Islandmagee
  • Irish: Oileán Mhic Aodha
Near Browns Bay, Islandmagee - geograph.org.uk - 172680.jpg

Cottages near Browns Bay, Islandmagee, in 2006
Islandmagee is located in Northern Ireland
Islandmagee
Islandmagee
Location within Northern Ireland
• Belfast18 mi (29 km)
District
County
CountryNorthern Ireland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLARNE
Postcode districtBT40
Dialling code028
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
UK
Northern Ireland
Antrim
Coordinates: 54°47′47″N 5°42′11″W / 54.79643°N 5.70304°W / 54.79643; -5.70304

Islandmagee (from Irish: Oileán Mhic Aodha, meaning 'Magee’s island/peninsula')[1] is a peninsula and civil parish on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, located between the towns of Larne and Whitehead. It is part of the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council area and is a sparsely populated rural community with a long history since the mesolithic period. In the early medieval period it was known as Semne, a petty-kingdom within Ulaid.

It is the site of Northern Ireland's main power station Ballylumford and the endpoint of the Scotland-Northern Ireland gas pipeline.

History

The name comes from Mac Aodha (Magee) a prominent Irish family in the area. An earlier Irish name was Rinn Seimhne (peninsula of (the district of) Seimhne) from an original tribal name.[1]

The Bissett family held the tenancy of the peninsula in Elizabeth I's reign (1558 - 1603), their rent being an annual offering of goshawks, birds which bred on the rugged white chalk cliffs nearby.

Islandmagee was the site of the massacre of more than 3,000 Irish Catholics at the outset of the Irish Rebellion of 1641, with one witness testifying, 'About the beginning of November, the English and Scots forces in [Carrickfergus] murdered in one night, all the inhabitants of the territory of Islandmagee to the number of above 3,000 men women and children, all innocent persons, in a time when none of the Catholics of that county were in arms or [in] rebellion. Note that this was the first massacre committed in Ireland of either side’.[2] This was probably the first massacre of the rebellion and the War of the Three Kingdoms.[3]

It was the site of a witch trial in 1710 where eight women were convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to a year's imprisonment.

In the 19th century, the first dinosaur fossil bones found on in Ireland were discovered near Islandmagee.[4]

The last witch trial in Ireland was the Islandmagee Witch Trials in 1711. Eight local women were tried. It is hoped to include these in a new historical tour.[5]

Archaeology

Gas storage project

The Gas storage project, owned by famous ship building firm Harland & Wolff, will consist of 7 caverns storing up to 500 million cubic meters of gas and is the only one in North West Europe to have 'Project of Common Interest' status from the European Union. Isandmagee Energy- About Us, Isandmagee Energy, 21 August 2021, retrieved 26 August 2021 The facility is expected to provide 25% of the UK's gas capacity when it is completed. Preston, Allan (13 August 2021). "Former naval chief joins board of Harland & Wolff owners". The Belfast Telegraph. London.

Sport

Civil parish of Island Magee

The peninsula is part of the parish of Island Magee. The boundaries of the parish and the peninsula match.

Controversy

The gasline project is the subject of objections, citing "concerns of harm to dolphins, porpoise and whales". This caused the Environment Agency to extend the response time for consultation.[10] [11] In January 2022, the group "No Gas Caverns Islandmagee" confirmed that they have mounted a legal challenge against the project.[12][13]

There has also been controversy over commemorating the Islandmagee Witch Trials. A local councillor said it would be a 'shrine to paganism'.[14] But others have said it should go ahead. One historian citing "It's a dark event in our history - but it happened. People are fascinated by what happened at the Islandmagee witch trials, and the council could get a lot more tourism value from their interest".[15]

Townlands

The civil parish contains the following townlands:[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Island Magee". Place Names NI. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  2. ^ John Gibney, ‘What about Islandmagee?’ Another version of the 1641 rebellion (History Ireland, 2013)
  3. ^ "Interpreting Islandmagee". History Ireland. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Dinosaur bones discovered in Ireland for the first time in history". The Irish Post. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Gobbins tour guides 'not ordered to avoid witch trials'". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Ballylumford Dolmen". Discover Northern Ireland. Retrieved 5 December 2007.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ O'Sullivan, Aidan; Breen, Colin (2007). Maritime Ireland. An Archaeology of Coastal Communities. Stroud: Tempus. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-7524-2509-2.
  8. ^ "Investigations at Ballyharry Farm, Ballyharry, County Antrim" (PDF). Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2009.
  9. ^ "Dinosaur bones discovered in Ireland for the first time in history". The Irish Post. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Extension for responses to consultation on Islandmagee Gas Storage Project". The Irish News. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Islandmagee gas cavern project raises fears over wildlife impact". Belfast Live. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  12. ^ MacDara, Conroy. "Campaigners to Mount Legal Challenge Over Approval for Islandmagee Gas Project". Afloat.ie. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  13. ^ Corr, Shauna. "No Gas Caverns Islandmagee intend legal action against Edwin Poots over Harland & Wolff gas project near Game of Thrones filming site". Belfast Live. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Gobbins tour guides 'not ordered to avoid witch trials'". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Gobbins tour guides 'not ordered to avoid witch trials'". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  16. ^ "Islandmagee". IreAtlas Townlands Database. Retrieved 4 May 2015.