Clones is a small town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 in western County Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

, in the 'border area' of the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

. The area is part of the Border Region, earmarked for economic development by the Irish Government
Irish Government
The Government of Ireland is the cabinet that exercises executive authority in Ireland.-Members of the Government:Membership of the Government is regulated fundamentally by the Constitution of Ireland. The Government is headed by a prime minister called the Taoiseach...

 due to its currently below-average economic situation. The town was badly hit economically by the partition of Ireland
Partition of Ireland
The partition of Ireland was the division of the island of Ireland into two distinct territories, now Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland . Partition occurred when the British Parliament passed the Government of Ireland Act 1920...

 in 1921 because of its location on the border with County Fermanagh
County Fermanagh
Fermanagh District Council is the only one of the 26 district councils in Northern Ireland that contains all of the county it is named after. The district council also contains a small section of County Tyrone in the Dromore and Kilskeery road areas....

 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

. The creation of the border deprived it of access to a large part of its economic hinterland for many years. The town had a population of 2,889 (including the rural area) at the 2006 census.


Historically Clones was also spelt Clonis, Clonish and Clownish. These are anglicised versions of the Irish Cluain Eois, meaning "Eos's meadow". However, it is also said that the ancient name was Cluan Inis, "island of retreat," it having formerly been nearly surrounded by water.


Clones was the site of a monastic settlement in the kingdom of Dartraige Con-innsi, originally founded by Tigernach
Tigernach of Clones
Tigernach was one of the saints of the territory ruled by the Uí Chremthainn dynasty, together with Mac Caírthinn of Clogher and Mo Laisse of Devenish. His principal foundation is Clones, which lay in the western part of Fernmag, an area ruled by the Uí Chremthainn branch Uí Nad Sluaig...

 (anglicised Tierney) in the 6th century, until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

. St. Tigernach or Tierney's abbey
Clones Abbey
Clones Abbey is a ruined monastery that later became an Augustinian abbey in the twelfth century, and its main sights are ecclesiastical. The Abbey was formerly known as St. Tighernach Abbey, and was referred to locally as the "wee abbey". Parochial and monastic settlements were separated, and it...

, built in the early 6th century was dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. Tigernach later became Bishop of Clogher
Clogher is a village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It lies on the River Blackwater, south of Omagh. The United Kingdom Census of 2001 recorded a population of 309.-History:...

 and removed that see to Clones, where he died of the plague
Plague of Justinian
The Plague of Justinian was a pandemic that afflicted the Eastern Roman Empire , including its capital Constantinople, in 541–542 AD. It was one of the greatest plagues in history. The most commonly accepted cause of the pandemic is bubonic plague, which later became infamous for either causing or...

 in 550. The abbot was the Primus Abbas, or first mitred abbot
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...

 of Ireland. The ruins of a 12th century abbey building can still be found in the town, along with a sarcophagus
A sarcophagus is a funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved or cut from stone. The word "sarcophagus" comes from the Greek σαρξ sarx meaning "flesh", and φαγειν phagein meaning "to eat", hence sarkophagus means "flesh-eating"; from the phrase lithos sarkophagos...

 reputed to have been built to house the remains of Saint Tighearnach, and a 9th century round tower
Irish round tower
Irish round towers , Cloigthithe – literally "bell house") are early medieval stone towers of a type found mainly in Ireland, with three in Scotland and one on the Isle of Man...

 and high cross
High cross
A high cross or standing cross is a free-standing Christian cross made of stone and often richly decorated. There was a unique Early Medieval tradition in Ireland and Britain of raising large sculpted stone crosses, usually outdoors...


In February 1922, just after the partition of Ireland
Partition of Ireland
The partition of Ireland was the division of the island of Ireland into two distinct territories, now Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland . Partition occurred when the British Parliament passed the Government of Ireland Act 1920...

