August 12, 2006
On St Patrick’s Day, 2006, a new hotel opened in one of the unlikeliest tourist destinations in Ireland – Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. It is called the Cross Square Hotel.
According to The Irish Times, It cost over $2.8 million (â‚¬2.2 million or Â£1.5 million). Its owner is Gene Carragher. The hotel is in the main square of Crossmaglen, named in honour of the late Cardinal Ã“ Fiaich, who was born in nearby Cullyhanna.
For the past three decades, south Armagh and Crossmaglen have had a lot of adverse publicity. The “notoriety factor” of the town may well be a draw for overseas tourists, as has happened in Belfast and Derry. Crossmaglen has been described by Belfast journalist Malachi O’Doherty as “a southern town that had the border laid down on the wrong side of it.”
The hotel is the first for a long, long time in Crossmaglen, for something like 100 years, in fact, as Anthony Lennon says: “The previous hotel in the town, the Commercial Hotel, was on the opposite side of the square and it was an old aunt of my grandmother, Bridie Carragher, who owned it.”
With several Gregory and Harvey families residing in the Crossmaglen/Newry area, the new hotel will be the ideal rest area for visiting American cousins.
UPDATE: On the weekend of September 02, 2006, the Cross Square Hotel was delighted to have their first wedding in attendance. Karen Rogers and Eoin McCambridge were the happy couple who had a wonderful day and night in the newest Crossmaglen hotspot.