|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC-1)|
|Irish Grid Reference||N624102|
Monasterevin (Irish: Mainistir Eimhín) is a town in County Kildare in Ireland. The town lies on the River Barrow and the Grand Canal. Its population of 3,710 (2011 Census) makes it the 11th largest town in Kildare and the 105th largest in Ireland.
Situated 63 km from Dublin on the R445 road, Monasterevin has been relieved of much through traffic by the opening in 2004 of a new section of the M7 motorway bypassing the town on the N7 Dublin to Limerick route. Monasterevin is well connected by rail, with trains from Dublin to the southwest (Cork, Limerick, and Tralee) and west (Galway and Mayo) all serving the town.
Monasterevin is a small town, with Georgian houses, on a flat expanse of country, and occupies a right angle bend on the river Barrow, as it changes direction from east to south.
Due to its unusual number of bridges, and the arrival in 1786 of the Grand Canal, the town is sometimes referred to as "The Venice of Ireland".
In answer to a Dáil question by Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley on 01/05/13 the Minister for Justice confirmed that Monasterevin is served by just 4 Gardaí to provide 24 hour cover, 7 days a week.
The land, from pastoral to bog, gets its name from St. Eimhin's (Evin) Monastery, which was built in the 6th century. This gave way in the 12th century to a house dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary by Dermot O'Dempsey, Prince of Offaly, whose mitred abbot sat as a baron in the Irish Parliament. This house disappeared and Moore Abbey was built in 1607, which was modernised in 1846, and was the seat of the Earls of Drogheda from the 18th century onwards. John McCormack the famous Irish tenor, rented the house for 9 years in 1936. The Abbey is now a convent, belonging to the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary.
A Celtic-style cross in the square of the town is in memory of Father Prendergast, who was hanged here for the part he played in the 1798 Rising.
An aqueduct built in 1826 carries the Grand Canal over the River Barrow. Monasterevin is noted for its unusually high number of bridges.
In 1975 the kidnappers of Dr. Tiede Herrema held him in the town, culminating in a two-week siege of the house where they held him.
The birth of Motor racing
On Thursday, 2 July 1903 the Gordon Bennett Cup ran through Monsterevin. It was the first international motor race to be held in either Ireland or Great Britain, an honorific to Selwyn Edge who had won the 1902 event in Paris driving a Napier. The Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland wanted the race to be hosted in the Britain or Ireland, and their secretary, Claude Johnson, suggested Ireland as the venue because racing was illegal on British public roads roads. The editor of the Dublin Motor News, Richard Mecredy, suggested an area in County Kildare, and letters were sent to 102 Irish MPs, 90 Irish peers, 300 newspapers, 34 chairmen of county and local councils, 34 County secretaries, 26 mayors, 41 railway companies, 460 hoteliers, 13 PPs, plus the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Patrick Foley, who pronounced himself in favour. Local laws had to be adjusted, ergo the 'Light Locomotives (Ireland) Bill' was passed on 27 March 1903. Kildare and other local councils drew attention to their areas, whilst Queen’s County declared That every facility will be given and the roads placed at the disposal of motorists during the proposed race. Eventually Kildare was chosen, partly on the grounds that the straightness of the roads would be a safety benefit. As a compliment to Ireland the British team chose to race in Shamrock green[a] which thus became known as British racing green, although the winning Napier of 1902 had been painted Olive green.
The route consisted of two loops that comprised a figure of eight, the first was a 52-mile (84 km) loop that included Kilcullen, The Curragh, Kildare, Monasterevin, Stradbally, Athy, followed by a 40-mile (64 km) loop through Castledermot, Carlow, and Athy again. The race started at the Ballyshannon cross-roads ( ) near Calverstown on the contemporary N78 heading north, then followed the N9 north; the N7 west; the N80 south; the N78 north again; the N9 south; the N80 north; the N78 north again. Competitors were started at seven-minute intervals and had to follow bicycles through the 'control zones' in each town. The 328 miles (528 km) race was won by the famous Belgian Camille Jenatzy, driving a Mercedes in German colours.
In Monasterevin an under-impressed man was reported saying:
|“||I don’t think I’d care to go through the world so quick. My old donkey will carry me quickly enough into the next world, and what’s the use in hurrying when you can’t come back? ||”|
Monasterevin is 63 km (39 mi) from Dublin, 19 km (12 mi) from Athy and 21 km (13 mi) from Port Laoise. Items of interest are Moore Abbey and Monasterevin House. Other features are its angling, the Monasterevin Canal festival, and its sporting activities, which include Gaelic Athletic Association, badminton, golf, boating, gymnastics and shooting.
Since 1987, a Gerard Manley Hopkins Literary Festival has been held annually in the town, which the poet described as 'one of the props and struts of my existence' whilst he was teaching in Dublin. monasterevin also has the very beautiful bell harbour development for used by public with runs with waterways ireland as trustees.
- Monasterevin G.F.C. is one of the local Gaelic Athletic Association football clubs, the other being Ballykelly GAA
- The town is also home to Ros Glas hurling club.
- List of abbeys and priories in (County Kildare)
- List of towns and villages in Ireland
- Market Houses in Ireland
a. ^ According to Leinster Leader, Saturday, 11 April 1903, Britain had to choose a different colour to its usual national colours of red, white and blue, as these had already been taken by Italy, Germany and France respectively. It also stated red as the color for American cars in the 1903 Gordon Bennett Cup.</ref>
monasterevin also during the economy boom has developed some well respected new residenital area, most noted being ros glas avenue, old millrace, ferns bridge, all coming to the market with extra well needed sports facilities.and all named after local events,places, and famous land owners
- Census 2006 - Table 14A - Towns 10,000 population and over
- Fitzgerald, Barry - International Dictionary of Film and Filmmakers, (2000) by Anthony Slide
- Census for post 1821 figures.
- Historical Populations
- 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.
- Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (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.
- Monasterevin, County Kildare, Ireland. Retrieved: 2010-12-10.
- Circle Genealogic and Historic Champanellois
- Leinster Leader, Saturday, 11 April 1903
- Forix 8W - Britain's first international motor race by Brendan Lynch, based on his Triumph of the Red Devil, the 1903 Irish Gordon Bennett Cup Race. October 22, 2003
- The Gordon Bennett races - the birth of international competition. Author Leif Snellman, Summer 2001
- Bleacher report, The Birth of British motor racing
- Gerard Manley Hopkins Literary Festival
- However, in 2009, the Gerard Manley Hopkins Festival moved to nearby Newbridge. Hopkins and Monasterevin
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Monasterevin.|
- Monasterevin Website, Kildare County Council
- Monasterevin Website, Monasterevin Community Council
- Monasterevin railway station
- Monasterevin Historical Society
- Venice Of Ireland Festival Monasterevin 2010