, Clones was the scene of a confrontation between the Ulster Special Constabulary
Ulster Special Constabulary
The Ulster Special Constabulary was a reserve police force in Northern Ireland. It was set up in October 1920, shortly before the founding of Northern Ireland. It was an armed corps, organised partially on military lines and called out in times of emergency, such as war or insurgency...

 and the Irish Republican Army
Irish Republican Army
The Irish Republican Army was an Irish republican revolutionary military organisation. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organisation established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916...

. The Special Constabulary were a temporary, armed police force raised in Northern Ireland to put down IRA guerrillas there. Since the end of the Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence
The Irish War of Independence , Anglo-Irish War, Black and Tan War, or Tan War was a guerrilla war mounted by the Irish Republican Army against the British government and its forces in Ireland. It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic's declaration of independence. Both sides agreed...

 in July 1921, the IRA were acting as the de facto army of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

. A unit of Special Constabulary was travelling by train to Belfast, but was stopped by an IRA unit at Clones, in Southern Ireland
Southern Ireland
Southern Ireland was a short-lived autonomous region of the United Kingdom established on 3 May 1921 and dissolved on 6 December 1922.Southern Ireland was established under the Government of Ireland Act 1920 together with its sister region, Northern Ireland...

, while they were changing trains. The IRA men demanded that they surrender and a gun battle broke out. An IRA officer was killed, as were four Special Constables. Nine other USC men were injured and the rest surrendered. The incident, known as the 'Clones Affray' at the time, threatened to cause the collapse of the Anglo-Irish Treaty
Anglo-Irish Treaty
The Anglo-Irish Treaty , officially called the Articles of Agreement for a Treaty Between Great Britain and Ireland, was a treaty between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and representatives of the secessionist Irish Republic that concluded the Irish War of...

 and prompted the British government to suspend the withdrawal of British troops from the Free State.


Clones was linked by rail to Dundalk
Dundalk is the county town of County Louth in Ireland. It is situated where the Castletown River flows into Dundalk Bay. The town is close to the border with Northern Ireland and equi-distant from Dublin and Belfast. The town's name, which was historically written as Dundalgan, has associations...

 from 1855, Enniskillen
Enniskillen is a town in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is located almost exactly in the centre of the county between the Upper and Lower sections of Lough Erne. It had a population of 13,599 in the 2001 Census...

 from 1859, Cavan
Cavan is the county town of County Cavan in the Republic of Ireland. The town lies in the north central part of Ireland, near the border with Northern Ireland...

 from 1862 and Armagh
Armagh is a large settlement in Northern Ireland, and the county town of County Armagh. It is a site of historical importance for both Celtic paganism and Christianity and is the seat, for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland, of the Archbishop of Armagh...

 from 1863. Clones railway station was opened on 26 June 1858 by the Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway. From 1876 all of these lines were part of the Great Northern Railway
Great Northern Railway (Ireland)
The Great Northern Railway was an Irish gauge railway company in Ireland.The Great Northern was formed in 1876 by a merger of the Irish North Western Railway , Northern Railway of Ireland, and Ulster Railway. The Ulster Railway was the GNRI's oldest constituent, having opened between Belfast and...


The partition of Ireland
Partition of Ireland
The partition of Ireland was the division of the island of Ireland into two distinct territories, now Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland . Partition occurred when the British Parliament passed the Government of Ireland Act 1920...

 in 1922 made Clones a border post on the railway, which combined with road competition to cause the Great Northern to decline. In 1954 the governments of the Republic and Northern Ireland jointly nationalised the GNR and in 1957 Northern ireland made the GNR close its lines from Armagh and Enniskillen to Clones. This made it impractical to continue services on the Cavan and Dundalk lines so the GNR withdrew passenger services on those lines as well, leaving Clones with no passenger trains and a freight service truncated at the border. The GNR closed Clones station to passsenger traffic on 14 October 1957.

