County Monaghan
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County Monaghan

Coordinates: 54°14?38?N 7°02?24?W / 54.244°N 7.040°W / 54.244; -7.040

County Monaghan

Contae Mhuineacháin
Coat of arms of County Monaghan
Coat of arms
The Drumlin County
Dúthracht agus Dícheall  (Irish)
"Diligence and Best Endeavour"
Location of County Monaghan
Dáil ÉireannCavan-Monaghan
EU ParliamentMidlands-North-West
County townMonaghan
 o TypeCounty Council
 o Total1,295 km2 (500 sq mi)
Area rank28th
Highest elevation373 m (1,224 ft)
 o Total61,386
 o Rank28th
 o Density47/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC±0 (WET)
 o Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST)
Eircode routing keys
A75, A81, H18, H23 (primarily)
Telephone area codes047 (primarily)
Vehicle index
mark code

County Monaghan ( MON-?-h?n;[3] Irish: Contae Mhuineacháin) is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county was 61,386 according to the 2016 census.[2]

The county has existed since 1585, when the Mac Mathghamhna rulers of Airgíalla agreed to join the Kingdom of Ireland. Following the 20th-century Irish War of Independence and the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Monaghan was one of three Ulster counties to join the Irish Free State rather than Northern Ireland.

Geography and political subdivisions

Monaghan is the fifth smallest of the Republic's 26 counties by area, and fourth smallest by population.[4] It is the smallest of Ulster's nine counties in terms of population.


Civil parishes and townlands

Towns and villages

Largest Towns in County Monaghan (2016 Census)

1. Monaghan = 7,678 [6]
2. Carrickmacross = 5,032 [6]
3. Castleblayney = 3,607 [6]
4. Clones = 1,680 [6]
5. Ballybay = 1,241 [6]


Shannahergoa countryside.

Notable mountains include Slieve Beagh (on the Tyrone and Fermanagh borders), Mullyash Mountain and Coolberrin Hill (214 m, 702 ft). Lakes include Lough Avaghon, Dromore Lough, Drumlona Lough, Lough Egish, Emy Lough, Lough Fea, Inner Lough (in Dartrey Forest), Muckno Lough and White Lough. Notable rivers include the River Fane (along the Louth border), the River Glyde (along the Louth and Meath borders), the Ulster Blackwater (along the Tyrone border) and the Dromore River (along the Cavan border, linking Cootehill to Ballybay).

Monaghan has a number of forests, including Rossmore Forest and Dartrey Forest. Managed by Coillte since 1988, the majority of trees are conifers. Due to a long history of intensive farming and recent intensive forestry practices, only small pockets of native woodland remain.

The Finn Bridge is a border crossing point over the River Finn to County Fermanagh. It is close to Scotshouse.

Clones Round Tower


Lead was formerly mined in County Monaghan. Mines included Annaglogh Lead Mines and Lisdrumgormley Lead Mines.


In 1585, the English lord deputy of Ireland, Sir John Perrot, visited the area and met the Irish chieftains. They requested that Ulster be divided into counties and land in the kingdom of Airgíalla be apportioned to the local chiefs. A commission was established to accomplish this and County Monaghan came into being. The county was subdivided into five baronies: Farney, Cremorne, Dartrey, and Monaghan controlled by MacMahon and Truagh by McKenna.

After the defeat of the rebellion of Hugh O'Neill, The O'Neill and the Ulster chieftains in 1603, the county was not planted like the other counties of Ulster. The lands were instead left in the hands of the native chieftains. In the Irish Rebellion of 1641 the McMahons and their allies joined the general rebellion of Irish Catholics. Following their defeat, some colonisation of the county took place with Scottish and English families.

Inland waterways

County Monaghan is traversed by the derelict Ulster Canal,[7] however Waterways Ireland are embarking on a scheme to reopen the canal from Lough Erne into Clones.


The Ulster Railway linked Monaghan with Armagh and Belfast in 1858 and with the Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway at Clones in 1863.[7]:Map 8 It became part of the Great Northern Railway in 1876.[7]:xiii The partition of Ireland in 1922 turned the boundary with County Armagh into an international frontier, after which trains were routinely delayed by customs inspections. In 1957 the Government of Northern Ireland made the GNR Board close the line between Portadown and the border, giving the GNRB no option but to withdraw passenger services between the border and Clones as well.[7]:Map 39 CIÉ took over the remaining section of line between Clones, Monaghan and Glaslough in 1958 but withdrew goods services between Monaghan and Glaslough in 1959 and between Clones and Monaghan in 1960, leaving Monaghan with no railway service.[7]:Map 39

Local government and politics

2014 Irish Local Elections
Monaghan County Council
Party Seats Change
Sinn Féin 7 =
Fine Gael 5 - 1
Fianna Fáil 4 - 1
Independent 2 =

Monaghan is divided into four local electoral areas: Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Clones and Monaghan.

