Tall-masted Schooners

By the early eighteenth century Newry had become an important trading centre and tall-masted schooners from all parts of the world sailed up the tidal waterway as far as (the present-day) Quay Street area. 

The opening of the Newry Canal in the middle of that century added considerably to Newry’s appeal as an import/export centre. By 1777 Newry was officially recognised as the premier port in the North and the fourth of all Ireland.  

In its hey-day Newry had two distilleries and fours breweries and many flours mills and other centres of enterprise. Exports of cattle and farm produce – especially butter was huge. One of its biggest imports until recent years was coal, needed for the Gasworks (street lighting, for example, as well as domestic demand) and also timber. For ages Newry was the chief outlet of a wide hinterland including Louth and Monaghan but gradually Belfast with its deep-water channel took over.

Armagh named …

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