History of Hacketstown

Check out some of the archives of Hacketstown in the past.
Hacketstown (Irish: Baile Haicéid), historically known as Ballydrohid (Irish: Baile an Droichead), is a small town on the border between County Carlow and County Wicklow, Ireland.

It is located on the R747 regional road at its junction with the R727. The River Derreen flows westwards just north of the town and the River Derry rises just south of the town. Hacketstown was the scene of a battle during the 1798 rebellion.

William Presley, an ancestor of Elvis Presley, was a resident of the town before emigrating to America over 200 years ago.

The village of Hacketstown dates from the early thirteenth century when an Anglo-Norman castle stood on what is now the site of the parish church, St. Brigid’s. No trace now remains of that castle, or of the military barracks that occupied the site in the eighteenth century.

The layout of the village dates from the early 17th century when a Lancashire man named Watson took a fifty-year lease from the Earl of Ormonde and set about establishing a plantation of farmers and merchants of the Established Church.

The planters came under attack by the O’Byrnes during the 1641 Rebellion, and suffered a great deal through loss of property and even, in some cases, of life.

In 1798 Hacketstown was the scene of two battles. The first, on May 25th, was little more than a skirmish when the poorly armed United Irishmen attempting to take the village were easily driven off by the troops garrisoning the town.

The second battle, on June 25th, was a far more serious affair. Several thousand rebels, led by Garrett Byrne of Ballymanus, and including Michael Dwyer and his followers, tried to capture the military barracks in order to get the stores of firearms and ammunition that were kept there. The fighting lasted for nine hours and most of the houses in the village were destroyed when thatched roofs were set on fire to provide a smokescreen as the rebels attempted to capture the stone-built barracks. Several hundred rebels were killed and they failed to take the barracks although the military evacuated it and retreated to the safety of Tullow after the rebel forces had drawn off.

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Latest Articles

History of Hacketstown Book Published

History of Hacketstown Book Published

A CONCISE but comprehensive book about the history of Hacketstown was launched recently to much acclaim and excitement. Retired teacher and Hacketstown native Jim Shannon spent 15 years researching and writing the book, which covers his home town from the Neolithic...



A FASCINATING new book about the history of Hacketstown will be launched tomorrow, Thursday 20 October, in Carlow Library. Written by historian and retired teacher Jim Shannon, Hacketstown: a history covers life in the Co Carlow town throughout the ages, from the...

Eagle Views 1989

Eagle Views 1989

A real classic here. The 1989 Eagle Views. Dannie Tallon played a blinder for Clonmore against Fenagh in the semi-final of the B Championships in Tullow. Final score – read on to find out…

Mary O’Toole

Mary O’Toole

Mary O' Toole passed away in 1957. Born in Hacketstown Carlow, Mary went on to become a Judge and Women's Rights Activist after emigrating to America at 16 years of age. While working as a court stenographer she developed an interest in law - she was encouraged to...

Old Carlow Photos

Images below are from “Old Carlow Photos Book III” by Dermot O’Brien. Copies of the book can be ordered online at www.oldcarlowphotos.com

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