The towns of Ballybay, Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Clones and Monaghan are represented by nine-member town councils[8] which deal with local matters such as the provision of utilities and housing.

For the purposes of elections to Dáil Éireann, the county is part of the Cavan-Monaghan Constituency which elects five T.D.s.[9] In the 2011 general election, there was a voter turnout of 72.7%.[10]

For elections to the European Parliament, the county is part of the Midlands-North-West constituency.

Politically, the county is considered a stronghold for Sinn Féin (left wing) which is the largest party in the county, followed by Fine Gael (centre-right).

Culture and architecture

County Monaghan is the birthplace of the poet and writer Patrick Kavanagh, who based much of his work in the county. Kavanagh is one of the most significant figures in 20th-century Irish poetry. The poems "Stony Grey Soil" and "Shancoduff" refer to the county.

Castle Leslie

Monaghan has produced several successful artists. Chief among these is George Collie (1904-75), who was born in Carrickmacross and trained at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. He was a prolific exhibitor at the Royal Hibernian Academy throughout his lifetime and is represented by works in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland and the Ulster Museum.

Monaghan was also the home county of the Irish writer Sir Shane Leslie (1885-1971), 3rd Baronet of Glaslough, who lived at Castle Leslie in the north-east corner of the county. A Catholic convert, Irish nationalist and first cousin of Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Leslie became an important literary figure in the early 1900s. He was a close friend of many politicians and writers of the day including the American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), who dedicated his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, to Leslie.

Monaghan County Museum is recognised as one of the leading provincial museums in Ireland, with a Council of Europe Award (1980), among others, to its credit. Located in Hill Street, Monaghan Town, the museum aims to reflect the history of Co. Monaghan and its people in all its richness and diversity.

The best of the county's architecture developed in the Georgian and Victorian periods and ranges from the dignified public spaces of Church Square and The Diamond in Monaghan Town to the great country houses of Lough Fea, Carrickmacross; Hilton Park, Clones and Castle Leslie, Glaslough.

Significant ecclesiastical buildings include St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Carrickmacross); the Gothic-Revival St Patrick's Church of Ireland, Monaghan town, and the St Macartan's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Monaghan town, by J. J. McCarthy (1817-1882).


Agriculture is a significant part of the County Monaghan economy, employing about 12% of the population in 2011 (compared with 5% nationally).[11] The county is the main source of egg supplies in the Republic of Ireland.[12]

Notable Monaghan people

Literature and scholarship

Politics and military


Music and entertainment




Twin cities

County Monaghan is twinned with the following places:

See also


  1. ^ Russell, C. W. (21 June 1874). "Calendar of the State Papers, Relating to Ireland, of the Reign of James I.: Preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, and Elsewhere. 1606 - 1608". Longmans, Green, Reader, & Dyer – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: County Monaghan". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ "Monaghan definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary". Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186-191.
  5. ^ for post 1821 figures, 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865, For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census returns see JJ Lee "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses Irish Population, Economy and Society edited by JM Goldstrom and LA Clarkson (1981) p54, in and also New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850 by Joel Mokyr and Cormac O Grada in The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Nov., 1984), pp. 473-488. Archived 9 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c d e "Percentage population change in Ireland's cities and towns, 2011-2016". Census 2016. CSO. 2016. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e Hajducki, S. Maxwell (1974). A Railway Atlas of Ireland. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. map 9. ISBN 0-7153-5167-2.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 29 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "2009 Local Election - Electoral Area details". Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 March 2011. Retrieved 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) - Election 2011 Cavan-Monaghan
  11. ^ "Monaghan Socio Economic Profile" (PDF). Monaghan County Council. April 2015. Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ Ryan, Órla (28 April 2020). "Egg shortage in some supermarkets amid bird flu outbreak and increased demand".
  13. ^ "Life". Patrick Kavanagh 1904 – 1967. Patrick Kavanagh Trust, Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved 2009.
  14. ^ "Current members. Literature: Patrick McCabe". Aosdána. Archived from the original on 16 October 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Current members. Literature: Eugene McCabe". Aosdána. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ Cowan, Leslie. "John Robert Gregg: A Biography". Oxford: The Pre-Raphaelite Press, 1984, p. 11.
  17. ^ "William Tyrone Guthrie". Tyrone Guthrie Centre. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ Joy E. Parnaby (1972). "Duffy, Sir Charles Gavan (1816 - 1903)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 2009.
  19. ^ "GEN. EOIN O'DUFFY (1892 -1944)". Cumann na nGaedhael History. Collins 22 Society. Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  20. ^ "Barry McGuigan". Boxing Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009.
  21. ^ "Tommy Bowe 2009 British and Irish Lions Squad Profile". Archived from the original on 25 April 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  22. ^ "Big Tom". BBC Music. BBC. Retrieved 2009.
  23. ^ Chris True. "Biography: Monaghan Mimic". all music. Retrieved 2009.

External links

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