County Meath (/ m I D / meedh Irish: Contae na Mi or simply an MHI ) is a municipality in Ireland. It is in the province of Leinster, and is part of the Mid-East Region. It is named after the historical Kingdom of Meath (fromMidhe means “middle”). Meath County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 194,942 according to the 2016 census. [1]

Geography and political subdivisions

The county is drained by the River Boyne.

Meath is the 14th largest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area and 9th largest in terms of population. [2] It is the second largest of Leinster’s 12 counties in size and the third largest in terms of population. The county town is Navan, where the county hall and the government, although the trim, the former county town, has historical significance and will remain 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.


There are eighteen historic baronies in the county. [3] They include the baronies of Morgallion and Ratoath. While baronies continue to be officially defined units, they are no longer used for many administrative purposes.Their official status is illustrated by the placenta Orders made since 2003, where the official Irish name baronies listed under “administrative units”.

Local governments and politics

Main article: Meath County Council

There are 40 elected members in the Meath County Council. Fine Gael hold 13 seats, Fianna Fáil hold 10, Sinn Féin is eight, and there are nine independent. There are two Dail constituencies, Meath and West Meath East.In the past, there was only one constituency. Fianna Fáil has had three seats out of five in the Meath constituency since 1987, Fine Gael has won the other two seats on each of four of the five general elections in this period, except for 1992, when it lost a seat to the Labour Party (which re 1997). The two existing constituencies are within the boundaries of the county.Constituents include a part of neighboring County Westmeath. Together back 6 deputies to the Dáil. Part of the county along the Irish Sea coast, known as the East Meath which includes Julianstown and Laytown-Drogheda Mornington is part of the Louth constituency for general elections. Fianna Fáil is currently no seats, Fine Gael has two in each constituency, Labour has a in the East constituency and Sinn Féin has a Western constituency.


The county is colloquially known by the nickname “The Royal County” because of its history as the seat of the högkung. [4] [5] [6] It is formed from the eastern part of the former Kingdom of Mide (see Kings of Mide) but is now part of the province of Leinster. Historically, Empire and its successor territory domination Meath, included all counties Meath, Fingal and Westmeath and parts of the counties of Cavan, Longford, Louth, Offaly and Kildare. The seat of högkung was at Tara. The archaeological complex of Brú na Bóinne is 5000 years old and includes burial sites at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, in the northeast part of the county. It is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.

Tourist attractions

  • The Hill of Tara, a historic site.
  • Castle at Trim, Slane (private), Dunsany (restricted orifice), Killeen (a hotel).
  • Religious ruins at Trim (two), Bective, Slane (two), Dunsany, Skryne (Skreen).
  • 2500-year-old pile structures of disputed origin of Teltown. Teltown is home to Ireland’s pre-OS, as some items date back to 1869 f.Kr ..
  • Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Loughcrew, a historic site.
  • Dangan Castle (Summer), the family home field marshal, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Arthur Wellesley, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS.

Trim contains Ireland’s largest Norman castle and was the setting for many Norman-Irish Parliament.
Meath is also home to Kells, with its round tower and monastic past, and Ireland’s only inland lighthouse, 18th Century Spire of Lloyd.

contemporary References

In Margaret Mitchell’s novel, Gone with the wind, County Meath described as the birthplace of Gerald O’Hara, who was Scarlett O’Hara’s father. Tara is the name of Georgia plantation on the O’Hara family resides.


The population of Co. Meath has been marked since 1861 during a period of significant decline. Between 1861 and 1901 the population has almost halved (110373-67497); population stabilized in 1901-1971 (67497-71729) and there was a significant increase between 1971 and 1981-95419. The increase was mainly due to a baby boom locally. The population continued to grow at a constant rate, then increased exponentially between 1996 and 2002, from 109,732 to 134,005. This is mainly due to economic factors, with the return of the residents living in the county, and even an echo of 70s baby boom.Census 2011 provides a statistic of 184 135 to include a dramatic increase in immigration in the county, much of it from neighboring Dublin and Drogheda.

