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Coordinates: 54°14′38″N 7°02′24″W / 54.244, -7.040

County Monaghan
Contae Mhuineacháin
Coat of arms of County Monaghan
Coat of arms
Motto: Dúthracht agus Dícheall  (Irish)
"Diligence and Best Endeavour"
Country Ireland
Province Ulster
Dáil Éireann Cavan-Monaghan
EU Parliament East
County town Monaghan
 • Type County Council
 • Total 1,295 km2 (500 sq mi)
Area rank 28th
Population (2011)[1] 60,483
 • Rank 29th
Car plates MN

County Monaghan ( /ˈmʌnəhən/ MUN-ə-hən; 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 is 60,483 according to the 2011 census.

Geography and political subdivisions[]

Monaghan is the fifth smallest of the Republic's 26 counties in area and fourth smallest by population.[2] It is the smallest of Ulster's nine counties in size and also the smallest in terms of population.


  • Cremorne (Irish: Críoch Mhúrn)
  • Dartree (Irish: Dartraighe)
  • Farney (Irish: Fearnaigh)
  • Monaghan (Irish: Muineachán)
  • Trough (Irish: An Triúcha)

Civil parishes and townlands[]

Towns and villages[]

  • Ballinode
  • Ballybay
  • Carrickmacross
  • Castleblayney
  • Clones
  • Doohamlet
  • Emyvale
  • Inniskeen
  • Glaslough
  • Killanny
  • Knockatallon
  • Magheracloone
  • Monaghan
  • Newbliss
  • Rockcorry
  • Scotshouse
  • Scotstown
  • Smithborough
  • Threemilehouse
  • Tydavnet
  • Tyholland
  • Truagh

Largest Towns in County Monaghan (2011 Census)[]

1. Monaghan = 7,452
2. Carrickmacross = 4,925
3. Castleblayney = 3,634
4. Clones = 1,761
5. Ballybay = 1,461


Shannahergoa countryside.

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

Monaghan has a number of forests, including Rossmore Forest, Dartrey Forest and Dún na Rí Forest Park. 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 between County Monaghan and County Fermanagh. It is close to Scotshouse.

Clones Round Tower


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 each of the McMahon chiefs. A commission was established to accomplish this and County Monaghan came into being. The county was subdivided into five baronies: Farney, Cremorne, Dartrey, Monaghan and Truagh, which was left under the control of the McKenna chieftains.

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 plantation of the county took place with Scottish and English families.

Inland waterways[]

County Monaghan is traversed by the Ulster Canal but is not fully open to navigation, however Waterways Ireland are embarking on a scheme to reopen the canal from Lough Erne into Clones.

Local government and politics[]

2009 Irish Local Elections[4]
Monaghan County Council
Party Seats Change
Sinn Féin 7 =
Fine Gael 6 - 1
Fianna Fáil 5 =
Independent 2 +1

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[5] 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.[6] In the 2011 general election, there was a voter turnout of 72.7%.[7]

For elections to the European Parliament, the county is part of the North–West constituency (formerly Connacht–Ulster).

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 British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, 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, which houses a set of stained glass windows by the Irish artist Harry Clarke (1889–1931); the Gothic-Revival St. Patrick's Church of Ireland, Monaghan town; and the impressive St. Macartan's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Monaghan town, by J. J. McCarthy (1817–1882).

Notable Monaghan people[]

Literature and scholarship[]

  • Patrick Kavanagh (21 October 1904 – 30 November 1967) - Poet.[8]
  • Patrick McCabe - Novelist and member of Aosdána. Born 1955.
  • Eugene McCabe - Playwright, novelist and screenwriter. Born 1930, lives in Clones.
  • Sir Shane Leslie (1885–1971) - Writer and political activist, 3rd Baronet of Glaslough. Resided at Castle Leslie.
  • Evelyn Shirley (1812–1882) - Writer and antiquarian. Resided at Lough Fea House near Carrickmacross.
  • John Robert Gregg (1867–1948) - Pioneer of modern shorthand writing.[9]
  • Sir Tyrone Guthrie (1900–1971) - Writer, theatrical director and founder of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.
  • Evelyn Conlon - Writer and member of Aosdána. Born 1952.

