Irish Translation – “An Machaire” – “The Plain or the place of level ground”
Council Area – Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council
Maghery is a small village and townland in County Armagh. It lies on the southwest shore of Lough Neagh near Derrywarragh Island. It sits between the estuaries of the rivers Blackwater and Bann.
The area was of strategic significance in the past being a link in the main conveyancing route for coal coming by canal from the Coalisland Coal Works as well as agricultural produce, linen, wool etc coming from Moy, Caledon and County. Monaghan as transported on the Ulster Canal navigation system. From earliest days the mouth of the River Blackwater was always prone to silting up and the Maghery cut canal section was excavated in 1803. This greatly aided the transport of goods from the Ulster Canal into Lough Neagh and thence via the Lagan Canal to Belfast via the Newry navigation system and onto Dublin.
The wetlands around Maghery and South Lough Neagh are an important wildlife habitat for birds and fauna and it is a designated RAMSAR site. Moses Teggart, famously known as the bog-lands poet was born close by in the townland of Ballinary Birches in 1853. In his poetry he has not only left us time honoured capsules of an age gone by but has given us wonderful pen portraits of rural life along the loughshore.
Group contact South Lough Neagh Historical Society:- Mary McAlinden, Tommy Glenny, Robert Greenaway
Lough Neagh Historical Society is an active group with over 30 members. The society arranges monthly talks for members in Maghery Community Hall and runs annual fact finding field trips.
Address: Maghery Country Park, Derrylee Road, Dungannon, BT71 6NS
Photos: Below (Left) “The Cut” section where the Ulster Canal enters Lough Neagh at Maghery
Below (Right) Traditional stone pillar, used as a navigational point for boats on the lough and for tying up slip-ropes
Below (Middle) View of Coney Island from Maghery
Bottom (Right) View of Our Lady Queen of Peace (Old Catholic Church), from the slipway at Maghery