Navan (/ˈnævən/ NAV-ən; Irish: An Uaimh [ənˠ ˈuəvʲ], meaning "the Cave") is the county town of County Meath, Republic of Ireland. In 2016, it had a population of 30,173,[1] making it the fifth largest town in Ireland. Navan is at the confluence of the River Boyne and Blackwater, around 50 km north west of Dublin. Its name is a palindrome.


An Uaimh
Market Square
Market Square
Navan is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Navan is located in Europe
Navan (Europe)
Coordinates: 53°39′10″N 6°40′53″W / 53.6528°N 6.6814°W / 53.6528; -6.6814Coordinates: 53°39′10″N 6°40′53″W / 53.6528°N 6.6814°W / 53.6528; -6.6814
CountyCounty Meath
Dáil ÉireannMeath West
42 m (138 ft)
 • Rank10th
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC±0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST)
Eircode routing key
Telephone area code+353(0)46
Map of Navan

History and nameEdit

Navan is a Norman foundation: Hugh de Lacy, who was granted the Lordship of Meath in 1172, awarded the Barony of Navan to one of his knights, Jocelyn de Angulo, who built a fort therefrom which the town developed.

Inside the town walls, Navan consisted of three streets. These were Trimgate Street, Watergate St. and Ludlow St. (which was once called Dublingate St.).

The orientation of the three original streets remains from the Middle Ages but the buildings date from the Victorian and Edwardian periods. The town’s Post Office on Trimgate Street office was built in 1908 on the site of an earlier post office.[2][3] In 1990, the post office was relocated to Kennedy Road. The building of a new shopping centre re-oriented the town’s centre. The onetime post office was acquired as the site of the town’s first McDonald’s restaurant.

Former Post Office converted to a McDonalds

Navan is one of the world's few towns that has a palindromic name. Variants of Navan had been in use since Norman times.[4] It is thought to come from Irish an Uamhain 'the cave/souterrain',[5] a variant of its more common Irish name an Uaimh. In 1922, when the Irish Free State was founded, an Uaimh was adopted as the town's only official name.[4] However, it failed to gain popularity in English and in 1971 the name was reverted to Navan in English.[4][6]

Bus transportEdit

Navan is served by several bus routes. However the town as of yet has no central bus station and there are four separate stops in the town, with different routes serving each (Market Square, Mercy Convent, Shopping Centre & Fire Station). The majority of routes are operated by Bus Éireann. The most frequent route is the 109 to Dublin, which departs from the Market Square.

Sillan also serve the town.[7] Royal Breffni Tours provide services to Dundalk Institute of Technology.[8] Streamline Coaches provide services to NUI Maynooth.[9]


Navan has a number of secondary schools, including private denominational and public inter-denominational and non-denominational. St. Patrick's Classical School is a Roman Catholic boys-only school. Loreto Secondary School, St. Michael's at the Loreto Convent, and St. Joseph's Secondary School at the Mercy Convent are both girls-only Roman Catholic convent schools. Coláiste na Mí is a VEC-run school in Johnstown that opened in 2013. Beaufort College is a large state-owned inter-denominational vocational school. The Abylity Secondary College was a parent-owned fee-paying non-denominational school.[10][11]

Navan and the surrounding area has a number of primary schools, including the town's Catholic boys' primary school Scoil Mhuire, which was originally run by the De La Salle Brothers. Pierce Brosnan was a former pupil of St. Anne's Loreto, which is situated beside St. Mary's Catholic Church and near to St. Joseph's Mercy. There are also St. Paul's, St. Ultan's, and St. Oliver's primary schools. Scoil Éanna is the town's only gaelscoil. The town's only Church of Ireland secondary school, Preston School, closed in the 1970s. It is now the site of the shopping centre in the town. There is a Church of Ireland primary school known as Flowerfield School, on the Trim rd a new site. It was originally situated at the Flowerfield area of the town, on the main thoroughfare to Drogheda, in a building that has been sympathetically converted into private accommodation. There is also a multi-denominational Educate Together primary school in the town, sited at Commons Road.


Navan Races (September 2007)

Páirc Tailteann is located in Navan and is home of the Meath Gaelic football and Navan Hibernians GAC Hurling teams.

Navan R.F.C. won over 186 trophies in the 1960s and currently compete in the All Ireland League (AIL) Division 1B

Knockharley Cricket Club was founded in 1982 and are the only cricket club in County Meath competing in the Leinster Cricket Union, the club's most recent success came in 2006 when the 1st XI won the Middle 2 Leinster Cup defeating Mullingar at North Kildare.

