Posted by: nancycurteman | May 23, 2018

The Tale of Cushendun’s Famous Goat

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The lovely little village of Cushendun, situated on the river Dun in the heart of the Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland, does indeed have a famous goat. In fact, in 2002 Cushendun, a village renowned for its distinctive architecture and unspoiled charm, even erected a statue to celebrate their goat. One wonders how a goat managed to find a place in the hearts of the people of this village, so rich in tradition.

Cushendun village was designed for Ronald McNeill, Baron Cushendun, the Conservative MP and author. It was designed in the style of a Cornish village to please his Cornish wife, Maud. There is even a row of quaint whitewashed cottages called Maud’s Cottages. Nothing to do with goats.

Mary McBrides Pub, one of the smallest in Ireland, entertains tourists with music during the summer months. The Corner House Tea Room boasts good homemade Irish food. Goats are not permitted.

The nearby caves of Cushendun have been used as the backdrop in the series Game of Thrones, a popular television series. Are there goats in the series?

Hurling, an Irish stick-and-ball team sport, played by men was so popular in Cushendun that they even had a junior hurling club.  Not to be outdone, women played camogie, a team sport identical to hurling. No goats involved in the game.

Cushendun, with its sheltered harbor at the mouth of the River Dun and its proximity to The Mull of Kintyre in Scotland only 15 miles away across the North Channel, has been protected by the National Trust since 1954 and was designated a Conservation area in 1980.

But what of the goat? Well, Johann, the goat, was a feature of the Cushendun harbor area for many years, grazing the riverbank and extending friendly greetings to visitors. Sadly, Johann had to be culled after the 2001 Hoof and Mouth disease disaster that struck Northern Ireland. As a tribute to the cherished goat, artist Deborah Brown created a sculpture in his likeness. I’m told that a goat named Miriam carried on Johann’s legacy in the shadow of his sculpture.

Of course we wish Goat Miriam a long life but I’m sure the tale of Cushendun’s famous goat will not end with her.



More about the Irish

Taste a Bit of Ireland in San Francisco

Johnny Foley’s Irish House

Waterford, Ireland’s Oldest City


  1. Having visited family there three times since 1967, I can’t wait to read your next mystery set in Ireland. Is there a publication date set?


    • Hi Maureen, Always so nice to hear from you. There is no publication date as yet. However, there is a target goal of November, 2018. We’ll see how it goes.


  2. […] as mayor. The village of Cushendun in Northern Ireland had a similar beloved town goat; however, Johann, to my knowledge, never held elected office. He served the village of Cushendun as a volunteer […]


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