Rochfortbridge

Infobox Irish Place
name = Rochfortbridge
gaeilge = Droichead Chaisleán Loiste
map

pin coords = left: 93px; top: 80px
north coord = 53.416
west coord = 7.296
irish grid = N462407
area =
elevation = 32
province = Leinster
county = County Westmeath
dailconstituency = Longford/Westmeath
EU constituency = East
stdcode = +353-44-92
town pop = 1,692
rural pop = 1,399
census yr = 2006

Rochfortbridge ( _ga. Droichead Chaisleán Loiste) is a village in County Westmeath, Ireland with a population of 1,382 in 2002. It is located at the intersection of the R400 and the N6 national primary route, which recently bypassed the village).

Demographics

The town of Castlelost in Rochfortbridge had 1,473 inhabitants as of the 2006 census, [ [http://www.cso.ie/Census/documents/census2006_press_release_volume_1.pdf Ireland 2006 Census] , page 33] and estimates for the Rochfortbridge area place the total population at approximately 3,000.Fact|date=August 2008

History

"This information has been taken from a number of public knowledge sources including the Annals of Westmeath, The Earl of Belvedere, Information donated by Lord Kilmaine, Public Library Collections, Local Historians and Newspaper Articles. This text is to be read as an outline view of the history of Rochfortbridge and not as a primary source for research."

Rochfortbridge (Pass of Kilbride) was always a stopping point on the main East-West/West-East route (an Slí Mór") across Ireland. It is believed that there used to be a delousing station here during the Great Famine. The village was set out by Robert Rochfort, M.P. for Westmeath from 1651 - 1727 and grandfather of Robert 1st Earl of Belvedere, in or about 1700 after receiving a grant from Queen Anne to hold a monthly market in the village. The original bridge was named Beggars Bridge. The fable that a beggar was found dead on the old bridge with a sum of money in his pockets is a romantic notion and often mistaken as fact. This beggar story has no foundation in fact and it is thought and spoken by folks that the name "Beggars Bridge" was just a "nickname" used for the transit settlement near Oldtown where beggars gathered.

Almost all of the original Robert Rochfort village dwellings were demolished during a village revamp in the 1840s by Josias Cooper, Dunboden, as part of a programme to alleviate poverty during the Great Famine. The only relic of the Rochfort era still standing is the Protestant church just off what is now the main street of the village.

Future

With the new N6 Dual Carriageway from Kinnegad to Kilbeggan [http://www.wccprojectoffice.ie/new/database/user_images/n6map.jpg] bypassing the town and the estimated completion of a major sewerage improvement scheme by Westmeath County Council, the population of Rochfortbridge is signalled to rise by up to 500 houses with planning applications expected this spring.

Present Day

The Village of Rochfortbridge is now mainly a commuter or dormitory town with also strong links to agriculture. Asides from the rural and detached residents homes there are a number of other housing estates in the village.

In order of construction, they are:
* Derrygreenagh Park - Built in the 1950s, initially as housing for the Employees of Bord na Móna, but now housing families employed in many different companies.
* Castle Park - Local Authority housing to the west end of the village. Recently additional houses were constructed here as part of Westmeath County Councils Affordable Housing Program.
* Brookfield - Local Authority Housing comprising of semi detached housing and small accessible bungalows for people with mobility issues.
* Castlelost Vale - Private Estate, built in late 1990's
* Rahanine Manor - Private Estate, built in late 1990's
* Stonebridge Park - Private Estate, built in late 1990's
* The Sycamores - Private Estate, built in late 1990's
* The Cresent - Private Estate, built in late 1990's

There are three public houses ( [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_pub pubs] ) in Rochfortbridge there used to be four and all are listed below in Alphabetical Order.
* Dalys Pub - In the centre of the village, still owned and managed by the Daly Family.
* Bagnalls Pub - Built in the early 2000's as part of a shopping centre development, this is the newest pub in the village, owned by Robert Bagnall who also owns the Shopping Centre, the Hilamar Hotel (Sponsors of the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westmeath_GAA Westmeath Gaelic Football Team] ) and Super Valu, Kinnegad. A Local man who has done very well in the retail/services sector.
* Bridge House - Closed in the early 2000's for redevelopment and still awaiting said development work and reopening. Previous owners were the Whelehan family and the Coyne Family.
* Lysters Bar - Pronounced Lesters, this bar is now run by the Kenny family and is the preferred bar of many GAA fans returning west after big games in Dublin. It is located in the centre of the village.

Local businesses and services in the village are varied with a Pizza Shop, Chinese Take Away, 2 Bookmakers (Bookies), 1 mechanics, 1 Service Station, Estate Agents and Chemists.

Residents of Rochfortbridge are in agreement that there are a lack of recreational facilities in the village and plans from the County Council Development plan (See County Council Link below) have identified some actions which is hoped to address these issues.

ee also

*List of towns in the Republic of Ireland

References

External links

* [http://www.westmeathcoco.ie Westmeath County Council] Westmeath County Council
* [http://www.rochfortbridge.com Rochfortbridge.com] A great site for pics and videos of Rochfortbridge. The Oldest and Best!
* [http://rochfortbridge.wetpaint.com Rochfortbridge Community Worldwide] Rochfortbridge Co. Westmeath, Ireland.
* [http://www.eirfinn.com/rochhome.html Irish Finnish Transnational Project] between Westmeath in Ireland and the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oulu_(province)Oulu] region in Finland
* [http://www.thebridgekids.org Rochfortbridge Youth Club]
* [http://stmarys.westmeath.gaa.ie St. Mary's Gaelic Football Club, Rochfortbridge]
* [http://rochfortbridgefc.wetpaint.com Rochfortbridge FC - Local Soccer Club]


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