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Maghera ( ) is a town in County Londonderry, Northern Irelandmarker. Its population was 2,876 in 1991 and had risen to 3,711 people in the 2001 Census. It lies within the Magherafelt District Council area. It provides the local commercial centre for the surrounding viillages of Swatraghmarker, Tobermoremarker, Upperlandsmarker, Gulladuffmarker and Knockcloghrimmarker. The town is also the educational centre for the surrounding area and St. Patrick’s is one of the largest schools in Mid-Ulster. The Slaughtneil / Carntogher area around the town is unique for being the only rural community in Irelandmarker outside of the Gaeltacht where the majority of primary school children are educated through the Irish language. Maghera also has parishes of Fallalea, Ranaghan and Glen. In the Roman Catholic parish church of St Patrick's there is a headstone remembering the large number of people who died during the Famine.


Maghera suffered significant violence during the Northern Irish Troubles. In total, 14 people were killed, half of them members of the security forces and a further two as a result of family membership of the Ulster Defence Regiment. The Provisional Irish Republican Army were responsible for ten of the 14 deaths.Maghera used to be a locked town, with gates closing off the town center.The stone outside Walshe's hotel was used for people getting on and off their horses.In the slaughnail area are there is the sweat house's which were use in ancient times to treat ailments.The Emperor Napolean I st Dr was also from Maghera.


Maghera is classified as an intermediate settlement by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 2,250 and 4,500 people).On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 3,711 people living in Maghera. Of these:
  • 28.6% were aged under 16 years and 13.3% were aged 60 and over
  • 49.3% of the population were male and 50.7% were female
  • 72.4% were from a Catholic background and 27.1% were from a Protestant background
  • 3.9% of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

Places of interest

Notable buildings in Maghera include St. Lurach's Church, which was founded in the year 500AD, originally as a monastery. The town of Maghera grew up around this church. The importance of the monastery was such that Maghera was a Bishop’s seat in the 12th century and 13th century. However, the Church was allowed to fall into disrepair and is now a roofless ruin, and is part of the national trust. Within the ruins, as an insert to the west wall is a sculpture of the crucifixion, which is thought to date from the 10th century - making it one of earlist representations of a cross in Ireland.St Lurach is also the saint of the town. St Patrick's College Maghera is set on the Coleraine Rd and, it is the largest school in the NEELB and one of the largest in Ulster.


  • Maghera railway station opened on 18 December 1880, closed for passenger traffic on 28 August 1950 and finally closed altogether on 1 October 1959.



There are 3 primary and 2 secondary schools located in Maghera.

  • St.Marys Primary School, Glenview
  • Maghera Controlled Primary School
  • St. Patricks Primary School, Glen




See also

External links

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