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County Meath
Contae na Mí
Motto: Tré Neart le Chéile  (Irish)
"Together Strong"
Location
Map highlighting County Meath
Statistics
Province: Leinster
County seat: Navan
Code: MH
Area: 2,342 km2 (904 sq mi)
Population (2006) 162,831
Website: www.meath.ie

County Meath (Irish: Contae na Mí or simply an Mhí) is one of the traditional counties of Ireland and is located within the province of Leinster. It was named after the historic kingdom and province of Mide.

Meath is the 14th largest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area and 13th largest in terms of population[1]. It is the second largest of Leinster’s 12 counties in size and third largest in terms of population.

The county town is Navan, where the county hall and government are located, although Trim, the former county town, has historical significance and remains a sitting place of the circuit court. County Meath also has the only two Gaeltacht areas in the province of Leinster, at Ráth Cairn and Baile Ghib.

Contents

History

Meath (the "middle") was formed from the eastern part of the province of Midhe - see Kings of Mide - but now forms part of Leinster. Historically this province of Meath included all of the current county as well as all of Westmeath and parts of Cavan, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Dublin and Kildare. The High King of Ireland sat at Tara in Meath. The archaeological complex of Brú na Bóinne is 5,000 years old and includes the burial sites of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, in the northeast of the county. It is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.

Places of interest

  • The Hill of Tara, an ancient historical site.
  • Castles at Trim, Slane (private), Dunsany (limited opening), Killeen (being converted to a hotel).
  • Religious ruins at Trim (two), Bective, Slane (two), Dunsany, Skryne (Skreen).
  • 2500-year-old mound structures of disputed origin at Telltown.
  • Brú na Bóinne Unesco World Heritage Site.
  • Loughcrew, an ancient historical site.
The Boyne

Trim contains Ireland's largest Norman castle and was the setting for many Norman-Irish parliaments. Meath is also home to Kells, with its round tower and monastic past.

Geography

The Flag of Mide, the ancient province of Meath
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Towns and villages

Towns

Villages

Demographics

The population in Co. Meath has been characterised since 1861 as a period of significant decline in population between 1861 and 1901 when the population was almost halved (110,373 to 67,497), stabilisation from 1901 to 1971 (67,497 to 71,729), a substantial increase between 1971 and 1981 to 95,419. This increase was mainly due to a baby-boom locally. The population continued to increase at a constant rate, before increasing at an explosive rate between 1996 and 2002, from 109,732 to 134,005. This is due primarily to economic factors, with the return of residents to live in the county, and also an echo effect of the 70s baby boom. The census of 2006 gives a statistic of 162,831 to include a dramatic increase in inward migration in the county, much of it from neighbouring Dublin, and Drogheda.

This population growth has seen divergent trends emerge in recent years, with mild depopulation in the north and west of the county being more than offset by large increases in the population of the eastern and south eastern part of the county, principally due to inward migration to districts which have good proximity via road, to the business parks on the Western outskirts of Dublin. The section of the county that is south of the Boyne is considered part of the "Greater Dublin Area". The accession of Poland and Lithuania to the European Union in 2004, has resulted in a significant influx of workers from these countries to work in low wage sectors including agriculture, quarrying, construction and catering. As a result of this rapid demographic change a voluntary non-governmental organisation, Cultúr - Celebrating Diversity was established by volunteers in 2003 to work in the areas of cultural integration and anti-racism.

Evolution of the population in Co. Meath from 1861 to 2002.

Politics

Fianna Fáil has held three seats out of five in the Meath constituency since 1987. Fine Gael has won the other two seats at each in four of the five general elections in that period, with the exception of 1992, when it lost a seat to Labour (which was regained in 1997). Due to the increase in the county's population Meath now holds six seats in the Dáil, and has been divided into two constituencies: Meath East and Meath West (which incorporates some parts of County Westmeath).

Currently (August 2007) the six Dáil deputies (TD's) for the Meath constitency are:

McEntee won a by-election in 2005 caused by the resignation of the former Taoiseach, John Bruton (Fine Gael) on his appointment as the European Union Ambassador to the USA.

Fianna Fáil controlled Meath County Council from 1985 until 1991 and again from 1999 to 2004. The current composition of Meath County Council (elected 2004) is as follows:

Infrastructure

Road

  • The M1 motorway Dublin - Belfast road.
  • The M2 motorway bypasses the second largest town in the County, Ashbourne.
  • The main road through Meath is the Dublin-Cavan road, the N3 currently being upgraded to mainly motorway standard from the county's south east border at Clonee to the north west border shared with Cavan.
  • The M4 motorway, which is partly in County Kildare and partly in Meath.

Rail

  • There is a frequent commuter train service to the coastal villages of East Meath, serving Laytown.
  • Navan is currently served by a spur railway line from the Dublin-Belfast main line, for freight traffic (zinc and lead concentrates from Tara Mines in Navan to Dublin Port) connecting at Drogheda. The direct rail line to Dublin directly remains abandoned, though its path is reasonably intact, and plans are drawn up to reopen it as inline with current government transport policy.
  • There is a commuter train service from Enfield. Although the service is very infrequent (Only 8 trains a day to dublin with no direct trains from 4 pm - 9 pm), not many villages like that of Enfield, have a commuter service at all.

