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Kilmuckridge (Irish: Cill Mhucraise),[1] formerly Ford or The Ford, is a village in County Wexford in Ireland, near the Irish Sea coast.

Kilmuckridge village
Kilmuckridge village
 • Dáil ÉireannWexford
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Morriscastle Beach, looking north, October 2015.jpg
Morriscastle Beach at sunset, looking south towards Tinnaberna and Wexford town., 4 September 2012

It is known for its beach, Morriscastle, which was listed by the Irish Times as one of the Top 5 beaches in Ireland.[2]


The local beaches are the main attraction of the area, part of a long stretch of unbroken sandy beach that connects Cahore to Raven Point.

Morriscastle, the largest beach, is used by swimmers, walkers, horse riders and anglers, and is the focal point for a cluster of holiday home developments, caravan parks and camp sites. It currently[when?] holds a Blue Flag award, granted due to its water quality, safety, well-managed environment and local services.[3]

Other beaches nearby include Ballinoulart, Tinnaberna and Ballynamon. The local coast is host to many rare flora and fauna and is part of a national heritage site, Kilmuckridge-Tinnaberna Sandhills. A substantial wind farm is located near Ballinoulart beach. Common fish regularly caught in the area include bass and flounder,[4] and a small number of local boats still trawl for herring in the early winter.

Kilmuckridge contains a number of historical buildings as well as restaurants, guesthouses, pubs, and shops.

Blackwater Golf Course is located about five kilometres from Kilmuckridge.[5]


The village is in the civil parish of Kilmuckridge[6] and in the Catholic parish of Litter (from the Irish language Leitir, meaning a hillside). On older maps, the village is sometimes referred to by its older name of Ford, or The Ford. The name Kilmuckridge originally referred to a small road junction about 1.5 km from the main village and site of the Church of Ireland church. This junction was previously the location of the village post office and it is said that when the post office was moved to The Ford, the latter placename gradually declined in use.

Morriscastle, was once the site of a castle belonging to a prominent Gaelic family. Local legend tells that a tunnel once existed linking the castle to Ferns. The site was also used as a quarry in recent centuries. By the 19th century, this castle was in ruins, and it was demolished in 1936. It was succeeded by a later castle, owned by the Annesley family, the ruins of which can be seen to the south of the roadway.

Wells House has a history dating back to the 1600s.[7]

The Catholic Church was built in 1796. The Church of Ireland church dates from 1815. The graveyard next to the Church of Ireland church actually contains members of the Catholic Church, with a "sailor's hole" for the bodies of sailors washed ashore.

The village also has a historic graveyard at Killincooley with a holy well.[8]

It is believed that Kilmuckridge people played a prominent part in the 1798 rising, with one of its most prominent leaders being John Murphy of nearby Boolavogue. Local participants were said to have rendezvoused at a local site known as Hatter's Bridge before proceeding to battle at the Battle of Oulart Hill.

There are no listed shipwrecks off Morriscastle but several have occurred in the general area, most notably the clipper ship Pomona, which ran aground off Ballyconigar in 1859 while en route from Liverpool to New York and sank with the loss of nearly four hundred people, mostly Irish poor.[9][10] Additionally, a 61-ton coal boat named the Lavinia was wrecked at Tinnaberna in 1915.[11]

On 14 November 1815, twenty-four local fishermen were lost in a storm, having sailed from Tinnaberna. The disaster is said to have left nineteen widows and would have had a significant long-term impact on the population of the small settlement which lay at Tinnaberna. The disaster was largely forgotten, commemorated mainly in a local ballad,[12] but interest has revived due to the unveiling of a memorial plaque on the two-hundredth anniversary in 2015.[13] Another well-known local ballad commemorates the 1885 rescue of a sailing ship, the Vivandiere, which had been abandoned by her crew and set adrift. The ship was boarded near Tinnaberna by local men, who later profited from its salvage.[14][15]

The Tithe Applotment Books contain data for the parish of Kilmuckridge for the year 1833.[16] Griffith's Valuation was completed for County Wexford in 1854, and data for Kilmuckridge can be found here.[17] The 1901 Census holds details of households in the Kilmuckridge area. The village is found in the District Electoral Division of Ballyvaldon, and information may be found for its townlands, such as Tinnaberna and Ballynahask.[18]

A number of local men were prominent in the Irish republican movement, notably Laurence 'Lar' Redmond and Jim O'Brien, both of the Morriscastle area, who served in the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Redmond claimed to be a descendant of the famous John Murphy and was active in Enniscorthy in the 1916 Rising; having survived, he became prominent in Sinn Féin and served three months in prison in 1920 for fundraising. He was elected as a councillor in the district of Gorey. On 14 August 1920, he was part of a company of men that set fire to the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks on the road to Morriscastle. Although Redmond's recollection attests that the building was 'completely destroyed', the house has been restored over the years and is inhabited today. Redmond and his colleagues also set fire to the coast guard station at Morriscastle in July 1921. A local anecdote tells that many years later, some local men were injured in an explosion while working at Redmond's property due to a homemade explosive that Redmond had hidden. Jim O'Brien was shot dead by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary in Rathdrum, County Wicklow, on 12 February 1920, during the War of Independence. At the time, he was an IRA commandant and the officer commanding the East Wicklow Brigade. A plaque in Market Square, Rathdrum, commemorates the shooting. In April 2016, a memorial stone was unveiled to commemorate local participants in the 1916 Rising.[19]

