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Bellaghy

Bellaghy is a village in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It lies north west of Lough Neagh and about 5 miles north east of Magherafelt. In the middle of the village lies the junction of three main roads leading to Magherafelt, Portglenone and Toome. It had a population of 1,063 people in the 2001 Census. It is situated within Mid-Ulster District.It is known as the birthplace and childhood home of poet Seamus Heaney (1939-2013), who won the Nobel Prize for Literature. In October 2016 a new arts center, dedicated to him and known as the Seamus Heaney HomePlace, opened here. The $5.2 million building was constructed on the site of a former headquarters of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.HistoryThere had long been Gaelic settlements in this area. Archaeological evidence has been found in the village of a Gaelic ringfort.In the early 17th century, Bellaghy became one of many towns planned, built and settled under the authority of the Vintners Company of London, as part of the English Plantation of Ulster. In 1622, according to a manuscript of a Captain Thomas Ash, Bellaghy consisted of a church, a castle, a Corn Mill and twelve houses.
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