Economy

  • Good land, with a strong farming tradition has been prominent historically for cattle, dairying, potatoes and grain. Recently production volumes have decreased due to competition for labour from other sectors of the economy. Migrant labour from Eastern Europe has helped however. Meath is Ireland's leading county producer of potatoes, and a significant producer of beef, barley, milk, wheat, and root vegetables.
  • Quarrying and Mining. Europe's largest underground lead-zinc mine, Tara Mines, has operated since 1977, at a location to the west of Navan. Current ore production from the mine is 2,600,000 tonnes of ore per year, containing over 200,000 tonnes of zinc metal. Glacial deposits of gravel exist in a band stretching from the Offaly border at Edenderry, to the sea at Laytown. This is the basis of a long running quarrying tradition. A large cement plant near Duleek is situated in this territory.
  • An increasing proportion of Meath residents commute into Dublin, with a resulting shift to a services based economy in the developing dormitory towns.
  • Meat processing in Clonee, and Navan.
  • Historically Navan was a manufacturing town, involved in the household goods sector. Navan was the centre of the Irish Furniture industry. Gradually this has declined as a source of employment, though it has acted as a source of inspiration for other ventures producing finished products for the construction industry.
  • Navan was the centre of the Irish Carpet making industry, before this was lost to overseas competition.
  • Horse breeding and training
  • Localized tourism in Trim, Kells, Tara and the Boyne Valley.
  • In common with other counties with thriving agricultural and traditional local industrial sectors, like Westmeath, Wexford, Kilkenny and Monaghan, Meath has few multinational investment facilities. Drogheda, Blanchardstown, Swords, and Leixlip are neighbouring towns that provide employment in this regard, however.

See also

References

  1. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186–191. 
  2. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy March 14, 1865.
  3. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  4. ^ http://www.histpop.org
  5. ^ http://www.nisranew.nisra.gov.uk/census
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ 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, http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/120035880/abstract 

External links


Coordinates: 53°40′N 6°40′W / 53.667°N 6.667°W / 53.667; -6.667


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

County Meath is in Ireland's East Coast and Midlands.

Get in

Bus: There is an hourly bus service from Dublin - The 109 bus from Bus Aras. Car: Navan is located on the N3 road. The N3 is junction 16 on the M50 ring road of Dublin

  • Boyne Valley
  • Hill of Tara
  • High Crosses in Kells
  • King Johns Castle
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Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

This article requires significantly more historical detail on the particular phases of this location's historical development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there..
Please help to improve this page yourself if you can..
County Meath
Contae na Mí
Location
centerMap highlighting County Meath
Statistics
Province: Leinster
County Town: Navan
Code: MH
Area: 2,342 km²
Population (2006) 162,831
Website: www.meath.ie

County Meath (Irish: Contae na Mí ) is a county in the Republic of Ireland, often informally called The Royal County. The county town is Navan, where the county hall and government is located, although Trim, the former county town, has historical significance, and remains a sitting place of the circuit court, along with Ireland's largest castle (Norman) and was the setting for an Anglo-Norman parliament. Meath is also home to Kells, with its round tower and monastic past, and Slane, known for its castle and annual rock concert and the Ledwidge Cottage Museum.

Meath (the "middle") was formed from the eastern part of the province of Midhe - see Kings of Mide - but now forms part of Leinster. Historically this province of Meath included all of the current county as well as all of Westmeath and parts of Cavan, Longford, Louth and Offaly, and possibly Dublin and Kildare. The High King of Ireland sat at Tara in Meath. The archaeological complex of Brú na Bóinne, including the 5,000-year-old Bru na Boinne complex, including the burial sites of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, in the northeast of the county, is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.

The seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Meath, is located in Mullingar, County Westmeath - outside the county but within the historic diocese of Meath.

Contents

Geography

  • Rivers Boyne, Blackwater, Nanny, Inny, Delvin, Devlin, Knightsbrook, Hurley, Tremblestone, Tolka, Ward, Pinkeen, Yellow, Broadmeadow, Athboy, Clonymeath, Dangan, Moynalvy and Owenroe.
  • 10.4 km of coastline with the Irish Sea
  • Bordered by Irish Sea and counties Cavan, Kildare, Louth, Monaghan, Offaly and Westmeath, as well as Fingal, one of the four parts of the historic County Dublin.

Sights

  • Castles at Trim, Slane (private), Dunsany (limited opening), Killeen (being converted to a hotel)
  • Religious ruins at Trim (two), Bective, Slane (two), Dunsany, Skryne (Skreen)
  • 2500-year-old mound structures of disputed origin at Telltown.
  • Bru Na Boinne Unesco World Heritage Site.

