Monaghan is a lively town with some wonderful architecture that can best be appreciated on foot. Incorporated by James I in 1613, Monaghan was once a base of the MacMahons who ruled this territory for centuries, setting up here formally in the 14th century.
The 17th century was a tempestuous one for Monaghan with power over it changing hands between the Irish and English several times before residing in English hands after the Williamite conquest of the early 1690s. For the next two centuries it was basically a Presbyterian town and a colonial centre of commerce and local government.
On Hill Street, in the town centre, is the County Museum which is home to a vast array of historical artifacts, including the important Cross of Clogher dating from the 14th Century. Building commenced on the magnificent St Macartan’s Cathedral in 1862. It was built in the neo-gothic style and contains interesting Stations of the Cross and tapestries. It was constructed using limestone from a local quarry near Old Cross Square. Other buildings of particular note around the town include the original 17th c. Market House, the Courthouse, St Patrick’s Church of Ireland, and the First Monaghan Presbyterian Church.
The Rossmore Memorial and the Market Cross are also of historical interest. There is a signed Heritage Trail in place in the town which includes these interesting buildings and brochures of the trail are available in the Tourist Office, Town Hall, Market House, County Museum and local library. The town also boasts a Leisure Complex, a pitch & putt course and good shopping facilities. It also has excellent entertainment facilities with varied year-round programmes on offer at the Market House and the Garage Theatre.
PLACES OF INTEREST AROUND Monaghan
St McCartan’s Cathedral
Easily the most imposing building in Monaghan is St Macartan’s Cathedral. The decision to build a cathedral was first made in 1858 by Bishop McNally and the site was bought for £800. Designed by the architect JJ McCarthy in the late 14th century style, its majestic tower rises to a height of 250ft. A superb statue of St Macartan stands at the front of the main entrance.
Monaghan County Museum first opened to the public in 1974. County Monaghan has seen many social, cultural and political changes both at local and national level since then. These diverse changes are reflected in the museum s collections of artefacts and displays. Every item in the museum collection is connected to the county in some way; it may have been found here, made here or owned by someone who lived here. The museum collection covers all aspects of the county’s history incorporating archaeology, the early Christian period, the plantation era, transport, conflict, agriculture, lace and folklife. The services that the museum offers are diverse; tours of the museum and exhibitions; workshops; walking tours of Monaghan town; research; educational events; local history and heritage; outreach events and exhibitions and object identification are just some of the services you can use. There are also a number of interactive displays which aid in the accessibility of the museum both physically and intellectually. Opening times are Monday to Friday 11am-5pm and Saturday 12pm to 5pm. Admission is Free. Monaghan County Museum, Hill Street, Monaghan Town, Tel: +353 (0) 47 82928
The Patrick Kavanagh Centre
The Patrick Kavanagh Resource Centre houses exhibitions on local history and on Kavanagh, a sixty-seat Audio- Visual Theatre, and a Research Library. Also on view are twelve specially commissioned paintings illustrating Kavanagh’s epic poem “The Great Hunger”, a miniature model depicting Kavanagh’s classic, “A Christmas Childhood”, Kavanagh’s Death Mask and other memorabilia associated with the poet. www.patrickkavanaghcountry.com
Ulster Canal Stores
Beautifully restored Ulster Canal Stores is a Tourism/Heritage Centre and is home to Clones Lace. It has a beautiful Bistro and permanent Lace Exhibition.
The Ulster Canal Stores Clones is a wonderfully restored Cultural & Tourism Centre with a beautiful onsite Bistro. We also have meeting Rooms/Conference Facilities & Exhibition space available for hire. We also offer a wide range of hobby classes, host various exhibitions and provide bus tours to and from various parts of the County & further afield. ulstercanalstoresvisitorcentre.ie
Carrickmacross Lace Gallery
Carrickmacross Lace is a delicate and enchanting Irish craft dating back to 1820. This tradition is now carried on by the Carrickmacross Lace Co-op, in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, Ireland. This distinctive lace is expertly hand stitched with designs that please both the eyes and the senses. Your Carrickmacross Lace will become treasures to be passed on to future generations.
The Market House
The Market House, Monaghan, was built in 1792 to the designs of a talented amateur architect of the time called Samuel Hayes. The Market House holds arts events such as exhibitions, musical performances, readings, workshops and rehearsals. The building has access for people with disabilities and is also available for civil ceremonies.