Parkvilla Football Club[12] was founded in 1966 and currently plays in Leinster Senior League division 1B.

Public artEdit

Public art and sculptures in Navan include Sniomh, by Betty Newman Maguire, which sits in front of Navan Fire Station.[13] This sculpture is reputedly inspired by the movement of water and the merging of the rivers Boyne and Blackwater.[citation needed]

Another public sculpture, The Fifth Province by Richard King, is located on the Navan Bypass.[14] This sculpture is composed of four branches and a central upright stem that symbolises the flowering of hope and peace.[citation needed]

The Bull, designed by sculptor Colin Grehan, is a prominent piece of public art. Situated in the market square of the town, this is a 16 tonne limestone statue of a bull being held back by two handlers and commemorates the historic bull markets that took place in the area.[15] The statue was surrounded by controversy over its cost, an estimated €8.7 million, and its location. Local man Paddy Pryle noted that "anybody coming up Timmons Hill, which is one of the main entrances into the town, will be entering Navan via the bull's arse. It is one of the most crazy things I have seen put up yet,"[16] Objections to the statue delayed its erection by 8 years.[17]


According to local folklore a Souterrain was discovered near the Navan Viaduct in 1848. The location of its entrance has since been lost.[18]

Another folk tale involves the ghost of Francis Ledwidge. According to the story an old friend of Ludwidge was working at the Meath Chronicle, the local news printer, when he heard the sound of Ledwidge's motorcycle outside. His friend was confused as he believed Ledwidge was fighting on the Western Front, upon going out to greet him the friend found that Ledwidge had disappeared. The story claims that this ghostly apparition appeared at the same moment he died.[19]


Navan is twinned with the following places:


Francis Beaufort

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Settlement Navan (An Uaimh)". Central Statistics Office. 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Trimgate Street". Navan & District Historical Society.
  3. ^ "McDonald's, Trimgate Street, TOWNPARKS, Navan, County Meath". National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.
  4. ^ a b c An Uaimh - its Origin. Navan Historical Society.
  5. ^ Joyce, P W. Origin of the name Navan, in The Wonders of Ireland (1911).
  6. ^ "S.I. No. 200/1971:Local Government (Change of Name of Urban District) Order, 1971".
  7. ^ User, Super. "Bus Timetables - Sillan Coach Hire".
  8. ^ "Royal Breffni Tours". Royal Breffni Tours.
  9. ^ "Streamline Coaches Luxury coach hire - Timetables".
  10. ^ "School Details for all open Post Primary Schools in Ireland" (XLS). Department of Education and Science (Ireland). 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
  11. ^ "Smith Duff appointed". Drogheda Independent. Independent Newspapers (Ireland). 15 June 2001. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
  12. ^ "". Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Sníomh by Betty Newman-Maguire". Meath County Council. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  14. ^ "The Fifth Province by Richard E. King". Meath County Council. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Navan Points of Pride" (PDF). Meath County Council. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  16. ^ Daly, Susan. "Navan statue: a load of bull or taking the town by the horns?".
  17. ^ Finegan, Noelle (30 March 2011). "After a decade of controversy, bull sculpture is now in place". Meath Chronicle. Archived from the original on 17 April 2017.
  18. ^ Holten, Anthony (2016). The River Boyne: Hidden legacies, history and lore explored on foot and by boat. p. 319. ISBN 978-0-9569911-2-6.
  19. ^ Marsh, Richard (2013). Meath Folk Tales. The History Press Ireland. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-84588-788-9.
  20. ^ Donohoe, John (19 August 2009). "Group visits Navan's twin town in Italy". Meath Chronicle. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  21. ^ "Twinning charter signed in Navan". 20 June 2006. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  22. ^ Laughton, John Knox (1885). "Beaufort, Francis" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 04. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  23. ^ "Pierce Brosnan honoured by Navan Town". RTÉ News. 11 November 1999. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  24. ^ "Senator Shane Cassells". Fianna Fáil. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  25. ^ "Irishman to shake up file sharing". Irish Times. 3 August 2005. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  26. ^ "Helen McEntee, TD". Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  27. ^ "Dylan Moran: 'Smoking or breathing, one of them had to go'". Irish Times. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  28. ^ "Hector O'Heochagain". Meath County Council. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  29. ^ "Tommy Tiernan speaks about growing up in Navan". 12 December 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  30. ^ "Navan-born priest is third to occupy Vatican position". Meath Chronicle. 8 December 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2020.

External linksEdit