The Nine Friendly Villages



Ballintubber Castle

Creggs, an old village at the foot of Mount-Mary, lies between the forks of the Derryhippo river which is a tributary of the river Suck. Being in a central position to seven other villages, it was a thriving market town famous for it’s fairs and dances.

Because of it’s proximity to the rivers and lakes it once had a flourishing iron works industry. The renowned Luke Kelly continued the blacksmith’s trade until the 1960's. A claypipe industry existed in the village of Kilbegnet just outside Creggs.

Creggs was in the territory of the Glinsk-Burkes and they sold their estates to Alan Pollock in 1854. He did some development there and built the property which is now Keanes Pub.

An interesting statistic about the village is that the population increased during the Famine, going from 163 in 1841 to 173 in 1851.

The devastation of the famine and the policy of Pollock to make his estate viable, led to unprecedented evictions in the area - 1,200 families. This led to an active Land league in the area. During the general election of 1891 the chairman of the local branch invited C.S. Parnell to address a rally in Creggs on September 26th 1891.

This was to be his last rally. After the rally he had supper with the twelve members of the organising committee. Considering Parnell’s superstitious nature, the omen of thirteen at the table was significant - he died on the 13th October 1891.

Ballintubber Village

On the centenary of Parnell's birth , 26th. December 1946, Eamon De Valera unveiled a monument to Parnell - there were also thirteen at the table and one of them, Tommie Kearns, died the following day.

Creggs and the area never recovered from the famine, emigration became the norm for the majority of the population, and Creggs people can be found all over the world.

Fr. Luke Concannon was born in Creggs on December 27th. 1747 and was ordained in Rome in 1770. He was elected prior of the Irish Dominican Collage in Rome on 1781. At the personal wish of the pope, Fr. Concannon was consecrated Bishop of New York on April 24th. 1808. Bishop Concannon died at Naples having completed just the first stage of his long journey to New York. He just failed to reach his final Goal. Two descendants of Creggs became U.S. Senators. Manton was a U.S. Senator, his father was from Donamon, he went to school in Kilbegnet and subsequently worked with the U.S. peace team.