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Gortnagoyne  is one of the largest of the townlands in the Garrafrauns area with an area of 690 acres. In 1855, 270 acres were designated as bog and 10 acres are rough pasture.

 Gortnagoyne comes from the Gaelic words, Gort na gCadhan  or  Gort na Géadhán  (The tilled field of the Barnacle Geese). Local lore tells us that a lake now drained existed in the village and the barnacle geese migrated to this area in winter.

 The Sinking River a spawning ground for salmon flows through the village and forms the boundary between Gortnagoyne and Ballymoney.  Ath Fad bridge forms the boundary at Darrary.  Close to the bridge is situated Tobair na Caille or the Hags Well. It is reputed that an old lady once drowned there. Large hills of sand and gravel originating from the Ice Age era dominate the centre of the village. These have been extensively quarried in recent times and have left an ugly scar on the landscape.

Gortnagoye was once part of the Shee estate.  George Shee senior purchased the Dunmore estate from Ralf Gore in 1791.  By the mid-19th century Sir George Shee owned a large estate centred on the parish of Dunmore in the barony of Dunmore but also including much of the parishes of Clonbern and Boyounagh in the barony of Ballymoe and some of the parish of Kilkerrin, barony of Tiaquin. He was succeeded by his eldest son also George in 1825. On his death the Dunmore estate passed to his nephew George Edward Deering of Hertfordshire who in the 1870’s owned 11,000 acres in Co.Galway.

 He was an absentee landlord who also held lands in Castlefarm, Gortnalea, Knockatee, Adrigoole Beg and Castlefarm. His estate was run by his agent Captain Martin who resided in the Dunmore Demense. Similar to many other agents of the time Martin was very unpopular as he  often raised the rents for his own selfish gain.  Other agents working in the area were Legge  who debunked with the rent. Tradition tells us that Deering visited his estate  twice anonymously  once dressed as a priest and another as a travelling beggar.

            Gortnagoyne has large deposits of boulder clay deposited by the Ice Age glaciers and was originally one large farm. During the 1800’s it was settled by people who reside don Bothar Buí. This road at one stage boasted a “clochán” of 40 houses. Most families paid for their rent by harvesting turf in the nearby bog south of the village and selling it in Dunmore town.

 Baile Nua or New town is situated in the centre of the village.  Records suggest that a parcel of land in this area known as “Roger Clouds Farm” was settled in 1791 by families who moved from nearby Cappagh and Cloonkeen.  Decendants of these families still reside in this area. People from the upper part of Gortnagoyne used a short cut through this village when attending Mass or school.

Mick Eamonn’s Hill is a landmark in the Village. Here the ghost of Clocheen is supposed to have resided. In the southern part of the village a ringfort  is situated, a site used as a children’s burial ground up  the 1940’s.  Card playing was a very popular pastime in Gortnagoyne and Boyle’s, Patten’s, Donelon’s and Greene’s hosted games in their homes up to the 1980’s.

As was the case of most other villages in the area Gortnagoyne suffered greatly in Famine times. In 1841, 316 persons resided in 63 houses. Sadly 10 years later the population had declined to 227 persons living in 43 houses.