The Garage Theatre
The Garage Theatre provides a venue for touring theatrical groups who produce a high quality of professional theatre. In addition to this the Garage also provides a space for local amateur groups and it is a resource for the local community.
The Garage Theatre is renowned for showcasing comedy, dance, music, concerts and children’s entertainment. The theatre is also home to Monaghan Youth Theatre which encompasses the Junior Youth Theatre. Monaghan Youth Theatre has been recognised nationally as one of the most outstanding Youth Theatre’s in Ireland by NAYD and have produced many famous prodigies.
Our small brewery is housed on the farm, just a short distance from the old homestead. We are set amongst the rolling drumlins of County Monaghan, just a few miles from the birthplace of Patrick Kavanagh, the inspiration for our India Pale Ale – Stony Grey IPA. Our aim is to create distinct beers that are brewed with care and affection. Our brewer has created a range of well balanced and flavoursome ales that reflect the changing face of the beer market in Ireland.
Situated in Ireland’s Ancient East, and at the heart of the historical barony of Farney, Carrickmacross Workhouse, one of the few remaining Irish Workhouses to be lovingly and carefully restored, showcases our heritage and the best that South Monaghan has to offer. www.carrickmacrossworkhouse.com
Ballybay Wetlands Centre
The Ballybay Wetlands Centre is an impressive multi-purpose venue set in the heart of co Monaghan with sweeping views of the surrounding wetlands. Wetlands are considered to be the most biological diverse of all eco systems serving as home to a wide range of plants and animal life. Many species of birds,fish and animals and amphibians rely on wetland habitat for breeding,foraging and cover. www.ballybaywetlands.ie
Activities To Enjoy
GR8 is the North East’s number 1 entertainment venue. The facilities include 8 bowling lanes, over 5,000sq/ft of mega play frames, a bar and restaurant, games, amusements, Go-Karts, Laser Tag and much more! They specialise in parties for all ages and have established a reputation for quality and value. www.gr8entertainment.ie
Rally School Ireland
Experience a heart-thumping adrenaline filled day at Rally School Ireland’s Multi Million Euro facility. Drive one or more Rally cars and Super cars, with packages ranging from 6 laps to 45 laps, including Junior Rally Experiences for Kids 10+, Advance/Winter Driver Training, Rally and Supercar Packages, you are sure to find an experience to suit you. No licence required.
Tanagh Outdoor Education Centre
Tanagh Outdoor Education and Training Centre is located in a region of overwhelming beauty, near Rockcorry, County Monaghan on the R188 between Cootehill & Rockcorry – only 2 hours from Dublin / Belfast The magic of this region lies in its gentle rolling hills, lakes, meandering rivers through enchanting forests and ever changing vistas. The Centre provides a range of water-based and land-based adventure activities for all. EIR CODE: H16 HC83
Ulster Canal Greenway
The Ulster Canal Greenway is a proposed network, almost 190km in length, of Greenway routes following the line of the Ulster Canal and other disused railway routes to connect many of the main towns, villages and tourist attractions through the mid-Ulster region.
The Greenway is a work in progress. It started off in 2013 with the opening of a 4.2km section through Monaghan town. Funding is in place for Phase 2, which is due to open in 2021, and plans are being put in place for future sections.
Irish Country Quads
Irish Country Quads is an adventurous activity centre set between counties Monaghan, Louth & Armagh; Ireland. Take a tour on our purpose built Quad Bike course that caters for bikers of all experience through all weather conditions. Quad Biking is an exciting and adventurous sport where everyone will have an incredible time! Your off-road driving experience starts here!
Sliabh Beagh Way
Steeped in local myth and legend, the Sliabh Beagh Way meanders through the valleys of Co Tyrone, the drumlins of Co Monaghan and the lakeland of Co Fermanagh.
This two-day walking route follows a mixture of country lanes and forest tracks as it explores the varied countryside around south Fermanagh. A remote path across the expanse of moor around Sliabh Beagh is one of the highlights, while good signage and generally firm terrain make it suitable for all fit walkers.
Coral Leisure Centre
To provide high quality standards of customers care within the health and fitness industry.