In 1958 the two states partitioned the GNR between the Ulster Transport Authority
Ulster Transport Authority
The Ulster Transport Authority ran rail and bus transport in Northern Ireland from 1948 until 1966.-Formation and consolidation:The UTA was formed by the Transport Act 1948, which merged the Northern Ireland Road Transport Board and the Belfast and County Down Railway...

 and CIÉ
-Organizations:* Cambridge International Examinations, an international examination board* Cleveland Institute of Electronics, a private technical and engineering educational institution — the International Commission on Illumination...

. CIÉ withdrew freight services from the Cavan line in 1959 and from the Dundalk line in 1960, leaving Clones with no railway at all. CIÉ closed Clones freight depot on 1 January 1960.


  • Author Patrick McCabe is from the country; his novel The Butcher Boy
    The Butcher Boy
    The Butcher Boy is a 1992 novel by Patrick McCabe. It was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize and won the 1992 Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Fiction.The Butcher Boy is set in a small town in Ireland in the late 1950s...

    is set in a thinly-disguised version of Clones. Parts of Neil Jordan
    Neil Jordan
    Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish filmmaker and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game.- Early life :...

    's 1997 film adaptation of the book were filmed in the town. McCabe is honorary patron of the Clones Film Festival, which takes place annually on the October bank holiday
    Bank Holiday
    A bank holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom or a colloquialism for public holiday in Ireland. There is no automatic right to time off on these days, although the majority of the population is granted time off work or extra pay for working on these days, depending on their contract...

  • Writer and playwright Eugene McCabe
    Eugene McCabe
    Eugene McCabe is an Irish novelist, short story writer, playwright and television screenwriter. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to Irish emigrants, but moved with his family to Ireland in the early 1940s. He lives on a farm near Clones in County Monaghan near the border between the Republic of...

     also comes from the town and is known for his television dramas (including Victims) and novels such as Death and Nightingales.
  • Clones was the birthplace of poet Thomas Bracken
    Thomas Bracken
    Thomas Bracken was a noted late 19th century poet. He wrote "God Defend New Zealand", one of the two National anthems of New Zealand and was the first person to publish the phrase "God's Own Country" as applied to New Zealand.-Background and early years:Bracken was born at Clones, County...

    , who wrote "God Defend New Zealand
    God Defend New Zealand
    "God Defend New Zealand" is one of two national anthems of New Zealand, the other being "God Save the Queen". Legally they have equal status, but "God Defend New Zealand" is more commonly used, and is popularly referred to as "the national anthem"...

    ", one of the national anthem
    National anthem
    A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people.- History :Anthems rose to prominence...

    s of New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

  • General Joseph Finegan
    Joseph Finegan
    Joseph Finegan was an attorney, politician, and railroad builder in Florida, but is primarily known as the general who commanded the Confederate States Army in its victory at the Battle of Olustee....

    , who commanded the Confederate Army to victory at the 1864 Battle of Olustee
    Battle of Olustee
    The Battle of Olustee or Battle of Ocean Pond was fought in Baker County, Florida on 20 February 1864, during the American Civil War. It was the largest battle fought in Florida during the war.-Background:In February 1864, Major General Quincy A...

     in Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

     during the American Civil War
    American Civil War
    The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

    , was born at Clones on 17 November 1814.
  • It is also the home town of noted boxers Barry McGuigan
    Barry McGuigan
    Finbarr Patrick McGuigan MBE , known as Barry McGuigan and nicknamed The Clones Cyclone, is a former Irish and British professional boxer who became a world featherweight champion.-Background:...

     and Kevin McBride
    Kevin McBride
    Kevin Martin McBride is an Irish boxer, who competed for his native country at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.McBride debuted in December 1992, with a victory against Gary Charlton...

  • Birthplace of Diarmuid Johnson AKA Chops Johnson.
  • Birthplace of His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. John Joseph Lynch
    John Joseph Lynch
    John Joseph Lynch C.M. was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Toronto from 1860 to 1870 and the last Bishop as the diocese and the first Archbishop of Toronto .-Early years:...

