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Church of the Sacred Heart, Killowen
Church of the Sacred Heart, Killowen

Killowen (from Irish Cill Eoghain, meaning 'Eoghain's church', now spelt Cill Eoin), alternatively spelt Cill Abhainn [1] is a small village in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is near Rostrevor and on the shore of Carlingford Lough. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 159 people. It lies within the Newry and Mourne District Council area.


Near Killowen, on the shore of the loch, is Ballinran Court Tomb. It was excavated in 1976 in advance of a road widening scheme.

Killowen was formerly occupied by smallholders and fishermen and was described in The Picturesque Handbook to Carlingford Bay (1846) as "The nursery of the seamen who man the commercial Navy of Newry".


  • Killowen Primary School


  • Charles Russell, Baron Russell of Killowen, a 19th-century statesman and Lord Chief Justice, when raised to the peerage for life, took his title Baron Russell of Killowen from his native townland of Killowen. He was born in Newry in 1832 and soon after, the family moved to 'Seafield' in Killowen. He entered the legal profession and served for a time as a solicitor in Newry. He later moved to England and in 1886 became Attorney General. In 1894 he became Lord Chief Justice and died in 1900.
  • The Irish Giant, Patrick Murphy, was a native of Killowen. He left for England when about seventeen or eighteen and obtained work at Liverpool docks as a labourer. Before he had completed his twentieth year he stood eight feet and one inch high and weighed twenty stone. He travelled throughout Europe and returned to his native village a 'highly accomplished gentleman'. He purchased a little property at Killowen, which he left a short time after for another tour through Europe. While staying at Marseilles he was seized with small-pox and died in his 26th year, being about twenty-four stone weight, and within a few inches of nine feet high.


Coordinates: 54°04′30.86″N 6°10′52.83″W / 54.0752389°N 6.1813417°W / 54.0752389; -6.1813417

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