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County Louth
Contae Lú
Coat of arms of County Louth
Coat of arms
Motto: Lugh sáimh-ioldánach  (Irish)
"Lugh equally skilled in many arts"
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
Dáil Éireann Louth
EU Parliament East
County town Dundalk
 • Type County Council
 • Total 826 km2 (319 sq mi)
Area rank 32nd
Population (2011) 122,897[1]
 • Rank 18th [2]
Car plates LH

Cooley Mountains

County Louth ( /ˈlð/; Irish: Contae Lú, Lugmad, Lughbhadh, Lughbhaidh, Lughmhadh)[3][4][5] is a county[6] in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Louth. Louth County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 122,897 according to the 2011 census.[7]


County Louth is colloquially known as 'the Wee County' as it is the smallest county by area (826 km² (319sq miles).[8] It is the 19th largest in terms of population.[9] It is the smallest of Leinster’s 12 counties by size and the sixth largest by population.


Immaculate Conception church, Co. Louth.

The official spelling in Irish, , is derived from Lughbhaidh - the Celtic pagan god Lugh, whose festival is celebrated at Lughnasadh (Lúnasa). This is a county steeped in myth, legend and history, going back to the pre-historic days of the Táin Bó Cúailnge (Cooley Cattle Raid, see Cú Chulainn). Later it saw the influence of the Vikings as seen in the name of Carlingford Lough. They also established a longphort at Annagassan in the ninth century. At this time Louth consisted of three sub-kingdoms each subject to separate over-kingdoms: Conaille (Ulaidh); Fir Rois (Airgialla); and, the Fir Arda Ciannachta (Midhe). The whole area became part of the O'Carroll Kingdom of Airgialla (Oriel) early in the twelfth century.

The Normans occupied the Louth area in the 1180s, and it became known as English Oriel, to distinguish it from the remainder (Irish Oriel) which remained in Irish hands. The latter became the McMahon lordship of Oriel of Monaghan. There are a number of historic sites in the county, including religious sites at Monasterboice and Mellifont Abbey. In the early fourteenth century the Scottish army of Edward Bruce (brother of Robert of Bannockburn fame) was defeated in the Battle of Faughart near Dundalk, Edward losing not only his claim to the High Kingship Of Ireland, but also his life.

Until the late sixteenth century Louth had been a part of Ulster, before being included as part of Leinster after a conference held at Faughart (in 1596) between the Chiefs of Ulster (O'Nial/O'Niel and O'Donel/McDonnel), on the Irish side, and the Archbishop of Cashel and the Earl of Ormonde on that of the English.

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries featured many skirmishes and battles involving Irish and English forces, as it was on the main route to 'the Moiry Pass' and the Ulster areas often in rebellion and as yet uncolonised. Oliver Cromwell attacked Drogheda in 1649 slaughtering the Royalist garrison and hundreds of the town's citizens (Siege of Drogheda). Towards the end of the same century the armies of the warring Kings, James and William, faced off in South Louth during the build-up to the Battle of the Boyne - the battle takes its name from the river Boyne which reaches the sea at Drogheda.

In 1798 the leaders of the United Irishmen included Bartholomew Teeling, John Byrne and Patrick Byrne, all from Castletown; Anthony Marmion from Louth Town & Dundalk,Anthony McCann from Corderry; Nicholas and Thomas Markey from Barmeath, Arthur McKeown, John Warren and James McAllister from Cambricville. They were betrayed by informers, notably a Dr. Conlan, who came from Dundalk, and an agent provocateur called Sam Turner, from Newry. Several leaders were hanged.

In 1816 the Wildgoose Lodge Murders took place in the west of the county.

The priest and scientist Nicholas Callan (1799–1864) was from Darver.


County Louth is the 19th largest county in terms of population[16] yet it is the most densely populated county in the Republic of Ireland outside of Dublin with a population density of 148.7 people per km², almost double that of the national average. The majority of the county's 122,897 population live in either Dundalk in North Louth, or Drogheda in South Louth. The 2011 Census[17] confirmed Drogheda[18] and Dundalk[19] as not only the largest towns in the county, but also the largest and second largest towns and overall 5th and 6th largest urban areas in the Republic of Ireland.

Largest towns (2011 Census)[]

  1. Drogheda, 38,578[20] (Including environs in East Meath)
  2. Dundalk, 37,816[21] (Including population of Blackrock)
  3. Ardee, 4,927
  4. Clogherhead, 1,993
  5. Dunleer, 1,786
  6. Termonfeckin, 1,443
  7. Tullyallen 1,358
  8. Carlingford 1,045
  9. Castlebellingham 1,035

Towns and villages[]

  • Annagassan
  • Ardee
  • Ballymascanlan
  • Baltray
  • Blackrock
  • Carlingford
  • Castlebellingham
  • Clogherhead
  • Collon
  • Drogheda
  • Dromiskin
  • Dundalk
  • Dunleer
  • Greenore
  • Gyles' Quay
  • Jenkinstown
  • Knockbridge
  • Louth
  • Omeath
  • Sandpit, County Louth
  • Stonetown
  • Tallanstown
  • Termonfeckin
  • Tinure
  • Tullyallen

