Maynooth (Maigh Nuad in Irish) is a town located in County Kildare, Ireland. Two educational institutions -- the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and St Patrick's College -- are located in the town. Despite the lower figures quoted by census results, the true population of the town is anywhere from 6,000 to 12,000. The difficulty in measurement is due to the fact that much of the town's population is transient - students at NUI Maynooth or temporary employees at the nearby Intel and Hewlett Packard facilities.
The ancient name of Maynooth means the plain of Nuada. Nuada is referred to as the maternal grandfather of the legendary Fionn mac Cumhail in the 'Annals of the Four Masters'.
The town is the main retail and other service centre for North Kildare and South Meath, with branches of SuperValu, Tesco, and Aldi, as well as a wide variaty of non-chain stores. A new shopping centre, currently under construction, will feature Dunnes Stores as the anchor tenant. The town is the terminus of most Iarnrod Éireann western commuter rail services, as well as a being served by the Sligo InterCity service.
It contains a fire station, in addition to the areas largest Garda station, a health centre and branch library.
The town is a major historical centre, with Maynooth Castle and Carton House: two former homes of the Geraldine family who were the viceroys of Ireland. The town is just inside the western edge of The Pale.
In the 1920s, the town was again home to the King's representative in Ireland, Domhnall Ua Buachalla, whose family still operate a hardware store in the town.
The famed Connolly's Folly is also in the town, although it is arguably in Celbridge, as it is much closer to it, but is covered by Maynooth's very large town boundaries.
In the mid-1980s the town gained some minor fame for having the first callcard phones in Ireland; recently it has gained infamy for being home to the highest concentration of cannabis users in the state.
Maynooth is also the name of a very small town north of Bancroft in Ontario, Canada.