William Carleton (1794 - 1869), the Irish novelist, spent some time in the North
Monaghan area and received his classical education in a house, which was situated
beside St. Mary’s Church, Glennan. In his writings he refers to the beauty around
the Blue Bridge and wrote about ‘The Fair of Emyvale’. When the committee began to
gather money for a Leisure Centre in Emyvale they organised a festival to raise public
awareness. They called the festival - ‘The Fair of Emyvale’. Included in this was
a competition for ‘Fairest Maiden’ and the first ever Fairest Maiden was Ursula McQuaid,
now Slowey. In 1997, Monaghan County Council, at the request of Emyvale Development
Association, erected plaques at the two sites to mark Carleton’s association with
the area. Members of the Carleton Summer School hold tours to the area each year.
This is Ms. Melissa Carleton, Victoria, Australia. She is the great-great-great granddaughter
of the novelist and she is pictured here beside the Plaque at the Blue Bridge during
a visit in September 1999.