION
Chairman: Liam Phillips
Secretary: Omar Fitzell
21. CORK WEST
Chairman: Roisin O’Dea
Secretary: Patricia O’Driscoll
Cork City is a beautiful and vibrant city, sitting along the Southwest of Ireland. It has something for everyone and if its history you want why not visit the old City Gaol or Blarney Castle where the “Gift of the Gab” is always on offer.
This city is steeped in ancient history, Irish folklore and some of the best traditional music around. But that is not all and for visitors who want the up to date approach, we also have brilliant modern bars and nightclubs, some great shopping centres and of course the English Market made even more famous recently following a visit from the Queen Elizabeth of England.
Visitors can reach Cork City, the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland by air, water, railway and road. With her remarkable charm, bumpy bridges, hilly streets, and distinctive continental air, the City of Cork will not fail to impress, captivate and welcome young and old alike.
Secretary: Mick Riordan
The Desmond Region consists of the ancient kingdoms of North Munster and South Munster and North Tipperary part of the Golden Vale. The Region straddles the longest river in Ireland, the 260Km Shannon, hence the title “Shannonside”. The river is navigable from Limerick City to the Erne lakes in Northern Ireland broadens out to three large lakes on its way from the hills of Cavan to the Atlantic Ocean in mid-western Ireland, between Clare, Kerry and Limerick counties. Remains of Megalithic man dating back to 3,500 BC testifies to the antiquity of the region. Lough Gur’s stone circles, forts and lakeside dwellings are the most complete Stone and Bronze Ages sites in North Western Europe that attract vast numbers of visitors to its Visitors’ Centre from May to September.
With the advent of Christianity, heralded by St Patrick in 432, monasteries sprang up in places like Ardpatrick, Mungret, Adare and Killeedy contributing to the reputation of Ireland as being The Island of Saints and Scholars. The discovery of the Ardagh Chalice in west Limerick, on display in Trinity College, Dublin, is the finest example of gold, silver and gilt bronze craftsmanship from the 1st Millennium AD.Limerick City was founded by the Viking invaders who occupied the Shannon Estuary from 922 until driven out at the battle of Clontarf in 1014 by King Brian Boru. They raided many of the monasteries in Limerick and Clare for booty to fill their long ships sailing back to Scandinavia. Their cousins, the Normans, invited by a king having marital problems and stayed until 1922. King John of England, the Wisest Fool in Christendom, ordered the erection of a fortress in Limerick in 1194 that still stands and is a major tourist attraction today. He granted a Royal Charter to Limerick City that predates London’s Charter. More castles were built in Limerick County than in any other County in Ireland on lands confiscated from native royalty and peasantry; several are used as hotels and museums today.
King John’s castle withstood sieges by Oliver Cromwell in 1690 and by King William of Orange at the termination of his war against King James in 1691. The valour of the women of Limerick defending the castle during the sieges is legendary. The Treaty, agreed by the Generals ending the siege, saw several ships laden with thousands of defeated Irish sailing for the Continent and fighting the wars of France, Germany and Austria. Their leader, General Patrick Sarsfield, died on the fields of Landen and at least two became Marshals of France.
The Penal Laws were re-imposed with more ferocity than ever when the English Parliament refuted the Treaty and Limerick became known as “The City of the Broken Treaty”. The Castle is now fully restored and used as a museum. The great house owned by the poet Aubrey De Vere standing on 600 acres of Curraghchase Forest Park and Lake, near the picturesque town of Adare, was burned down in 1941 and is now a restful haven for ramblers and nature lovers. The first flying boats from US landed at Foynes on the Shannon Estuary in 1937 but the first passenger service was not until 1939. The last flying boat left Foynes in October, 1945. Always a centre of learning, Limerick has a modern University and a major Teachers’ Training College, a widely recognised Technological Park, seventeen 2nd level schools, an Arts Centre, three museums and the famous Thomond Park, the home of Rugby Football. There are two major hospitals, a gaol and the Garda Divisional Headquarters for the city and county. There are several major golf clubs dotted all over the county.
AN DOLMEN DUBH REGION
Chairman: PJ Mc Glinchey
Secretary: Aidan Fitzpatrick
Kilkenny/Carlow Region covers the Garda Division of Kilenny and Carlow. This is a new Division and Divisional HQ is situated in Kilkeny City.
Regional Administration Office is also situated in Kilkenny City. Kilkenny is a popular tourist destination. In 2009 the City of Kilkenny celebrated its 400th year since the granting of city status in 1609.Kilkenny’s heritage is evident in the city and environs including the historic buildings such as Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral and round tower, Rothe House, Shee Alms House, Black Abbey, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny Town Hall, St. Francis Abbey, Grace’s Castle, and St. John’s Priory. Kilkenny is regarded for its culture with craft and design workshops, the Watergate Theatre, public gardens and museums.
