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County Armagh, County Down
Newry Town Hall Small.jpg
Newry Town Hall
Location: 54°10’34"N, 6°20’56"W
Population: 27,430
Post town: Newry
Postcode: BT34, BT35
Dialling code: 028
Local Government
Council: Newry and Mourne DC
Newry and Armagh

Newry is a town on the boundary of County Armagh and County Down, the River Clanrye, which runs through the city, forming the county boundary. Newry is 34 miles from Belfast. It stands at the extreme northernmost end of Carlingford Lough, allowing it to serve as a major port. The port facilities spread from the southern fridges of the town down the river.

Newry was founded in 1144 alongside a Cistercian monastery, making it one of Ulster's oldest towns. It received city status from Queen Elizabeth II in March 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

A view over Newry, from near the city centre

Newry lies in the most south-eastern part of Ulster, in a valley, nestled between the Mourne Mountains to the east, and the Ring of Gullion to the south-west, both of which are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Newry also lies in the shadow of the Cooley Mountains to the south east. The Clanrye River runs through the centre of town, parallel to the canal. The city also lies, where the canal enters the sea at Victoria Locks.

Retail commerce

Newry has a reputation as one of the best provincial shopping-towns in the Northern Ireland, with the Buttercrane Centre and The Quays attracting large numbers of shoppers from as far away as Cork.[1] The see-sawing of values between the pound and the Irish currency have affected commerce in Newry. Since the beginning of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, shoppers from the Republic of Ireland have increasingly been crossing the border to Newry where goods are cheaper goods when the euro has increased in value against sterling and the British rate of VAT has been less than that in the Republic of Ireland.

This increase in cross-border trade has become so widespread that it has lent its name to a general phenomenon known as the Newry effect. In December 2008, The New York Times described Newry as "the hottest shopping spot within the European Union’s open borders, a place where consumers armed with euros enjoy a currency discount averaging 30 percent or more".[2]

The result has been prosperity in Newry and traffic jams sometimes several miles long on approach roads from the south. Within Newry and the surrounding area, traffic and parking problems have become acute. Politicians in the Republic of Ireland claiming that such cross-border shopping is "unpatriotic".[3]

Notable buildings

Catholic Cathedral of SS.Patrick and Colman, Newry
Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland, Newry
  • Saint Patrick's church, built in 1578 on the instructions of Nicholas Bagenal, who was granted the monastery lands by Edward VI, and which is considered to be the first Protestant church in Ireland.
  • The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saints Patrick and Colman on Hill Street, built in 1829 at a cost of £8,000. It is built of local granite, was designed and built by Thomas Duff[4]
  • Newry Town Hall is notable for being built over the River Clanrye and thus on the very boundary between the two counties in which the town stands; Down and Armagh.
  • The Craigmore Viaduct lies just north of the city on the Belfast-Dublin mainline, designed by Sir John O’Neill. Construction began in 1849 and the viaduct was formally opened in 1852. It consists of eighteen arches the highest being 126 feet, it is around a quarter of a mile long and was constructed from local granite. The Enterprise Train link from Belfast to Dublin crosses the bridge.


  • Church of Ireland [1]
    • St Patrick’s
    • St. Mary's
  • Newry Cathedral - Roman Catholic cathedral and parish church
  • 1st Newry (Sandys Street) Presbyterian
  • Downshire Road Presbyterian
  • Non-Suscribing Presbyterian Church


  1. "David McKittrick: The great nappy rush (no, not rash)". The Independent (London). 1 January 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  2. Quinn, Eamon (18 December 2008). "A Northern Ireland Town Is a Shoppers' Paradise". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  3. Irish Times, 9 December 2008, op cit
  4. "Newry Cathedral". Newry and Mourne District Council. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 

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