Category Archives: Ireland by Sectors

Navan and Environs (Co. Meath)

Above image Navan Historical society

Navan (Co. Meath / Central)

Navan (An Uaimh – “the cave”; etymology disputed) (pop. 30,000), long a small but prosperous market hub,  replaced Trim as the administrative capital of County Meath in 1898.

Believed by some to have originally been named Nuachongbhail (“new dwelling”), and historically aka Novan and The Novane, the town was  called only by its official modern Gaelic toponym from 1922 until 1970, when residents voted (746-161) to resume “Navan”. Continue reading Navan and Environs (Co. Meath)

Kilkenny City and Environs

Kilkenny City (Cill Chainnigh – “church of Saint Canice“) (pop. 23,000), the only inland city in the Republic of Ireland, and the smallest by both area and population, is one of the most attractive towns in the country. (Photo by Andreas F. Borchert)

Situated on the banks of the River Nore at its junction with the River Bregagh,  the eponymous County capital has  a rich architectural heritage, including beautiful edifices from every era since the arrival of the Normans,  twisting streets with intriguing names, shops, museums, art galleries, craft and design workshops and public gardens. There are also several places to visit nearby.

These factors, together with a number of excellent pubs, restaurants and accommodation options in and around the town are the main reasons for Kilkenny’s popularity as a discerning visitors’ destination or base for touring Ireland. Continue reading Kilkenny City and Environs

Carlow Town and Environs

Above picture Carlow rowers

Carlow Town (Ceatharlach – “city of the lake” / “four lakes”), aka Catherlough until 1721, stands at the confluence of the Rivers Barrow and Burrin; tradition has it that the junction once formed four lakes.

Graiguecullen is on the western side of the River Barrow, and is thus technically in Co. Laois. Popularly referred to as Graigue, it belongs to the old Civil Parish of Sleaty, and its correct full name was Sleatygraigue until 1922, when it was renamed in memory of Fr Hugh Cullen, a much-loved local priest who died in 1917.

The combined urban entity of Carlow / Graiguecullen & Environs has grown rapidly in the last few years, and is now largely a commuter dormitory satellite for DUBLIN. Carlow’s old streets are bustling and friendly, with something of the feel of a university town. Live music is played in many of the town’s pubs.

The grassy quays and the huddle of warehouses beside the River Barrow evidence the pivotal role Carlow had for the commerce that long used this waterway. Ceatharlach Moorings is a fine modern marina below the lock. Unfortunately, the town is still subject to frequent flooding.

Carlow Castle

Carlow Castle, located at Carlow, County Carlow, Republic of Ireland.
Carlow Castle, located at Carlow, County Carlow, Republic of Ireland. Age BosmaOwn work

Carlow Castle was once one of the most impressive Norman castles in Ireland. Built between 1207 and 1213 by Strongbow‘s successor William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, on the site of a motte erected by Hugh de Lacy in the 1180s, it appears to have been directly inspired by French examples, notably Nemours (Seine-et-Marne), completed in 1180, and may be the earliest example of a four-towered keep in the British Isles. Continue reading Carlow Town and Environs