Local government and politics[]

Louth County Council[]

The local authority is Louth County Council, offices in Dundalk, which provides a number of services including; planning, roads maintenance, fire brigade, council housing, water supply, waste collection, recycling and landfill, higher education grants and funding for arts and culture.[22]

Since the implementation of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 on 1 June 2014, County Louth has been subdivided into four Local Electoral Area's (often abbreviated as LEA) for elections to Louth County Council and three Municipal districts for local government which are,

File:County Louth local electoral areas.jpg

Local electoral ares in County Louth

  • Ardee Municipal District
  • Drogheda Borough District
  • Dundalk Municipal District

Council Area District
[t 1]
[t 2]
[t 3]
Louth County Council (29) Ardee Y Y 6
Drogheda Y[t 4] Y 10
Dundalk Y 13
Dundalk Carlingford Y 6
Dundalk South Y 7

Louth Dáil Éireann constituency[]

For elections to Dáil Éireann, Louth is represented by the five member Louth constituency which takes in the entire county of Louth and two electoral divisions in County Meath. the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2009 merged the electoral divisions of St.Mary's (Part) and Julianstown, collectively know as "East Meath" in County Meath with County Louth to form one Dáil Éireann constituency. The Report on Dáil and European Parliament Constituencies 2007 outlined "by extending the constituency southwards from, and in the environs of, Drogheda and taking in electoral divisions which have extensive linkages with the town. This will allow the inclusion of the town of Drogheda and hinterland areas in a single constituency." [23] This merger allowed the areas strategically identified as the Greater Drogheda Area[24] and their combined population of 20,375 to be merged with Drogheda and County Louth for the first time. This was implemented for the last general election when 2 TD's from Fine Gael and one each from Sinn Féin, the Labour Party and Fianna Fáil were elected.

Irish language[]

The area of Omeath was Irish-speaking until the early 20th century. A native dialect of Louth Irish existed there until about 1930, but is now extinct, although recordings have been made.[25] Within the county 1,587 people use Irish on a daily basis outside of the education system according to the 2011 census.[26]



  • Pierce Brosnan - Actor, James Bond
  • Eamonn Campbell - Member of The Dubliners
  • Andrea Corr - Singer, The Corrs
  • Caroline Corr - Musician, The Corrs
  • Jim Corr - Musician, The Corrs
  • Sharon Corr - Musician, The Corrs
  • Evanna Lynch - Actress, Harry Potter
  • Cathy Maguire - Singer/songwriter
  • John Moore - Film director
  • Gerry O'Connor - Traditional Irish fiddle player
  • Colin O'Donoghue - Actor


  • Major-General Arthur Thomas Moore VC - Soldier and recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Admiral Francis Leopold McClintock KCB FRS - Royal Navy officer and Explorer


  • Dermot Ahern - Politician, Fianna Fáil TD for Louth
  • James Carroll - Politician, Fianna Fáil, member of Seanad Éireann from Louth
  • Mark Dearey - Politician, Green Party Senator from Louth
  • Séamus Kirk - Politician, Fianna Fáil TD for Louth
  • Brendan McGahon - Politician, Fine Gael TD for Louth
  • Michael McKevitt - Republican dissident leader
  • Arthur Morgan - Politician, Sinn Féin TD for Louth


  • Thomas Byrne - Former racing driver
  • Nick Colgan - Footballer, currently playing for Grimsby Town F.C.
  • Kenny Finn - Irish American soccer and gaelic football player
  • Beatrice Hill-Lowe - Archer
  • Gary Kelly - Footballer, Leeds United
  • Robert Kearney - Irish Rugby player
  • Colin Larkin - footballer, Hartlepool United
  • Tommy Smyth - Football commentator for ESPN
  • Steve Staunton - Footballer
  • Kevin Thornton - Footballer


  • George Drumgoole Coleman - Civil architect
  • John McClintock (MP) - Magistrate
  • Peter Rice - Structural engineer

See also[]

  • List of abbeys and priories in Ireland (County Louth)
  • Lord Lieutenant of Louth
  • High Sheriff of Louth
  • List of songs about Louth


  1. ^ "Census 2011 - County Louth". Central Statistics Office. 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland (April 2007).
  3. ^ "Placenames Database of Ireland". Fiontar (DCU) and The Placenames Branch (Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht). 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Louth - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  5. ^ Location Result
  6. ^ Section 2(1) of the Local Government Act, 2001, provides that the administrative area for which a county council is responsible is a county:,1963,en.pdf
  7. ^ Census 2011 - County Louth Overview
  8. ^ North West Passage
  9. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186–191. ISBN 0-340-89695-7. 
  10. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy March 14, 1865.
  11. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  12. ^
  13. ^ NISRA - Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (c) 2013. (2010-09-27). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ Mokyr, Joel (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic History Review 37 (4): 473–488. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. 
  16. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186–191. ISBN 0-340-89695-7. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Services". Louth County Council. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Louth Irish Language
  26. ^ "County Louth". Central Statistics Office. 2011. 

External links[]

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Coordinates: 53°50′N 6°30′W / 53.833, -6.5

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at County Louth. 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.

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