Carlow (Irish: Ceatharlach) is the county town of County Carlow in Ireland. It is situated in the south-east of Ireland, 84 km from Dublin. County Carlow is the second smallest county in Ireland by area, however Carlow Town is the 14th largest urban area in Ireland by population according to the 2011 census with a population of 23,030. The River Barrow flows through the town, and forms the historic boundary between counties Laois and Carlow:
Both Kilkenny and Carlow Counties offers so much for visitors including medieval destinations, Golfing, Tourist Trails, excellent accommodation and restaurants and great night life.
GARDA COLLEGE REGION
Chairman: Marie Daly (NEC, IPC)
Secretary: Helen McGrath
In 1963 the government decided to move Garda training from the Phoenix Park Depot in Dublin where it had taken place since 1842 to McCann Barracks, which was renamed as the Garda Training Centre (GTC).On February 14th 1964, recruits and training staff marched from the Phoenix Park Depot to Heuston railway Station to board the ‘Templemore Special’ train. On reaching Templemore railway station, the group marched in formation to the GTC. On February 21st 1964, the Garda Training Centre was officially opened by Mr Charles J. Haughey, then Minister for Justice, and Mr Dan Costigan, Commissioner. The Garda College, Templemore in Co Tipperary was originally built in 1809 as Richmond Barracks after a government decision to build a number of new barracks in Ireland. Tipperary had a history of lawlessness, once causing the Chief Secretary Robert Peel to comment: “you can have no idea of the moral depravation of the lower orders in that county”. Peel, in later correspondence with Lord Liverpool, attributed the cause of ongoing disturbance in Ireland to “that natural predilection for outrage and a lawless life which I believe nothing can control”.
The Peninsular War was in progress while the barracks was being built, and to commemorate recent victories in that campaign, streets in Templemore were named after locations associated with the war, such as Wellington Mall, Talavera Place, Vimerma Mall and Bussaco Street. The barracks was named in honour of the Duke of Richmond, who served under the Duke of Wellington. Between construction in 1809 and Irish independence in 1922, almost 100 different regiments of the British Army served in Templemore. Richmond Barracks was built on a 57 acre site owned by Sir John Carden, a member of the dominant local family. An unpopular figure, as he had evicted many tenants from his estates, thereby earning the nickname ‘Woodcock’ because “those who shot at him always missed”. Richmond was one of the largest barracks in Ireland, and in 1837 it was reported that “Templemore contains extensive military barracks with accommodations for 54 officers, 1,500 men and 30 horses, and an hospital for 80 patients; a Bridewell; a fever hospital and a dispensary, ball, news and reading rooms, and a public billiard table”.
(Words by Sergeant John Reynolds, Garda College Museum)
Secretary: Christopher Verling
County Tipperary is the 6th largest County in Ireland and is referred to as the Premier County. It nestles within the Golden Vale, the most fertile land in the country.
Bordering the South and South West are the Comeragh, Knockmealdown and Galtee mountains (Galteemore at 919m is the 3rd highest peak in the Emerald Isle). Being an inland County in the Mid-South, it is surrounded by eight others, Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Clare and Galway, with the latter three separated by the river Shannon.
The Arra hills and Silvermine Mountains cross it’s northern territory. Prior to June 2014, the County had two Co. Councils, North and South Riding which have now merged.
Clonmel in the South, by the side of the river Suir and in the shadow of Slievenamon (721m) is the County town. Tipperary was the subject of the famous war time song ” It’s a long way to Tipperary “, popular with the regiments of the British Army, during WW1. Tipperary is to the fore in sporting history, being home to Coolmore Stud near Fethard, our own world standard horse breeding industry and located alongside the homestead from which the Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly’s father, John was deported to Australia for stealing two pigs, in 1841.
The Gaelic Athletic Association was founded in Thurles in 1884. The Garda Training College has been located in Templemore since 1964. Tourist attractions are numerous, including The Rock of Cashel and Lough Derg on the banks of the Shannon. Tipperary Region will be known as the Slievenamon Region, having been adopted by the South of the county in 1992, when part of the now defunct, Region No. 9. Why not pay us a visit, you’ll be really glad you came.
THE VIKING REGION
Secretary: Kerrie Deegan
The new Viking Region (26) encompasses the Garda Division of Waterford here in the area of Ireland fondly referred to as The Sunny South East. It also includes the Garda Districts of Tramore and Dungaravn. Waterford is best known for Waterford Crystal and is proud to have been host venue to the IPA National Congress 2012. Waterford is also known as the oldest city in Ireland, recently celebrating 1100 years of existence, and with the exception of London and Paris, predates all of the other European cities.
Tramore is a seaside destination, well known locally and nationally for its long beaches and great surf. Tramore has a rich history of myths and legends, one of the most famous of which is associated with the Metalman. The myth surrounding this prominent figure tells that any woman who can hop barefoot around the base of the Metalman will be married within the year!
