Stirabout Roads

“When entering the townland of Cullentragh, there is a crossroads that overlaps with a section of the old Tochar Padraig.” “During the Famine, when local men and women would work for anything to provide for themselves and their families, the men who built this road were paid in oatmeal as a substitute for money. Because of this, the roads that they worked on became known as Stirabout Roads” (Michigan State University, 2009).

“St. Patrick was supposed to have travelled to Ballyheane and back near this old track as this section runs through a portion of the Tochar Padraig” (Michigan State University, 2009).

Other ‘Stirabout Roads’ can be found throughout the country of Ireland. For example, there is one in Cork—going from Cashel to Banagher National School (, 2024, Stirabout Roads). And there is another in Sligo (, 2024, Principal Roads in this District), among others. However, the common theme in these Stirabout Roads seems to be where the workers were paid in oatmeal or in Indian meal rather than with money.


  1. (2024) Principal Roads in this District. Available at: Accessed 22nd of May, 2024.

  2. (2024). Stirabout Roads. Available at: Accessed 22nd of May, 2024.

  3. Michigan State University, Study Abroad Programme. (2009). Stirabout Road. Internal Report: Folder 2, Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail—Clogher Environmental Group Ltd. Unpublished.