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For the racehorse, see Dunboyne (horse).
Dún Búinne
Looking east-southeast from the centre of the village
Looking east-southeast from the centre of the village
Dunboyne is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°25′12″N 6°28′30″W / 53.420°N 6.475°W / 53.420; -6.475Coordinates: 53°25′12″N 6°28′30″W / 53.420°N 6.475°W / 53.420; -6.475
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Meath
Elevation 70 m (230 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 6,959
Irish Grid Reference O010422

Dunboyne (Irish: Dún Búinne, meaning "Búinne's stronghold")[2] is a town in County Meath, Ireland.


Church of Saints Peter & Paul

Dunboyne is centred on the crossroads formed by the R156 regional road and the old Maynooth Road (formerly designated R157).


Dunboyne's history stretches back to the Middle Ages. Dunboyne was home to many men who fought for and against British rule in the Irish Rebellion of 1798. During the War of Independence the town was Division Headquarters to the IRA 1st Eastern Division, a unit formed in April 1921 under Divisional commander, Seán Boylan. The Division consisted nine brigades: 1st Brigade (south Meath & north Kildare); 2nd (Navan & Trim); 3rd (Kells, Virginia & Mullagh); 4th, Delvin; 5th (Mullingar & north Westmeath); 6th, Edenderry; 7th (Naas & south Kildare); 8th Fingal; and 9th (Drogheda & south Louth).[3]

Dunboyne Castle[edit]

Dunboyne Castle, originally a castle was built as a seat for a branch of the Butler dynasty, the Lords Dunboyne. It later passed to the Mangan family and was the seat of Simon Mangan, HM Lieutenant for County Meath in the 1890s and 1900s.

The house was sold in 1950 and became the Good Shepherd convent, in which nuns used to live and operate a mother and baby home, The Ard Mhuire mother and baby home in Dunboyne was opened by the sisters of the Good Shepherd in 1955. It closed in 1991. A partial amount of the building had been dismantled. In 2006, the convent was sold and converted into a hotel.[4]

Notable former residents[edit]

  • Archibald Hamilton father of William Rowan Hamilton was of the Hamilton family of Dunboyne. They were once large landowners in the town. His father owned Ballymacoll Estate. William Rowan's uncle the Rev. James Hamilton was the Vicar of Trim and Dunboyne.
  • Thomas Cusack, a Lord Chancellor of Ireland in the 1500s.
  • John Butler, 12th Baron Dunboyne
  • Thomas Blood, Colonel Thomas Blood (1618 – 24 August 1680) was an Irish colonel best known for attempting to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London in 1671. He was raised in Sarney, Dunboyne.



Dunboyne Athletic Club was founded in 1928 and is located on the Rooske Road, where facilities include a 400-metre, all-weather track, IAAF standard hammer throwing cage and club house. In 2013 the club had 790 registered members, making it the 4th largest club in Ireland. Current Irish international athletes who are members include Padraig White and James Mc Cabe (hammer), Michael O Hanlon (discus) and Luke Forde (cross country). The club host an annual 4-mile road race on the last Sunday in March that attracts over 1000 participants. Programmes added in 2013 were Fit4Youth for teenagers and Couch25k. New events include a Winter Throws Competition on the first Saturday in March and a Schools Cross Country on the first Wednesday in December.


The GUI National Golf Academy is located 5 km outside Dunboyne on the Maynooth Road. It has a driving range, putting green and short game area. It has golf lessons available from professionals.


Dunboyne has a rich GAA tradition. The Dunboyne team won the Meath senior county football championship in 1998 and 2005. Dunboyne man Seán Boylan was the longest serving county manager in GAA history and led Meath to four All Ireland victories in 1987, 1988, 1996 and 1999. He was awarded 'Freedom of Meath' in 2006 for his contributions to the Meath GAA scene. In 2009 the under 14 team won the All Ireland club championship.

Ladies GAA[edit]

Since its foundation in 1996, the Dunboyne Ladies GFC remains the only stand alone Ladies Gaelic Football club in the County. It caters for girls from the local Dunboyne Community and surrounding areas and fields teams in all age competitions and Senior Leagues. There is a very active Underage/Nursery which welcomes new members to come along and join the club, with emphasis on fun and learning the skills of Gaelic Football. Dunboyne Ladies GFC have won Meath Championships several times over at all under age levels up to and including Under 21s

Motor racing[edit]

Dunboyne was also a motor racing venue between 1958 and 1967 for both cars and motorbikes. The racing circuit was a 4 mile long triangular shaped circuit with a combination of fast straights and hairpin bends. The start/finish line was in the centre of Dunboyne village and the racing circuit itself consisted of public roads around the village. During these years races such as the Leinster Trophy, Dunboyne Trophy and Holmpatrick Trophy were held.