Dungarvan is another seaside town boasting mouth watering restaurants, beaches that go on for miles and lots of famous heritage sites on the outskirts and surrounding areas of the town. Waterford has so much to offer including costal drives, award winning hotels and spectacular golf courses.
There are wonderful little villages and towns dotted around Waterford County; all of which are on a “must visit” list, including Lismore, Annestown and Dunmore East. The Viking Region has for the second successive year held the Gerry Lynch Bowling tournament in memory of our great IPA friend and colleague Gerry Lynch who was very much involved in the life of IPA in our Region. Our hope in the coming year is to see many more Regions attend and compete for this wonderful night of friendship and camaraderie.
THE PIKEMEN REGION
Chairman: Aidan O Sullivan
Secretary: Richenda Sinnott
The Wexford Region is comprised of 3 Garda Districts in the Wexford Division; Wexford, New Ross, and Enniscorthy/Gorey. The county of Wexford sits in the Sunny South East of Ireland, adjoining the counties of Wicklow, Carlow, Kilkenny and Waterford.
Wexford boasts a spectacular coastline, a wealth of historic sites and attractive towns and villages. Our IPA Apartment is located in Clonard Village Co. Wexford, which is just on the outskirt of Wexford town, within walking distance of the town. As in many parts of Ireland, there are an abundance of golf courses and those together with mountaineering, hill walking, fishing and horse riding are all popular pastimes in this county.
Wexford has something unique to offer every visitor, and some of the main attractions include: The annual Opera Festival in Wexford Town, which is held every Autumn. Visitors to the New Ross area can visit The John F. Kennedy Arboretum and see the ancestral home of JFK, Bobby and Ted Kennedy. Popular heritage sites and historic attractions which attract visitors include The Irish National Heritage Park at Ferrycarrig, Dunbrody Abbey and Visitor Centre at Campile, Abercromby Monument at Carrigdaggin, Westgate Heritage Tower, The Wexford Wildfowl Reserve in Wexford, Tintern Abbey in New Ross, Ballyhack Castle in Ballyhack and Hook Head Lighthouse, to name but a few. Wexford has famously long beaches which are just as perfect for autumn strolls when its cloudy as they are for sunny summer evening dips.
Chairman: Mary Bermingham
Secretary: Billy Saunderson
Clare is a county on the mid-western coast of Ireland and immediately north of County Limerick and the Shannon Estuary. Its west coast faces the Atlantic Ocean and is part of the wonderful “Wild Atlantic Way”, including Loop Head, voted best place to holiday in Ireland 2014 (visit www.loophead.ie). Its east coast is bordered by the great River Shannon and its largest lake, 30 miles long Lough Derg.
To its north lies county Galway. An Clár, the Gaelic name of the county, means ‘The Plain’. Historically it was referred to as Desmond, or North Munster, the kingdom of the O’Briens and McNamaras. Shannon International Airport was built on reclaimed land at the junction of the estuaries of the Shannon and the Fergus and is a town in its own right having many important industries. County Clare hold endless attractions to visitors. Taking the N18 from Limerick to Bunratty are the endless attractions of the 15th century Castle and a whole traditional village transferred stone by stone from all over the country. Each cabin, farmhouse, pub, post office, school, shop and even a mill is lovingly reassembled and equipped as it would have been a century ago.
The castle had been allowed to fall into disrepair until Viscount Gort took over its restoration in 1954. It now houses painting and tapestries from the 15th and 16th centuries conducts world renowned banquets with music and dancing. Further inland is Knappogue Castle, seat of the Mc Namara kings, built in 1467, and like Bunratty was abandoned but rescued by Texan, Mark Edwin Andrews. It now vies with Bunratty for its banquets, pageants of Irish history with music, song and dance. Further east to Lough Derg and the Shannon is Killaloe the seat of the O’Brien kings, the most famous of whom was Brian Boru who set about banishing the Vikings from Ireland. Brian utterly defeated the Viking king Sitric at the Battle of Clontarf, near Dublin, in 1014, only to be fatally wounded by one of the fleeing invaders.
The Great Famine of 1845 combined with the Penal Laws, depopulated Clare from 286,000 in 1841 to half that number in 1871. Daniel O’Connell, a native of Kerry, trained as a lawyer in the Roman Catholic colleges of St Omar and Douai, France. Called to the Irish Bar, he agitated for the emancipation of Catholics from Penal Laws. He stood for a by-election in Clare in 1828 and won an overwhelming victory but was not allowed to take his seat. His powerful advocacy led to the Emancipation Act of 1829 for which he was popularly titled The Liberator of a downtrodden people.
