Navan (// NAV-ən; Irish: An Uaimh [ənˠ ˈuəvʲ], meaning "the Cave") is the county town of County Meath, Ireland. In 2016, it had a population of 30,173, making it the tenth largest settlement 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.
|Dáil Éireann||Meath West|
|Elevation||42 m (138 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC±0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (IST)|
|Eircode routing key|
|Telephone area code||+353(0)46|
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 there, from 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. 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.
''Navan'' is one of the world's few towns that has a palindromic name. Variants of Navan had been in use since Norman times. It is thought to come from Irish an Uamhain 'the cave/souterrain', 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. However, it failed to gain popularity in Irish and in 1971 the name was reverted to Navan in English.
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 Abbey Road.
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.
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 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.
Public art and sculptures in Navan include Sniomh, by Betty Newman Maguire, which sits in front of Navan Fire Station. This sculpture is reputedly inspired by the movement of water and the merging of the rivers Boyne and Blackwater.
Another public sculpture, The Fifth Province by Richard King, is located on the Navan Bypass. This sculpture is composed of four branches and a central upright stem that symbolises the flowering of hope and peace.
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. 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," Objections to the statue delayed its erection by 8 years.
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.
Navan is twinned with the following places:
- Francis Beaufort, scientist and naval officer
- Pierce Brosnan, actor
- Enda Caldwell, radio personality
- Shane Cassells, Fianna Fáil politician
- Ian Clarke, computer scientist
- Keith Donegan, racing driver
- Simon Fagan, musician
- Anthony Holten, author
- Donal Keogan, Gaelic footballer
- Gráinne Maguire, stand-up comedian, writer and podcaster
- Arthur Mathews, comedy writer
- Helen McEntee, Fine Gael politician
- Dylan Moran, comedian
- John O'Callaghan, DJ
- Hector Ó hEochagáin, TV personality
- Joseph Rooney, Catholic priest
- Tommy Tiernan, comedian
- Paul Tighe, Catholic prelate
- Yemi Adenuga, TV personality and Ireland's first black female elected Councillor
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- "Grainne Maguire: 'Why I decided to live tweet my menstrual cycle to Enda Kenny'". Irish times.com. Irish Times. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
- "Helen McEntee, TD". finegael.ie. Archived from the original on 7 December 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
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