The 2015 "Spirit of Dunboyne" Festival of Motorsport event took place on 26–27 September. The old motor racing circuit still sees competitive racing of the two legged variety in the form of the Annual Easter Sunday Road race held by the Dunboyne Athletic Club. Athletes compete for the Mattie McGrath Trophy and 2008 saw this event being held for the 39th time.


Dunboyne has produced two Irish rugby internationals, Tom and Conleth Feighery (brothers) both received a number of caps for their country in the 1970s. Tom is currently a local GP.


Dunboyne has two football clubs, Dunboyne AFC and Dunboyne FC. One plays at Dunboyne AFC's grounds on the Summerhill Road, and the other in the Phoenix Park, which were officially opened by Pele in November 2009, in recognition of the club receiving the FAI Club of the Year award for 2009.


Dunboyne Tennis Club was formed about 1980 using the car park at Dunboyne National Primary School. It later moved to Dunboyne Community Centre and is today located on the edge of Clonee Village, just off the N3.


Primary schools[edit]

  • Dunboyne Junior Primary School
  • Dunboyne Senior Primary School
  • Gaelscoil Thulach na nÓg
  • St Peter's National School (Church of Ireland)

Secondary school[edit]

Third level[edit]

  • Dunboyne College of Further Education

Dunboyne College of Further Education, currently located in Dunboyne Business Park, is a well-established College of Further Education providing full-time courses at FETAC level 5.

The College operates under the authority of the County Meath Vocational Education Committee, which operates second level and further education opportunities in the Meath area.

The qualifications obtained from programmes in the college provide students with the opportunity to progress to further studies at third level.

Controversy at Gaelscoil Thulach na nÓg[edit]

In 2002, Tomás Ó Dulaing, headmaster at Gaelscoil Thulach na nÓg was dismissed by the board of patrons. He wrote a letter to the parents of the children which was deemed by the Board of Management to be misconduct. Although portrayed by some as being dismissed for opting to teach religious sacraments outside school hours, he was in fact dismissed for mis-conduct and his dismissal on these grounds were upheld by the Labour Court.[citation needed] The parents of the school were divided on the issue of his dismissal, and some felt that it was unfairly represented in the press.[5][6]

Youth clubs[edit]

  • Cumann na bhFiann

Beginning in 2001, Cumann na bhFiann originated from the organisation Colaiste Na BhFiann. The aim of the club is to promote the Irish language and to help young children to understand Irish. Approximately 50 students currently participate in the club, which takes place from September to May.

  • Foróige

An English speaking youth club, which encourages teenagers to keep out of trouble, and to have fun on Friday nights. Currently, 300 students from Meath attend this club, 30 of whom come from Dunboyne.


There is a chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Dunboyne that meets alternating Monday nights in Bradys Pub. There are sesiúns in Slevin's Pub on Friday nights, and Brady's Pub on Thursday and Monday nights. At St Peter's College, the award-winning student orchestra exists as well as an award-winning choir.

Dunboyne Community Centre[edit]

In 1985 the people of Dunboyne came together at a public meeting and agreed that a social and recreational centre was badly needed. Four years of fund-raising followed, during which 80–90% of households contributed on a weekly, monthly or annual basis. Local businesses participated with sponsorships, and the local clubs ran fund-raising events. These efforts raised over £400,000, the Irish government contributed grants totalling £35,000, and a fully equipped Community Centre was opened by then-President of Ireland, Dr Patrick Hillery, in 1989.

With the establishment of St Peter's College on the adjoining site in 1994, the opportunity arose to embark on an innovative venture which has since become a model for school/community ventures elsewhere in Ireland. The money that would have been spent on putting sports facilities into the College, £280,000, was instead invested in the Centre. Through further fund-raising, the Committee added another £150,000 to this and the result was a major extension of the building in 1997. This arrangement provided the College with a larger sports hall than it otherwise would have had while, outside of school hours, the extension enabled the centre to cater better for the growing community. A Health & Fitness Club was added in January 2000, and a floodlit all-weather pitch (another joint venture with St Peter's College) in 2004.

A non-profit making body, owned by the community, the centre is funded by the community, and operated for the benefit of the community. It has a charitable exemption from income tax. All the income which it generates goes towards covering its costs and funding further development.