Back to the west coast, thousands visit the awe-inspiring 650ft Cliff of Moher and the nearby barren-looking Burren with its astonishing variety of wild flowers not found anywhere else in Ireland. Clare has a well-merited reputation as the home of traditional Irish music and dance.
The founder of GAA, Michael Cusack, was born in the Burren of County Clare in 1847 and died in 1906. The inventor of the first commercially viable submarine was John Phillip Holland, born in Liscannor in 1841 and educated in Limerick. His invention, named the “Holland” was purchased and used by the US Navy.
THE CLADDAGH REGION
Chairman: Joe Dunleavy
Secretary: Mick Walsh
Galway is different to any other town in Ireland. Yeats once described it as the “Venice of the West”.
Located on the West Coast, on the Atlantic shores, Galway is the cultural capital of Ireland. Free spirited, bohemian and artistic, Galway has an ambience of its own. Galway is famously known as the ‘City of the Tribes’. This came about in the early 13th century, when the power of the city divulged to 14 ‘Tribes’, which were affluent families of English descent.
Galway traded in wine, spices, salt, animal produce and fish. The wealth of its citizens could be seen from the many stone-faced buildings which were erected around this time. The most important of which is the Church of St. Nicholas, work began on the church in 1320.In the last quarter of the 20th Century, Galway has concentrated on promoting its tourist potential and has built a strong local industrial base.
Many Galway people are Irish speakers and much of the Gaelic culture has been preserved. Galway is more than a city, it is a way of life and it represents both an appreciation of the good things in life and a carefree vibrancy.
Chairman: Con Nolan
Secretary: Edward McLoughlin
County Mayo is named after the village of Mayo which is now generally known as Mayo Abbey. There are several points of interest in Mayo.
Croagh Patrick, nicknamed “The Reek”, is 763 metres mountain which is 8 kilometres from Westport It overlooks Clew Bay and is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland. The tradition of pilgrimage to this hold mountain stretches back over 5000 years from the Stone Age. It was on this summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for 40 days in 441 AD. Knock Shrine is a Roman Catholic pilgrimage site in the village of Knock where it is claimed there was an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph & St. John on 21/8/1879.
There is also the Great Western Greenway rail trail in Mayo which is 42 kilometres long and begins in Westport and ends in Achill passing through the towns of Newport and Mulranny as it runs along the coast of Clew Bay. The Museum of Country Life is located in Turlough Village which is 8 km northeast of Castlebar. It was established in 2001 and the museum is part of the National Museum of Ireland.
Westport House in Westport was the ancestral seat of the Marquesses of Sligo up until July 2014. it was built by the Browne family in the 18th Century on the site of an O’Malley castle where Dungeons are still present today. There is now a Pirate Adventure Park there and it has a full range of heritage, family fun, camping and adventure activity offerings. Balintubber Abbey was founded in 1216 and stands one mile of the main Castlebar – Galway road. It is a very famous Abbey and many weddings are celebrated here. The river Moy is a river which is 110 km in length. It is very famous for catching salmon.
Ashford castle is a medieval castle that is now a five star luxury hotel near Cong on the Mayo/Galway border on the shores of Lough Corrib. It has a long list of distinguished guests. It is very famous for the place of residence for many of the actors who starred in the film “The Quiet Man” which was made in Cong. The Keadue Fields, in Ballycastle, North Mayo, is one of the oldest Aboriginal sites in Europe. Clare Island off the Mayo coast has a well known song written about it. Mayo is reputed to have the second biggest Coastline in Ireland and boasts many Blue Flag Beaches along the length of it.
ROSCOMMON / LONGFORD REGION
Secretary: Geraldine Tormey
The region is lucky to have many great tourist attractions with Lough Key Forest Park being an important one. This forest park is situated on the outskirts of Boyle on the main Sligo/Dublin road and covers a vast area which is predominantly covered by forest and woodland with both broadleaf and conifer trees growing within the park. Zipit forest adventure opened its first and indeed Ireland’s first aerial trail adventure in April 2011.
Lough Key offers fun for all the family and includes the adventure play kingdom- a purpose built outdoor children’s play area, Bodacious Berg- a Swedish concept of puzzle rooms through which you must progress using different skills, and the Lough Key Experience – a self guided audio tour through the original tunnels to the top of the Moylurg viewing tower and over the tree canopy walk.
Longford has its own park in the Mall Longford which is a beautifully landscaped area of parkland on the banks of the River Camlin, situated in the heart of Longford town. It is the home to Longford Sports and Leisure Complex which boasts a swimming pool, outdoor all weather soccer, basketball and outdoor exercising equipment, surrounded by trees and flowers gardens with the well stocked river running through it. This sports complex has been the long term venue of the very successful IPA National Finals of the 5 – a – side soccer competition each year. The Mall complex is a haven of tranquillity, a great retreat from the hustle and bustle of town life.