Moira (from the Irish: Maigh Rath meaning "plain of ringforts") is a town in County Down, Northern Ireland, between Lisburn and Lurgan. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 3,682 people.
Moira has a town hall, built about 1800, a wide main street and 18th-century blackstone houses divided by carriage archways. It was largely built by Sir Arthur Rawdon, whose famous formal gardens have vanished; however, several street and estate names bear his surname. Some of the castle foundations can still be seen in the public park, formerly part of the grounds of Moira demesne, home of the earls of Moira. On the north side, a long grassy avenue terminates in St John's parish church, a building of 1725 where John Wesley preached in 1760 and where William Butler Yeats, grandfather to the poet WB Yeats, was curate in 1835. Berwick Hall is a thatched yeoman's house of 1700. The market house was built in 1810 and is supposed to have marked the completion of the village.
Nowadays Moira is a thriving small town with an ever-growing population. In the mid-nineties Moira won numerous awards for "Best Kept Small Town" and attracted people from miles around to see its flower displays in the Demesne and the Main Street. However, in recent years this has not been the case.
Moira has a close-knit community. The heart of the town revolves around the two bars, 'The Four Trees' and 'Pretty Mary's' (formerly 'Norman's'). Moira also has a strong sense of religion, mainly Protestant, with no fewer than 5 established churches being located in and around the town.
Did you know?
Moira was the scene of a victory in AD637 by the King of Tara over Comgall, King of Ulster.