Granard (Irish: Gránard)[2] is a town in the north of County Longford, Ireland, and has a traceable history going back to AD 236. It is situated just south of the boundary between the watersheds of the Shannon and the Erne, at the point where the N55 national secondary road and the R194 regional road meet. It is 20 km north-east of Longford town.

Market Street
Market Street
Féile, Flúirse, Fáilte
Granard is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°47′N 7°30′W / 53.78°N 7.5°W / 53.78; -7.5
CountyCounty Longford
82 m (269 ft)
Time zoneUTC±0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST)
Eircode routing key
Telephone area code+353(0)4366
Irish Grid ReferenceN324814


The town has been a centre of population since Celtic times, probably because of its elevated position offering a view over the surrounding countryside. It is mentioned in the ancient Irish epic, the Táin Bó Cuailgne, as being one of the places where Queen Medb and her army stopped on their journey to take the Donn Cuailnge (the Brown Bull of Cooley). The name of the village is itself so ancient as to be unclear even in Irish; the 11th-century writers of the Lebor na hUidre (containing the oldest written version of the Táin) refer to it by means of a gloss as "Gránairud Tethba tuaiscirt .i. Gránard indiu" ("Gránairud of northern Teathbha, i.e. Gránard of today"). According to the Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick, Patrick appointed Guasacht, a son of his former master Milchú, as first bishop of Granard, but the diocese did not survive as a separate entity. The surname Sheridan was first recorded in Granard in the 8th century.[3]

Granard Motte

Granard is known for the motte built by Risteárd de Tiúit. It stands 166 m (543 ft) above sea level, located at the head of the village. A statue of St Patrick was erected on the motte in 1932 to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of the coming of the saint to Ireland for the second time.[4] Due to the location between the three rivers and near Lough Sheelin, it is also a centre for trout and coarse fishing. The Gaynors (Mag Fhionbharra, from Fionnbharr Ó Géaradháin[5]) were once the Gaelic lords of Granard.[citation needed]

Granard was the location of an annual Harp festival from 1781 to 1785. This had been due to the financial support of James Dungan, an Irish merchant then residing in Copenhagen, and a native of Granard, who had heard of similar events being organised in Scotland. Many of the harpists who won prizes at these festivals, including Charles Fanning, Arthur O'Neill, and Rose Mooney went on to perform at the Belfast Harp Festival in July 1792. There has been a revival of the festival since 1981.[citation needed]

During the Irish War of Independence, on 31 October 1920 a police officer, District-Inspector Philip Kelleher was shot dead by two masked men in the bar of the Greville Arms Hotel, Granard. As a reprisal, a motor convoy of Crown forces entered the village four days later and systematically destroyed some of the main business premises of the town.[6]


In 1899, Granard became an urban district under the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898.[12] The urban district council was downgraded to a town commissioners in the early years of the Irish Free State.[13][14] In 2002, it became Granard Town Council.[15]

In 2014, this local government body was abolished.[16] Since then, the town has fallen within the responsibility of Longford County Council. Granard Municipal District is represented by five elected councillors.[17]


Granard is within the catchment area for Edgeworthstown railway station. The station is about a fifteen-minute drive; there is no bus link.

Bus Éireann Expressway route 65 provides one service a day to Monaghan (with onward connections to Belfast) and one service a day to Athlone (with onward connections to Galway). On Fridays there is a second service each way.[18] Bus Éireann local route 111A between Cavan and Athboy (with onward connections to Trim and Dublin) serves Granard and operates four times a day each way, thrice each way on Saturdays and once each way on Sundays.[19]

Donnelly's Pioneer Bus Service, a local bus company based in Granard,[citation needed] operate a Local Link route from Granard to Longford via Ballinalee. There are several journeys each way, with no Sunday service.[20]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Sapmap Area - Settlements - Granard". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office. April 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Gránard/Granard". Placenames Database of Ireland ( Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  3. ^ Sheridan Clan (2007). "Clan History". WSI Ballsbridge. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  4. ^ Lehane, Brendan (2001) The Companion Guide to Ireland; rev. ed. Woodbridge: Companion Guides ISBN 1 900639 34 3; pp. 101-02
  5. ^ "Sloinne". Archived from the original on 18 August 2016.
  6. ^ Anglo-Celt, Saturday, 13 November 1920
  7. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  8. ^ Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency – Census Home Page Archived 2012-02-17 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  10. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. hdl:10197/1406. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Granard (Ireland) Town". Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  12. ^ Clancy, John Joseph (1899). A handbook of local government in Ireland: containing an explanatory introduction to the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898: together with the text of the act, the orders in Council, and the rules made thereunder relating to county council, rural district council, and guardian's elections: with an index. Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker. p. 429.
  13. ^ "1926 Census: Table 9: Population, Area and Valuation of urban and rural districts and of all towns with a population of 1,500 inhabitants or over, showing particulars of town and village population and of the number of persons per 100 acres" (PDF). Central Statistics Office. p. 21. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  14. ^ "1936 Census: Table 7: Population, etc, of Boroughs, Urban Districts and Other Towns possessing Local Government" (PDF). Central Statistics Office. p. 14. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  15. ^ Local Government Act 2001, 6th Sch.: Local Government Areas (Towns) (No. 37 of 2001, 6th Sch.). Enacted on 21 July 2001. Act of the Oireachtas. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book.
  16. ^ Local Government Reform Act 2014, s. 24: Dissolution of town councils and transfer date (No. 1 of 2014, s. 24). Enacted on 27 January 2014. Act of the Oireachtas. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book on 21 May 2022.
  17. ^ County of Longford Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018 (S.I. No. 625 of 2018). Signed on 19 December 2018. Statutory Instrument of the Government of Ireland. Archived from the original on 3 February 2019. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book on 6 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Route 65: Galway - Athlone - Cavan - Monaghan" (PDF). Bus Éireann. Retrieved 4 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ "Route 111A: Cavan - Granard - Delvin" (PDF). Bus Éireann. Retrieved 4 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ "Local Link timetable route 865 Longford" (PDF). Retrieved 9 October 2022.