     (1816–1888), first Archbishop of Toronto (1860–1888).
  • Burial place of Roger Boyle
    Roger Boyle (bishop)
    Roger Boyle was an Irish Protestant churchman, Bishop of Down and Connor and Bishop of Clogher.-Life:He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was elected a fellow. On the outbreak of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 he became tutor to Lord Paulet, in whose family he remained until the...

    , at the church.


Clones is now mainly known in Ireland as being the location of the GAA
Gaelic Athletic Association
The Gaelic Athletic Association is an amateur Irish and international cultural and sporting organisation focused primarily on promoting Gaelic games, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball and rounders...

 stadium, St. Tiernach's Park
St. Tiernach's Park
St. Tiernach's Park is a Gaelic Athletic Association stadium in Clones, Ireland.It is the home of the Monaghan Gaelic football team. The Ulster Final was hosted here from 1970 until 2004: prior to this, Casement Park was the venue. From 2004 to 2006, the Ulster Final had been played in Croke Park,...

. This stadium is regularly used for inter-county matches during the Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

 provincial championship in Gaelic football
Gaelic football
Gaelic football , commonly referred to as "football" or "Gaelic", or "Gah" is a form of football played mainly in Ireland...

, and traditionally hosts the final. The summer football season is therefore a major source of revenue for businesses in the town.

Clones Film Festival

Clones Film Festival
Clones Film Festival
The Clones Film Festival is a film festival in Clones, Ireland. It was launched in 2001 and is steadily growing to be the biggest event of its type in the area. Organised by Lmb Entertainments, the festival was artistically directed by Larry and Gilly Fogg in 2001...

 was launched in 2002 and is steadily growing to be the biggest event of its type in the area. Organised by Lmb Entertainments, the festival was artistically directed by Larry and Gilly Fogg in 2001. 2010's festival was artistically directed by James Sheerin, Stephen Mc Kenna and Thomas Zechner. who have chosen programmes that are as diverse as they have been entertaining.

The festival takes place on the October Bank Holiday weekend.

The Flat Lake Festival

The Flat Lake Festival is an annual event hosted by Kevin Allen
Kevin Allen (actor)
Kevin Allen is a British screenwriter, film director, film producer and actor. He is best known for writing and directing the cult black comedy feature Twin Town set in Swansea . He also directed the films The Big Tease and Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London and hit UK TV series Benidorm...

 in Hilton Park
Hilton Park
Hilton Park has a number of different meanings:* Hilton Park services, a Motorway Service Area on the M6 Motorway north of Wolverhampton, England...

, Clones, Co. Monaghan, since its inception in 2007. Readings, comedy
Comedy , as a popular meaning, is any humorous discourse or work generally intended to amuse by creating laughter, especially in television, film, and stand-up comedy. This must be carefully distinguished from its academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins are found in...

, music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 and theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

 takes place within the farm estate among the barns and bales of hay, abandoned tractors and ancient oaks of Hilton Park over the period of a long weekend, just a couple of miles outside the town of Clones on the back road to Cavan
Cavan is the county town of County Cavan in the Republic of Ireland. The town lies in the north central part of Ireland, near the border with Northern Ireland...

 town. The festival is non-stop fun night and day. In previous years it has taken place in mid-August.

See also

  • List of towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland
  • Market Houses in the Republic of Ireland
    Market Houses in the Republic of Ireland
    Market houses are a notable feature of many Irish towns with varying styles of architecture, size and ornamentation making for a most interesting feature of the streetscape. Originally there were three, four or even five bays on the ground floor which were an open arcade. An upper floor was...

  • Midland Railway Action Group
    Midland Railway Action Group
    Midland Railway Action Group was established to improve the internal infrastructure of the Irish Midlands, in particular, Mullingar, Tullamore, and Athlone, the Midland Railway Action Group is a pressure group striving to have the Athlone to Mullingar rail line re-opened, in order to serve the...

  • Transport 21
    Transport 21
    Transport 21 is an Irish infrastructure plan, announced in November 2005. It aims to greatly expand Ireland's transport network. A cost estimate of €34 billion was attached to the plan at the time....

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.