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Killyleagh Harbour and St. John's Church
Killyleagh is located in County Down
Location within County Down
CountryNorthern Ireland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBT30
PoliceNorthern Ireland
FireNorthern Ireland
AmbulanceNorthern Ireland
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°24′N 5°39′W / 54.40°N 5.65°W / 54.40; -5.65
Killyleagh Castle

Killyleagh (/kɪliˈl/; from Irish Cill Ó Laoch, meaning 'church of the descendants of Laoch')[1][2] is a village and civil parish in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is on the A22 road between Belfast and Downpatrick, on the western side of Strangford Lough. It had a population of 2,787 people in the 2021 Census. It is best known for its twelfth century Killyleagh Castle. Killyleagh lies within the Newry, Mourne and Down district.


According to the 2021 Census there were 2,787 people living in Killyleagh. 51% were from a Protestant and 'other Christian religions' background, 37% were from a Catholic background and 12% were irreligious.[3]

Places of interest


  • It was the birthplace of Sir Hans Sloane, 1st Bt. He began collecting plants and birds' eggs on the shores of Strangford Lough and his accumulation grew into a priceless collection that formed the nucleus of the British Museum. He was also personal physician to King George II and a slave owner.
  • Reverend Edward Hincks, a renowned Assyriologist and Egyptologist, was appointed Church of Ireland rector of Killyleagh in 1825, an office he was to hold for the remaining forty-one years of his life.
  • Killyleagh's adjacent townland, Moymore, was the birthplace of William Carr, who emigrated to Pittsburgh USA, became an entrepreneur and left his fortune "to his Irish relatives."[4]
  • Henry Cooke was the minister of 1st Presbyterian Church, who went on to become Moderator of the General Assembly and a leading exponent of orthodox Presbyterianism in Belfast in the mid 19th century. His statue in Belfast, standing outside the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, is known as "The Black Man".
  • Killyleagh is the home town of David Healy, the retired Northern Ireland football player. Healy is Northern Ireland's record goalscorer by a considerable distance, with 36 goals. The second highest total is 20 goals. He also holds the record for most goals scored in a European Championship Qualifying Phase, with 13 goals during the country's failed bid to reach Euro 2008. Healy's former Bury teammate Trevor Carson is also from Killyleagh.

Twin town

Killyleagh is twinned with Cleveland, North Carolina, United States.

Civil parish of Killyleagh

The civil parish is mainly in the barony of Dufferin, with one townland in the barony of Castlereagh Upper. It also contains the village of Killyleagh.[6]


The civil parish contains the following townlands:[6]

  • Ardigoa
  • Ballyalgan
  • Ballygoskin
  • Ballymacarron
  • Ballymacromwell
  • Ballytrim
  • Ballywillin
  • Clay
  • Cluntagh
  • Commons
  • Corbally
  • Corporation
  • Derryboy
  • Dodd's Island
  • Dunnyneill Islands
  • Gibb's Island
  • Island Taggart
  • Killinchy in the Woods
  • Kirkland and Toy
  • Lisinaw
  • Moymore
  • Mullagh
  • Pawle Island
  • Rathcunningham
  • Ringdufferin
  • Simmy Island
  • Toy and Kirkland
  • Tullykin
  • Tullymacnous
  • Tullyveery


See also


  1. ^ "Place Names NI - Home".
  2. ^ "Cill Ó Laoch/Killyleagh".
  3. ^ [bare URL]
  4. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search".
  5. ^ "Admiral Blackwood". Lecale Review. 3. 2005.
  6. ^ a b "Killyleagh". IreAtlas Townlands Database. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
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