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Béal Átha Ragad
Location in Ireland
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Ballyragget (Irish: Béal Átha Ragad meaning Mouth of Ragget's Ford) is a small town in County Kilkenny in Ireland. It is situated along the river Nore in the north of the county. It is located in the province of Leinster in the south-east of the island of Ireland. Ballyragget situated on the N77 18 km (11 mi) north of Kilkenny and has a population of 1,451 people. The name 'Ragget' is Anglo-Norman in origin, and denotes a once-prominent Norman landowner Richard le Ragget who held these lands in the early part of the 13th century.
Ballyragget is a Local Electoral Area of County Kilkenny and includes the electoral divisions of Attanagh, Balleen, Ballyconra, Ballyragget, Baunmore, Castlecomer, Clogh, Clogharinka, Clomantagh, Coolcraheen, Freshford, Galmoy, Glashare, Johnstown, Kilkieran, Kilmacar, Lisdowney, Moneenroe, Mothell, Muckalee, Odagh, Rathbeagh, Rathcoole, Rathealy, Tiscoffin, Tubbridbrittain and Urlingford.
Older names of the settlement include 'Donoughmore' (Irish: Domhnach Mór 'Large Church') and an even more ancient 'Tullabarry' (Irish: Tualach Bare) - the name of a Celtic or possibly pre-Celtic tribe which held their seat in the vicinity. There is some debate as to the meaning of Donoughmore. The very first Journal of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society "Old Kilkenny Review, Number 1 (1946–1947). January 1948" has an article about Ballyragget and its environs and states the belief that Domhnach Mór means Big Sunday and relates to the fact that thousands of people congregated at the now ruined church in Donoughmore for its opening on a Sunday and the name stuck.
The River Nore flows beside the town, which nestles in a wide alluvial valley between the Attanagh Plateau and several hills to the east, including 'Knockmannon' and 'The Balla boys'. The Nore passes by one of the most significant ancient sites in North Kilkenny 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Ballyragget at Rathbeagh. The statistical Ballyragget Geographical Area is recorded by the CSO as containing 26.67 square kilometres (10.30 sq mi).
The town itself is dominated by a large medieval keep, fallen into disrepair, and its adjoining walls. This tower dates roughly from the time of Queen Elizabeth I. A large Catholic Church also sits on a rise overlooking the town's central square.
Statistics available from the Central Statistics Office of Ireland show that Ballyragget's population had reached 1,451 persons in the 2006 census. The figures show that there was a 14.1% increase in population from 2002 to 2006. The Ballyragget Electoral Area contained 15,417 people in 2006. These figures correspond to a section of North Kilkenny, including Castlecomer, Freshford and Urlingford.
Agriculture and the Agri-Food industry are the largest employers, with the large Glanbia factory across the river dominating the town's industry for the past forty years. The plant at Ballyragget is the largest multi-purpose integrated dairy plant in Europe, and Glanbia plc can trace its roots to the Avonmore co-operative founded in Ballyragget in the 1960s.
Ballyragget is the birthplace of Mother Teresa Lalor of the Georgetown Nuns of the Visitation.
Ambrose Egan, Director of Parks and Recreation for the London Borough of Harringey was born in a little house on the Square in the year 1920.
At national level, Ballyragget, as part of the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency, is represented by five Teachtaí Dála in Dáil Éireann. The current representatives, who were elected on the 26 February 2016 for a five-year term, are:
The town in recent years seen a significant expansion as a large number of new homes, along with shops and other services, have been constructed in its environs.
- Census 2006
- Act of the Oireachtas: County of Kilkenny Local Electoral Areas Order 2008
- Placenames database of Ireland - townland of Ballyragget
- "Eyes on watchdog". Irish Independent. 16 August 2008.
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