Bun Clóidí

Market Square, Bunclody

Location in Ireland

Coordinates: 52°39′18″N 6°39′04″W / 52.655°N 6.651°W / 52.655; -6.651Coordinates: 52°39′18″N 6°39′04″W / 52.655°N 6.651°W / 52.655; -6.651
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Wexford
Elevation 52 m (171 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
  Total 2,012
Irish Grid Reference S909569
Bunclody town centre

Bunclody (Irish: Bun Clóidí, meaning "bottom of the (river) Clody"), formerly Newtownbarry (until 1950), is a small town on the River Slaney in Wexford, Ireland. It is a picturesque town near the foot of Mount Leinster. Most of the town is in County Wexford; a small area at the north end of town is in County Carlow. Bunclody has continually received high scores in the Tidy Towns competition. The R746 regional road intersects the N80 in the middle of the Bunclody.

The town is well known for the 'Eileen Aroon Festival' held during the months of July and August.[3] It is also well known as the most economically repressed and poorest town in Ireland.[4] Although this study was based on a limited number of variables which doesn't reflect the well maintained old market town or its thriving tourism offerings, including: Bunclody Golf Club, voted by the Golfer's Guide to Ireland as the 'Best Hidden Gem in Ireland',[5] the Millrace Hotel, [6] Clody Lodge,[7]a unique hotel style accommodation, or the award winning 'Sugar and Spice Deli and Bakery', an oasis for the cyclists and walkers who frequent this part of County Wexford.


During the 17th century, the name of the town was changed from Bunclody to Newtownbarry, but was reverted to its original name in the 20th century, following Irish independence. The change was made official by a local government order in 1950.[8]


Although a hamlet already existed here, Bunclody was raised to the status of a post town in 1577 by alderman James Barry, sheriff of Dublin.[9][10]

The town was the scene of the Battle of Bunclody, a bloody repulse of Wexford rebels during the 1798 rebellion.

In the 19th century, a small canal was made, drawing water from the Clody river, to provide drinking water for the townsfolk.[11] The canal still flows along the middle of the town's main street. During the Tithe War, 1830–1836, 'Newtownbarry' was the scene of a clash between locals and the officials of the Crown. Locals had become enraged the seizure of property by the police and army to pay for the Protestant Episcopal polity. According to James Connolly, "twelve peasants were shot and twenty fatally wounded".

In 1884 a metal bridge was built across the River Slaney just upstream from today's bridgeday. It was built of iron from New Ross, and assembled in the bridge meadow beside where the bridge stood. This bridge was washed down in 1965 when a flood swept through the river. The remains of the bridge were visible from the bank of the river for many years, until it was removed in 2007, during the building of a golf course beside the river. Redmonds bar on the main street is the main public house in the town and it is the local pub and turf accountants in the town of Bunclody.

Among the amenities of the town there are number of GAA and soccer pitches, an outdoor swimming pool (open 2½ months of the year), a hotel, and primary and post-primary schools.


Bunclody is among the country's most ethnically-mixed towns, with 10% of its population being Polish,[12] and 11% Irish Traveller.[13]

Bunclody-Carrickduff is a census town split between County Carlow and County Wexford. It comprises the town of Bunclody and the adjoining village of Carrigduff, and had a population of 1,863 at the 2006 census.[14]


The town has two primary schools: Bunclody National School and Carrigduff National School. There are two secondary schools. The FCJ Secondary School, and Bunclody Vocational College. The FCJ was founded by a French order of nuns in 1861. The school was a boarding school for girls throughout the 20th century. In the 1980s, the school accepted male and female day-pupils. The old boarding school was demolished in 2002. Frances Threadgold is the current principal, and also the first lay principal in the school. Brendan Daly is the current vice principal. The school boasts several football, hurling and basketball teams, which compete at a national level.



The town is approximately 25 minutes drive to the M9 motorway.


Bunclody is served by Bus Éireann route 132 with 2 departures daily (one on Sat) to Dublin via Tullow and Tallaght. The first service to Dublin departs at 06.00 making a commute to the capital possible. Further services are available by taking Wexford Local Link buses to either Tullow or Enniscorthy. Ring a Link buses also serve Bunclody linking it to Carlow.[15] The bus stop is located at the Market Square. On Thursdays Bunclody is served by Bus Éireann's cross-country service from Rosslare Europort to Dublin via Carnew.

Until April 2015 the town was served by Bus Éireann Expressway route 5.[16]


Like many small rural towns Bunclody was never served by rail. The nearest station is Enniscorthy railway station approximately 23 kilometres distant.

In the early years of the railways there were plans for two railway lines to serve Bunclody: from Carlow to Bunclody and onwards to Enniscorthy as well as a Carlow-Tullow-Bunclody line.[17] However neither of the proposals advanced beyond the planning stage.

Golf course

Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club was officially opened in early 2009. The course is on the Carlow side of the town, with its entrance situated on the county border. The 18 hole course is set on 300 acres (1.2 km2) beside the river Slaney, and is home to Ireland's first on-course elevator, which links the 17th green to the 18th tee.

The great spotted woodpecker, Ireland's newest breeding bird, has recently been seen here.


The Irish artist of Italian extraction, Niccolo d'Ardia Caracciolo (1941–1989), is buried in Bunclody. The geneticist Cian Murphy, specialising in complex disease, grew up in Bunclody.


  1. "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2011-06-20. Listed as Bunclody-Carrickduff
  2. www.cso.ie/census and www.histpop.org. Figures post 1951 are for Bunclody-Carrigduff, a conurbation that straddles the Wexford-Carlow borders. For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census returns see JJ Lee “On the accuracy of the pre-famine Irish censuses” in Irish Population, Economy and Society edited by JM Goldstrom and LA Clarkson (1981) p54, and also “New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850” by Joel Mokyr and Cormac Ó Gráda in The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (November 1984), pp. 473–488.
  3. A History of Bunclody, Wexford, Ireland
  4. "Is this still the most economically depressed town in Ireland?". TheJournal.ie. 25 February 2016.
  5. http://www.theirishgolfblog.com/2013/06/inside-ropes-bunclody-golf-club.html
  6. http://www.millracehotel.com/
  7. http://www.clodylodge.ie/
  8. S.I. No. 281/1950 — Local Government (Change of Name of Non-Municipal Town) Order, 1950.
  9. Hayward, Richard. Leinster and the City of Dublin, Barker, 1949, p.108
  10. Brewer, J. N., The Beauties of Ireland: Being Original Delineations, Topographical, Historical, and Biographical, of Each County, Sherwood, Jones, & Co., 1825, p.378
  11. Bassett, George Henry, Wexford County Guide and Directory, Hibernian Imprints, 1991, ISBN 1-874238-00-6, p. 343-347 (original publication 1885)
  12. Theme 2 - 2 : Usually resident population by nationality, 2006 Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. by Central Statistics Office, Dublin
  13. Theme 2 - 3 : Usually resident population by ethnic or cultural background, 2006 Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. by Central Statistics Office, Dublin
  14. CSO Census 2006: Table 5, Population of Towns ordered by County and size, 2002 and 2006
  15. http://www.ringalink.ie/index.html
  16. http://www.wexfordpeople.ie/news/bus-route-cuts-reversed-31085684.html
  17. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlcar2/Railways_Carlow.htm
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