History & Heritage

Truwood was established in 1981 by the McKenna family – which to any of you familiar with our location will know that surname doesn’t exactly narrow us down! That’s because Emyvale, Truagh, Donagh and surrounding areas here in County Monaghan - where we are based - are well known as being 'McKenna Country'.

Dating back to the 8th century when Hugh McKenna settled in the area, the “McKenna Clann” remain at large in the locality! This is despite becoming embroiled in both the Gaelic tribal wars which prevailed in Ulster until the beginning of the 17th century as well as the nine years war 1593 - 1603**.

The name Truwood has its origins in this history also, coming from two well-known Irish poems: “The Stately Woods of Truagh” & “The Green Woods of Truagh”

Truagh + Wood = Truwood

The Stately Woods of Truagh

From out the stately woods of Truagh, MacKenna rides at noon
The sun shines brightly, not a cloud darkens the skies of June
No eye has he for nature’s charms, they don’t distract his brain
As through the flowery vales he takes his way and never draws the reins

Until before him loom the towers of Glaslough Castle’s Hold
Which holds a treasure in its walls more dear to him than gold
For in it dwells his own true love, the dark eyed young Maureen
Whom he hopes that God will bless his home in the woods of Truagh so green

I have come to look upon you love for its soon that I must go
With my brave Truagh Men to Benburb there to defend Owen Roe
I have come to look upon you Love, and hear your answer sweet
For I might in the battle fall and we might never meet

Go forth my love, my blessings go and smite the saxon horde
And when you return I’ll be your bride without another word
With in fond embrace, they bid adieu as the evening sun went down
Behind yon western wooded hill that overlooks Glaslough Town

MacKenna lightly mounts his steed at the twighlight of the eve
And he heads her over Dasa Hill and Truagh’s green shady Lee
That night he leads his gallant men o’er the dark hills of Tyrone
To meet the army of the North at Benburb on their own

Right well O’Neill was glad to see those gallant mountaineers
Who kept the Saxon wolves at bay round ancient Truagh for years
Full well they fought on Benburb’s Plains as Englands flag went down
And few that night escaped them toward Carrickfergus Town

The Autumn’s winds being in the air and berries ripe and red
MacKenna and his lovely bride in Glaslough Church were wed
And never in her father’s thoughts a fairer bride was seen
Than McMahon’s only daughter, the dark eyed young Maureen

The Green Woods Of Truagh -
Poem by Anna Johnston MacManus

In the green woods of Truagh we met without fear,
Your kiss on my lips, and your voice in my ear,
Your tender arms about me, and your eyes glad and clear – Ochón, the Green Woods of Truagh!

In the green woods of Truagh the days go on wings,
On every brown branch a gladsome bird sings
And the fragrant amber blossom of the honey-suckle swings Ochón, the Green Woods of Truagh!

In the green woods of Truagh the bracken stands high,
And wells of spring-water in deep hollows lie,
And the red deer is browsing in the cool shadows nigh –
Ochón, the Green Woods of Truagh!

In the green woods of Truagh no sorrow dared stay,
The lark called me early at dawn o' the day,
And o'er my sleep at night pleasant dreams used to play –
Ochón, the Green Woods of Truagh!

In the green woods of Truagh you wait till I come –
I left home and you for the stranger's far home,
To bring a hoard of yellow gold across the grey foam –
Ochón, the Green Woods of Truagh!

In the green woods of Truagh – if God hears my prayer –
I shall reach you, O true love, my empty hands there,
For little of the yellow gold has fallen to my share –
Ochón, the Green Woods of Truagh!

In the green woods of Truagh – your heart on my own,
And your bright hair in ringlets across my cheek blown
Now where in all the wide, wide world, could greater bliss be known?
Ochón, the Green Woods of Truagh!