Economy

  • Good land, with a strong farming tradition has been prominent historically, producing (cattle, dairying, potatoes, grain). Recently production volumes have decreased due to competition for labour from other sectors of the economy. Migrant labour from Eastern Europe has helped however. Meath is Ireland's leading county producer of potatoes, and a significant producer of beef, barley, milk, wheat, and root vegetables.
  • Quarrying and Mining. Europe's largest underground Lead-Zinc mine, has operated since 1970, at a location to the West of Navan. Glacial deposits of gravel exist in a band stretching from the Offaly border at Edenderry, to the sea at Laytown. This is the basis of a long running quarrying tradition. A large cement plant near Duleek is situated in this territory.
  • An increasing proportion of Meath residents commute into Dublin, with a resulting shift to a services based economy in the developing dormitory towns.
  • Meat processing in Clonee, and Navan.
  • Historically Navan was a manufacturing town, involved in the household goods sector. Navan was the centre of the Irish Furniture industry. Gradually this has declined as a source of employment, though it has acted as a source of inspiration for other ventures producing finished products for the construction industry.
  • Navan was the centre of the Irish Carpet making industry, before this was lost to overseas competition
  • Horse breeding and training
  • Localized tourism in Trim, Kells, Tara and the Boyne Valley.
  • In common with other counties with thriving agricultural and traditional local industrial sectors, like Westmeath, Wexford, Kilkenny and Monaghan, Meath has few multinational investment facilities. Drogheda, Blanchardstown, Swords, and Leixlip are neighbouring towns that provide employment in this regard, however.

Population Change

The population in Co. Meath has been characterised since 1861 as a period of significant decline in population between 1861 and 1901 when the population was almost halved (110,373 to 67,497), stablisation from 1901 to 1971 (67,497 to 71,729), a substantial increase between 1971 and 1981 to 95,419. This increase was mainly due to a baby-boom locally. The population continued to increase at a constant rate, before increasing at an explosive rate between 1996 and 2002, from 109,732 to 134,005. This is due primarily to economic factors, with the return of residents to live in the county, and also an echo effect of the 70s baby boom. The census of 2006 gives a statistic of 162,831 to include a dramatic increase in inward migration in the county, much of it from neighbouring Dublin, and Drogheda.

This population growth has seen divergent trends emerge in recent years, with mild depopulation in the north and west of the county being more than offset by large increases in the population of the eastern and south eastern part of the county, principally due to inward migration to districts which have good proximity via road, to the business parks on the Western outskirts of Dublin. The section of the county that is south of the Boyne is considered part of the "Greater Dublin Area". The accession of Poland and Lithuania to the European Union in 2004, has resulted in a significant influx of workers from these countries to work in low wage sectors including agriculture, quarrying, construction and catering.

Population by census in Co. Meath since 1861:

Evolution of the population in Co. Meath from 1861 to 2002.
  • 1861: 110,373
  • 1871: 95,558
  • 1881: 87,469
  • 1891: 76,987
  • 1901: 67,497
  • 1911: 65,091
  • 1926: 62,969
  • 1936: 61,405
  • 1946: 66,232
  • 1961: 65,122
  • 1971: 71,729
  • 1981: 95,419
  • 1991: 105,370
  • 1996: 109,732
  • 2002: 134,005
  • 2006: 162,831

Towns and villages

Towns

Villages

Politics

Fianna Fáil has held three seats out of five in the Meath constituency since 1987. Fine Gael has won the other two seats at each in four of the five general elections in that period, with the exception of 1992, when it lost a seat to Labour (which was regained in 1997). Due to the increase in the county's population Meath now holds six seats in the Dáil, and has been divided into two constituencies: Meath East and Meath West (which incorporates some parts of County Westmeath).

Currently (August 2007) the six Dáil deputies (TD's) for the Meath constitency are:

McEntee won a by-election in 2005 caused by the resignation of the former Taoiseach, John Bruton (Fine Gael) on his appointment as the European Union Ambassador to the USA.

Fianna Fáil controlled Meath County Council from 1985 until 1991 and again from 1999 to 2004. The current composition of Meath County Council (elected 2004) is as follows:

Infrastructure

Road

  • The main road through Meath is the Dublin-Cavan road, the N3 currently being upgraded to mainly motorway standard from the county's south east border at Clonee to the north west border shared with Cavan.
  • The M4 motorway, which is partly in County Kildare and partly in Meath.
  • The M1 motorway Dublin - Belfast road.
  • The N2 road bypasses the second largest town in the County, Ashbourne. This road is officially a dual carriageway but effectively a motorway as it has a motorway speed limit of 120km/h. The majority part of this route at the end of the dual carriageway is single carriageway standard two lane road.

Rail

  • There is a frequent commuter train service to the coastal villages of East Meath, serving Laytown.
  • Navan is currently served by a spur railway line from the Dublin-Belfast main line, for freight traffic (Iron Ore from Tara Mines in Navan to Dublin Port) connecting at Drogheda. The direct rail line to Dublin directly remains abandoned, though its path is reasonably intact, and plans are drawn up to reopen it as inline with current government transport policy.
  • There is a commuter train service from Enfield. This gives the village of Enfield the distinction of having a regular train service, though most towns in the county do not have this facility (yet).

Source


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at County Meath. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

This article uses material from the "County Meath" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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