The lives of Redmond, O'Brien and their colleagues contrast with another prominent local man of the same era, Tom Ryan (1873-1958), who joined the British Army as a teenager and saw active service in South Africa, France and Palestine. Unusually for someone of humble origins, the son of a boot-maker, he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and later joined the army of the Irish Free State. He was well known, and his father's funeral in 1920 was said to have been attended by fifteen priests and a very large cortege. He remained prominent in Wexford life and his love of his childhood home is evident in his poetry. As one local historian describes:

"Tom Ryan, like all poets and literary persons lived imaginatively, in a parallel universe that both represented and re-ordered his life experience: the homely places, the touching scenes and drama of his childhood memories of Tinnaberna. There is an ambiguity is the basic message of his poetry: it may be a means of providing an ethical rationale to his military career but conversely it may be that the stellar success of many of his playmates on the strand at Tinnaberna, and indeed his own success, are meant as mere adornments to his poetic wonder-world of Tinnaberna by the sea." [20]

During World War 2, the area saw three plane crashes. On 29 September 1940, an RAF Hawker Hurricane piloted by Pilot Officer Paul Mayhew crash-landed in the townland of Ballyvadden, having taken part in an aerial skirmish off the coast. The aircraft was one of eight sent from Pembrey, Wales to intercept a group of German bombers heading for Liverpool. In the battle, Mayhew downed a Heinkel He 111; as some Germans abandoned their mission and turned for home, Mayhew chased before getting lost and running too low on fuel to return to base. He was unhurt in the crash and was interned at The Curragh before escaping back to Britain and subsequently getting killed the following year. His Canadian-built aircraft was repaired, bought by the Irish Air Corps and flown until 1946. Of the German aircraft downed by Mayhew, the body of airman Franz Gunther washed ashore near Kilmuckridge and he was initially buried in the sailor's hole at the old graveyard, before later reinterment elsewhere.[21][22]

In May 1941, a German Heinkel He 111 bomber crashed in the sea and sank near the Blackwater lightship, with two recorded fatalities. Two survivors came ashore in a liferaft and were treated hospitably by a local priest before their internment at The Curragh.[23] In 1945, an American Martin Marauder aircraft crashed at Killenagh, with no fatalities.[24]


Kilmuckridge's local GAA club is Buffers Alley, which is shared with the neighbouring village of Monamolin and based at Ballinastraw. It is predominantly a hurling and camogie club but also fields teams in junior football.

Historically, the hurling team is one of Wexford's most successful, and won an All-Ireland Club Championship title in 1989, becoming the first Wexford team to do so. As of 2012, the club has won twelve county senior hurling titles, all in a remarkable period from 1968 to 1992, with prominent players of the time including Tony Doran, Colm Doran, Mick Butler, Henry Butler, Tom Dempsey and others.

Buffer's Alley's camogie team also has a history of success, winning the All-Ireland Senior Club Camogie Championship a remarkable five times in a six-year period from 1979 to 1984, jointly making it the competition's most successful team, until being surpassed some years later by St Paul's Camogie Club of Kilkenny.

The local soccer club is St Joseph's, which is based at Grove Park in the centre of Kilmuckridge.

Aside from the beaches mentioned above, the locality has some good routes for running, jogging and walking. These include a loop around Ballinlow lane (5.2 km), from the village to Morriscastle Beach (3.1 km), along the beach from Morriscastle to Tinnaberna (4.6 km) and from Tinnaberna to the village (4.4 km).


The village is located approximately 119 kilometres from central Dublin via the M11/N11 National Primary Route, exiting near Gorey. The village lies on the R742 regional road 22 km (14 mi) south of Gorey, but many locals take the R741 regional road. Wexford town is a further 24 km south.

Bus Éireann local route 379 serves the village.[25]

A windfarm at Ballinoulart near Kilmuckridge


The village hosts the annual Kilmuckridge Drama Festival, which has been running since the 1950s. In April 2015, the village successfully hosted the All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals.[26]

Local band The Jades (Irish band) achieved nationwide prominence in the 2000s, particularly through finishing as runners-up on the RTÉ series You're a Star.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kilmuckridge (population centre) Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved: 2012-02-20.
  2. ^
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  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Kilmuckridge (civil parish) Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved: 2012-02-20.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  18. ^ 1901 Census data for Kilmuckridge
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  20. ^
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  24. ^
  25. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 April 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^

External linksEdit