Dunboyne is situated primarily on the R156 Regional Road, just east of the roundabout intersection with the R157.[7]


There are two rail stations in Dunboyne. Dunboyne railway station and M3 Parkway railway station were built as part of the reopening of the Navan-Clonsilla line under the Irish Governments Transport 21 development programme. The original Dunboyne railway station was opened on 29 August 1862 and closed on 1 April 1963.[8]


Dunboyne is served by two Dublin Bus routes; the 70 and 270. There is also a limited Bus Éireann service to/from Dunshaughlin, Navan and Kells on route 109 and to Mullingar, Killucan, Rathmolyon and Summerhill on route 118.[9][10]

Bus Éireann route 109 provides two journeys a day in the morning to Kells via Dunshaughlin and Navan and two return journeys in the evening.[11] No Bus Éireann services serve Dunboyne on Sundays. However Bus Éireann also indirectly serves Dunboyne along the Dublin-Navan route, with a stop located at the Sheaf of Wheat near the junction of the Navan Rd. and the R157, which leads to Dunboyne. Bus Éireann route 111 between Dublin and Athboy stops at the M3 parkway station, just outside Dunboyne. Until 24 August 2013 (inclusive) Bus Éireann route 118 provided a service to/ from Dunboyne to Ballivor and Mullingar.

Geographical qualities[edit]


It has been suggested[by whom?] that Dunboyne is the only town in Ireland that could be an inland island, as the only way into and out of the town is over bridges, directly outside the town on each road.

The Castle River flows into the Tolka river and recent flooding in and around Dunboyne has been attributed to problems further down the Tolka. Alleviation works have resulted in the risk of flooding being severely lessened. The last major flood was in 2002, preceded by floods in 2000 and 1987.


On 11 May 2007 the town was hit by a small tornado in which slates were torn from roofs and branches from trees during the brief storm, which occurred just after 6:30 pm.[12]


Miscellaneous information[edit]

Dunboyne was the backdrop for the fictional village of Leestown in the successful television series of the 1970s called The Riordans. More recently certain elements of the local Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) clubs and country houses were used in a recent RTÉ GAA related drama series. And also a partial amount of footage of 'Ear to the Ground' this was filmed in 2006. The footage was shot in the Local GAA grounds on the Rooske Rd. The show is now finished.

In Stockholm, Sweden, there is an unusual youth hostel; it is a ship called af Chapman. Named Dunboyne by her original Dublin owners, Charles E. Martin & Co., she participated in trade with Australia in her early years. Sold to Norway in 1909, the Dunboyne was renamed the G.D. Kennedy in July 1915 when she was bought by the Swedish shipping company Transatlantic who sold her to the Swedish government in 1924, when it was renamed af Chapman. She has been operating as a youth hostel since 1949.[13]

In the 2009 local elections, Cllr Maria Murphy and Cllr Noel Leonard, both of whom live in Dunboyne, were both elected to Meath County Council. The 2009 election was one of the few which saw two candidates from Dunboyne being elected to the council.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  2. ^ "Dún Búinne/Dunboyne". Logainm.ie. 2015-11-03. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  3. ^ "Bureau of Military History, 1913-21 : Statement by Witness - David Hall" (PDF). Bureauofmilitaryhistory.ie. p. 10. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  4. ^ Irish babies used as guinea pigs in drug experiments, Irishcentral.com; accessed 29 February 2016.
  5. ^ "This sad school story". Independent.ie. 2002-07-31. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  6. ^ Paul Anderson (2002-04-18). "Meath school row needs national debate - Bruton". Irishtimes.com. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  7. ^ "OpenStreetMap". OpenStreetMap. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  8. ^ "Dunboyne station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  9. ^ (PDF) http://web.archive.org/web/20120517025239/http://www.buseireann.ie/pdf/1318429077-109.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ (PDF) http://web.archive.org/web/20120517025405/http://www.buseireann.ie/pdf/1269622290-Service-Number-118-PDF-(2).pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "Dublin Airport - Bus Éireann - View Ireland Bus and Coach Timetables & Buy Tickets". Buseireann.ie. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  12. ^ "Tornado damages houses in Meath". RTÉ News. 11 May 2007. 
  13. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20070708035646/http://www.bruzelius.info:80/Nautica/Ships/Merchant/Sail/D/Dunboyne(1888).html. Archived from the original on 8 July 2007. Retrieved 29 May 2007.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]