Cavan: Wikis


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An Cabhán
Motto: Motto: Fortitudine et Prudentia
"courage and chastity"
Location of Cavan
centerMap highlighting Cavan
Irish grid reference
Province: Ulster
County: County Cavan
Elevation: 113 m (371 ft)
Population (2006)
 - Town:
 - Environs:


Cavan (pronounced /ˈkævən/; Irish: An Cabhán, meaning "The Hollow") has no coastline. It is the county seat of County Cavan in Ireland. The town lies in the northeast of the island, along the border with Northern Ireland. The town is located on the main road - the N3 road - linking Dublin (to the south) with Enniskillen, Ballyshannon and Donegal Town (to the north).



Cathedral of Saints Patrick and Felim.
Cavan courthouse.

The O'Reilly family (still a very common surname in the area) established a castle in the town in the late 13th century. A Franciscan monastery was also established at around the same time. In the 15th century the local ruler, Bearded Owen O'Reilly set up a market which attracted merchants from Dublin and Drogheda. King James I of England granted the town a charter in 1610. In the early 19th century, the Maxwells, Lords Farnham of Cromwellian origin, built a new wide street that still bears the name Farnham Street. This was lined with comfortable town houses, public buildings (such as the courthouse which dates from 1825, and churches. The term life of Reilly was credited to the O'Reilly clans due to their great wealth and power, having issued their own currency during the 1600s.

In the late 19th century, Cavan became an important rail junction between the midland and western lines and those of the Northern Railways. The Town Hall was built in 1909. In 1938, work began on the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saints Patrick and Felim. Three miles west of Cavan Town is the Church of Ireland Kilmore Cathedral, which contains a Romanesque doorway dating from the 12th century. Farnham House, to the northwest of Cavan, is one of the largest houses in the county. It is believed to have been built for the Maxwell family - who hold the title of Baron Farnham - in 1810, and designed by Francis Johnston, a County Armagh-born, but Dublin-based, architect. It was recently sold by the widowed Lady Mairead Smith to a local entrepreneur, and the house and estate has now been converted to a luxury hotel and leisure complex under the Radisson SAS international hotel group. Cavan has been twinned with Jaunay Clan, in the Vienne département of France.

On February 23, 1943, a fire at St Joseph's Orphanage in the town claimed the lives of 35 children and an elderly woman. A Public Enquiry found no culpability on the part of the nuns who ran the orphanage, but the circumstances surrounding the high death toll in the fire remain controversial to this day.




There are about 30,000 people living within a 16 km radius of the town, so infrastructure is very important. The town is located on the junction of two national routes, the N3 to Dublin and N55 to Athlone. The National Development Plan, 2000–2006, provides for a major upgrading of the N3 route with a motorway from Kells to Dublin (under construction) and type 2 dual carriageway from Kells to Cavan, which will also eventually bypass Virginia. The N3 and N55 eastern bypass around Cavan town was fully completed in March 2006, eliminating the need for heavy traffic to enter the congested town.

The Dublin Road.
Town centre.


Cavan used to have two railway stations (GNR and CIÉ) on the end-on junction of the Belfast-Cavan and the Cavan-Dublin, via the Inny Junction and Mullingar lines. A branch of the Cavan-Leitrim Railway was also indirectly linked to Cavan town via Belturbet (the C&L terminus) and Ballyhaise on the GNR line. When the Stormont Government closed the section of the Belfast line from Portadown to Glaslough in 1957, it was found to be uneconomical to keep running the rump section from Monaghan to Cavan. All these lines (including the Cavan-Leitrim Railway) were closed by 1960. The Virginia Road Station also once serviced the route between Kells and Oldcastle. Cooperation between the Cavan and Westmeath county council's are striving to integrate this into the national and regional development plan. Cavan railway station opened on 8 July 1856, closed for passenger services on 14 October 1957, and finally closed altogether on 1 January 1960.[6]

A view of both the Catholic and Church of Ireland churches.

Future infrastructure

In accordance with the National Development Plan, development in County Cavan is on course to meet a programme deadline of 2020 for embracing road and telecommunication infrastructures. These will permit a better integration with the neighbouring Dublin and Midlands Gateways, also, the Monaghan, Sligo, and Ulster hubs, and thus allowing the promotion of business and tourism within the region.

Cavan County Heritage Plan 2006-2011

The guiding principal as stated by Cavan County Council: "The unique and diverse heritage of County Cavan is conserved, sustained and, above all, cherished and celebrated by the people of the County". The example of Cavan's uniqueness can be best defined by its location in the heart of Irelands lakeland's, a region so diverse that its potential has yet to be determined in a viable Biodiversity Action Plan. The Wildlife and Wetlands environment of County Cavan's loughs is nationally and internationally recognised and offers substantial and unique opportunities for Sustainable tourism development. Lough Oughter and Killykeen located just a few miles from Cavan town already has the core infrastructure for further durable and sustainable tourism development.

Cavan Infrastructure Hub and Gateway access.


Vocational Education in County Cavan is coordinated by the Cavan Vocational Educational Committee,[7] while voluntary secondary schools are coordinated by the Department of Education and Science. The town has four second level schools: Saint Patrick's College,[8] Loreto College,[9] Breifne College, and the Royal School.[10] The town is served by a third level college, Cavan Institute (formerly Cavan College of Further Studies), which has been located in Cavan since 1985 and is the largest provider of FETAC courses in the northeast region.

See also


  1. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". in Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A.. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  5. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November), "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850", The Economic History Review Volume 37 (Issue 4): 473–488, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x, 
  6. ^ "Cavan station". Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  7. ^ Cavan Vocational Educational Committee
  8. ^ Saint Patrick's College
  9. ^ Loreto College
  10. ^ The Royal School

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CAVAN, a market-town and the county town of Co. Cavan, Ireland, near the centre of the county, in the west parliamentary division, 852 m. N.W. of Dublin by the Midland Great Western railway, and the terminus of a branch of the Great Northern railway from Clones. Pop. of urban district (1901), 2822. It is on one of the tributary streams of the Annalee river, in a broad valley surrounded on every side by elevated ground, with picturesque environs, notably the demesnes of Farnham and of Kilmore, which belongs to the bishops of that diocese. Cavan has no buildings of antiquarian interest, but the principal county institutions are here, and the most conspicuous building is the grammar school, founded by Charles I. It was rebuilt in 1819 on an eminence overlooking one of the main entrances into the town, and is capable of accommodating loo resident pupils. The college of St Patrick is near the town. Cavan has some linen trade, and a considerable retail business is transacted in the town. A monastery of Dominican friars, founded by O'Reilly, chieftain of the Brenny, formerly existed here, and became the burial-place of the celebrated Irish general, Owen O'Neill, who died as_ is supposed by poison, in 1649, at Cloughoughter. There was also the castle of the O'Reillys, but this and all other antiquities of the town were swept away during the violent and continuous feuds to which the country was subjected. In 1690 the chief portion of the town was burned by the Enniskilleners under General Wolseley, when they routed a body of James II.'s troops under the duke of Berwick.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also cavan


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Proper noun




  1. A county in the Republic of Ireland
  2. A town in the County Cavan, Ireland



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