Politics and military[]

  • The Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (12 April 1816 – 9 February 1903) - Irish Nationalist and Australian politician. Born in Monaghan town.[10]
  • Joseph Finegan- (November 17, 1814 – October 29, 1885] Confederate General and victor at the Battle of Olustee
  • Private Francis Fitzpatrick (1859-1933), recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • General Eoin O'Duffy (20 October 1892 – 30 November 1944) - by turns Chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army, Commissioner of An Garda Síochána and leader of the Blueshirts and of Fine Gael, Commander Irish brigade Spanish Civil war. Born near Castleblayney.[11]
  • Juan MacKenna (1771–1814) - Military hero of the Chilean War of Independence and Co-Liberator of Chile.
  • Prof. Sir William Whitla (1851–1933) - Physician and politician.
  • Thomas Taggart (1856–1929) - United States Senator and Mayor of Indianapolis.
  • Rear Admiral Charles Davis Lucas, V.C., R.N. (1834-1914) - A native of County Armagh who was the first ever recipient of the Victoria Cross. Resided for a time at Castleshane.
  • Fergal O'Hanlon (1936–1957) - IRA volunteer, killed during the Border Campaign.
  • Thomas Hughes, V.C. (1885–1942) - Soldier and recipient of the Victoria Cross.
  • Patricia McKenna - former MEP. Born 1957.
  • Dr. Rory O'Hanlon - Politician, former Ceann Comhairle and former Cabinet minister. Born 1934.
  • David Nelson, recipient of the Victoria Cross


  • The Hon. Dame Mary Bailey, D.B.E. (1890-1960) - Famous aviator who was the daughter of The 5th Baron Rossmore and wife of Sir Abe Bailey, the South African 'Randlord'.
  • Barry McGuigan - World Boxing Champion 1985. Born in Clones 28 February 1960.[12]
  • Tommy Bowe - Rugby Union player, born in Monaghan town, 22 February 1984.[13]
  • James Cecil Parke (1881-1946) - Tennis and rugby player. Olympic silver medalist in tennis, twice winner of the Wimbledon Mixed Doubles title and Australian Men's Singles title winner. Captain of the Irish rugby team. Born in Clones.
  • Kevin McBride - Olympic Boxer. Born in Clones 1973.
  • John McKenna (1855–1936), the first manager of Liverpool Football Club along with W.E. Barclay.
  • John Cummins, born 1948, Ballybay. Family moved to Northampton in England when he was eight. Moved to America when he was twenty three and became well known in auto racing circles. Winning five regional championships he also was co host of a radio show in Washington, D.C. as well as being a speaker at assorted events around the USA. He is currently involved in performance car preparation and motorsport safety operations.

Jonathan Douglas- former Leeds United and Swindon player. Now plays for Brentford in west London. Jonathan Douglas is from Clones.

Music and entertainment[]

  • "Big Tom" McBride: - Country Singer. Born at Moy near Castleblayney 18 September 1936.[14]
  • Oliver Callan - Satirist and mimic, born in the county in December 1980.[15]
  • The Flaws - Indie Rock Band from Carrickmacross.
  • Ryan Sheridan - Singer and guitarist
  • Gráinne Duffy Gráinne Duffy Band. Musician - Blues/Rock Guitarist & singer/songwriter from Castleblaney.


  • Ardal O'Hanlon - Actor and comedian. Born 1965.
  • Charlene McKenna - Actress. Born 1984.
  • Aoibhinn Mc Ginnity - Actress. Born 1986.
  • Caitriona Balfe - Fashion model and actress. Born 1979.


  • Alexander Williams, R.H.A. (1846-1930) - Artist, born in Monaghan town.
  • George Collie (1904–1975) - Artist, born in Carrickmacross.[16]


  • The Rt. Rev. Dr. John Richard Darley (1799–1884) - Anglican Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, 1874-84.
  • George Jeffreys (1889-1962) - Welsh founder of the Elim Pentecostal Church, which was first established in Monaghan town in 1915. The movement now has some 9,000 churches worldwide.

Twin cities[]

County Monaghan is twinned with the following places:

See also[]

  • List of abbeys and priories in the Republic of Ireland (County Monaghan)
  • Lord Lieutenant of Monaghan
  • High Sheriff of Monaghan


  1. ^ "County Monaghan". Central Statistics Office. 2011. 
  2. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186–191. 
  3. ^ for post 1821 figures, 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy March 14, 1865, For a discussion on he 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.
  4. ^ [1]. Retrieved: 2011-02-13.
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ "2009 Local Election - Electoral Area details". Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  7. ^ [3] - Election 2011 Cavan-Monaghan
  8. ^ "Life". Patrick Kavanagh 1904 – 1967. Patrick Kavanagh Trust, Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  9. ^ Cowan, Leslie. "John Robert Gregg: A Biography". Oxford: The Pre-Raphaelite Press, 1984, p. 11.
  10. ^ Joy E. Parnaby (1972). "Duffy, Sir Charles Gavan (1816 - 1903)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "GEN. EOIN O'DUFFY (1892 -1944)". Cumann na nGaedhael History. Collins 22 Society. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "Barry McGuigan". Boxing Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  13. ^ "Tommy Bowe 2009 British and Irish Lions Squad Profile". Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  14. ^ "Big Tom". BBC Music. BBC. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  15. ^ Chris True. "Biography: Monaghan Mimic". all music. Retrieved 10 November 2009. 
  16. ^ Snoddy, Theo. "Dictionary of Irish Artists, 20th Century". Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 1996.

External links[]

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