This population growth has seen different trends emerge in recent years, with mild depopulation of the north and west of the county is more than offset by large increases in population in the eastern and southeastern part of the county, mainly because of migration to the district that has good proximity via the road to business parks in the western outskirts of Dublin.The accession of Poland and Lithuania to the European Union in 2004 led to a significant influx of workers from these countries to work in low-wage sectors, including agriculture, quarrying, construction and catering. [ Citation needed ]

Urban areas and populations

City Population
Navan 28158
Ashbourne 11355
Laytown-Betty-Mornington 10889
Ratoath 9043
Trim 8268
Dunboyne 6959
Kells 5888
Southern surroundings Drogheda 5000 [7] [8]
Duleek 3988
Dunshaughlin 3903
Stamullen 3130


There are 2,603 Irish language speakers in County Meath, with 1,299 native speakers in the Meath Gaeltacht. In addition, there are 1304 involved the seven Gaelscoils outside the Gaeltacht area. [9] The Greater Dublin area has the highest number of Irish medium schools in Ireland.


  • Good country with a strong agricultural tradition has historically been prominent for cattle, milk, potatoes and cereals. Recently, the production volumes have declined because of competition for labor from other sectors of the economy. Migrant workers from Eastern Europe have helped, however. Meath County, Ireland’s leading producer of potatoes, and a significant producer of beef, barley, milk, wheat and root vegetables.
  • Quarrying and Mining. Europe’s largest underground lead and zinc mine, Tara Mines, has worked since 1977, at a site west of Navan. Current ore production from the mine is 2.6 million tons of ore, containing more than 200,000 tonnes of zinc metal. Glacial deposits of gravel occurs in a band stretching from Offaly border at Edenderry, to the sea at Laytown.This is the basis for a long-running tradition of quarrying. A large cement plant near Duleek is located in this area.
  • An increasing proportion of Meath residents commute to Dublin, with a resulting shift to a services-based economy in developing dormitory towns.
  • The meat in Clonee and Trim.
  • Historically Navan was a manufacturing city, which participates in the sector of household items. Navan was the center of Irish furniture industry. Gradually, this has fallen as a source of employment, but it has served as an inspiration to other companies that produce finished products for the construction industry.
  • Navan was the center of the Irish carpet making industry, before disappeared to foreign competition.
  • Horse breeding and training.
  • Localized tourism in Trim, Kells, Tara and the Boyne Valley.
  • Like other counties with thriving agriculture and traditional local industrial sectors Westmeath, Wexford, Kilkenny and Monaghan. Meath has some multinational investment opportunities. Drogheda, Blanchard, swords, and Leixlip are neighboring cities that provide employment to multinational investment opportunities.



  • The M1 motorway between Dublin and Belfast.
  • The N2 highway / M2 link Dublin and Derry.
  • The N3 highway / M3 connecting Dublin and Cavan.
  • The highway N4 / M4 link Dublin and Sligo.


  • His Field, Dunboyne and the M3 Parkway has a frequent service to Dublin City Centre.
  • Laytown is a frequent commuter service. The station is located on Dublin’s “Northern Commuter Line”
  • There is a commuter train (Western Commuter Line) from Enfield.Although the service is very rare (only eight trains daily to Dublin with few direct trains 4:00 to 9:00)., Not many villages that Enfield has a commuter service at all [ citation needed ]
  • Navan is currently served by a freight only boost the railway line from Drogheda on the Dublin-Belfast main line, freight (zinc and lead concentrates from the Tara Mines in Navan to Dublin Port) connects at Drogheda .The direct course remains abandoned, although its path is reasonable intact, and plans drawn up to open it in line with current government transport policy. However, this plan has now been put on hold because of the economic downturn.

See also

  • Counties of Ireland
  • Lord Lieutenant of Meath
  • High Sheriff of Meath
  • Visiting Kell


  1. Jump up ^ Census 2011 – County Meath Overview
  2. Jump up ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists . Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186-191. ISBN 0-340-89695-7.
  3. Jump up ^ placental Database for Ireland – baronies.
  4. Jump up ^ Meath County Council. “Meath – a rich and royal land”.Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  5. Jump up ^ “County Meath – Newgrange, Slane Castle, and The Book of Kells”. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  6. Jump up ^ Rowan Kelleher, Suzanne (2004). Frommers Ireland from $ 80 per day (20 th ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Publishing, Inc. p. 204. ISBN 0-7645-4217-6.
  7. Jump up^,36330,en.pdf
  8. Jump up^,6769,en.jpg
  9. Jump up ^ “Oideachas Trí Mheán na Gaeilge in Éirinn said Ghalltacht 2010-2011” (PDF) (in Irish). 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2012.