Meath (An Mhí in Irish) is a county in the Republic of Ireland, often informally called The Royal County. The de facto county town is Navan, where the county hall and government is located, although Trim has a historical significance, including the location of the circuit court, Norman castle and Anglo-Norman parliament. Other major towns include Ashbourne and Kells with its round tower and monastic past. Slane is well known both for its castle, and the occasional rock concerts. Other less significant places are Athboy, Bettystown, Duleek, Dunboyne, Dunshaughlin and Laytown.
Meath has experienced divergent population trends 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 part of the county, principally due to overspill from Dublin.
Meath (the "middle") was once a province of Ireland in its own right, 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, Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth and Offaly. The High King of Ireland sat at Tara in Meath. The 5,000-year-old burial site Newgrange (Brú na Bóinne), in the northeast of the county, is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.
An increasing proportion of Meath residents commute into Dublin, with a resulting shift to a services based economy in the developing dormitory towns.
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04