It was at Roughfort that Henry Joy McCracken mustered the Irish Republican Army to march on the British garrison town of Antrim to establish the Irish Republic as proclaimed on McAirt's Fort by Him, Wolfe Tone and the Simm's brothers.

Bold Henry Joy McCracken

A History of Roughfort

Roughfort was the site of an Irish Catholic community, complete with church and ancient burial ground and like many many other communities was scattered to the wind by an invading foreign robber army in the early 1600’s . The church and graveyard desecrated and any signs obliterated, Planters families were placed upon the land. The scattered stones of the church gave rise in later years to a rumour that a castle existed there, no doubt the maurauders would better appreciate having later generations believe that it was a castle they attacked and not a church. Even in the 1830's it was assuredly published that no land was in Catholic hands.


Gone now is the old familiar Public House at the crossroads at Roughfort, the last of three public houses that once stood in the village, a place in former years which was known widely for its bi-annual live stock fairs and markets, meanwhile local houses were described as disgusting and dirty. At one point Jimmy Hope, the Irish Republican Socialist,  wrote that there were but two Catholics in the whole of the Templepatrick area and these were servants at Upton Castle who had formerly been soldiers in the British militia, also in his writng he tore stripes of his own Presbyterian minister at Lyle Hill Meeting House over the issue of his sectarianism.