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Toome or Toomebridge (from Irish: Tuaim, meaning 'tumulus'), is a small village and townland on the northwest corner of Lough Neagh in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It lies in the civil parish of Duneane in the former barony of Toome Upper, and is in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area. It had a population of 781 in the 2011 Census.
The bridge over the River Bann at Toome
|Population||781 (2011 Census)|
|Irish grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Roddy McCorley, a Presbyterian radical, was a local of the parish of Duneane. He fought as a United Irishman in the Rebellion of 1798 against British rule in Ireland but was captured. He was executed on 28 February 1800 "near the bridge of Toome", which had been partially destroyed by rebels in 1798 to prevent the arrival of reinforcements from west of the River Bann. His body was then dissected by the British and buried under the road that went from Belfast to Derry. In 1852, when the road was being reconstructed, a nephew had McCorley's body exhumed and given a proper burial in an unmarked grave in Duneane. A memorial in honour of McCorley now stands in Toome as you enter the village from County Londonderry. His story became the subject of a popular song written in 1898 by Ethna Carbery.
Some of the most thrilling[original research?] motor boat (hydroplane) racing ever seen in Ireland took place at Toombridge on the River Bann in 1930. Hydroplanes from Ulster, the Irish Free State and England took part in the 'Bann 100'. The main trophies was The Belfast Newsletter Challenge trophy. Hydroplanes reached speeds of 34.77 mph.
Toome had long been a bottleneck to traffic on the main Belfast to Derry road route. Construction of a bypass began in May 2002 and was completed in March 2004, shortening journey times and relieving congestion in the village.
Toome is classified as a small village or hamlet by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (i.e. with population between 500 and 1,000). On census day (29 April 2001) there were 722 people living in Toome. Of these:
- Motorcycle road racers Michael, John and Eugene Laverty are from Toome.
- Willie John McBride, world-famous Rugby Union player, is a native of Toome but now lives in Ballyclare.
- Robin John Bailie (1937-), solicitor, businessman and former Ulster Unionist Party and Alliance politician.
- Deirdre Madden (1960-), writer, was born in Toome.
- "Leevin in tha Day of Quaen Victoria: Kintra dwallin-hooses". National Museums Northern Ireland. Ulstèr Fowk an Convoyin Museum. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
- "- Toomebridge". Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "Toome". Census 2011 Results. NI Statistics and Research Agency. Archived from the original on 22 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- The Northern Whig, 13 October 1930
- "Toome station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 February 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2007.