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This article is about the Irish town. For the Canadian town, see Maynooth, Ontario. For the political issue during the premiership of Robert Peel, see Maynooth Grant.
Maigh Nuad
Maynooth, County Kildare.jpg
Motto: Crom Abu
Maynooth is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°22′54″N 6°35′28″W / 53.38157°N 6.59098°W / 53.38157; -6.59098Coordinates: 53°22′54″N 6°35′28″W / 53.38157°N 6.59098°W / 53.38157; -6.59098
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Kildare
Elevation 48 m (157 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 13,617
Irish Grid Reference N935378

Maynooth (/məˈnθ/; Irish: Maigh Nuad) is a university town in north County Kildare, Ireland. It is home to Maynooth University (also known as The National University of Ireland Maynooth) part of the National University of Ireland, a Pontifical University and Ireland's main Roman Catholic seminary, St Patrick's College. Maynooth is also the seat of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference[2] and holds the headquarters of Ireland's largest development charity, Trócaire.[3]

Location and access[edit]

Maynooth is located on the R148 road between Leixlip and Kilcock, with the M4 motorway bypassing the town. Other roads connect the town to Celbridge, Clane, and Dunboyne. Maynooth is also on the Dublin to Sligo rail line and is served by a commuter train service.


Maynooth comes from Irish: Maigh Nuadhat or Maigh Nuadhad, meaning "plain of Nuadha". Maigh Nuad is the modern spelling. Nuadha was one of the gods of the ancient Irish, corresponding to Nudd of Wales and Nodens of ancient Britain and Gaul.


Maynooth was a long-term centre for the Geraldine or FitzGerald family, which dominated Irish affairs in during the Anglo-Norman and Tudor periods.

From 1932 to 1937, the town was the unofficial home to the King's representative in Ireland, Governor General Domhnall Ua Buachalla, who declined to take up official residence in the Viceregal Lodge in the Phoenix Park, and whose family operated a hardware store in the town until 2005, the only shop with an Irish language name in the town for many years, though during 2014 a sweet shop named An Siopa Milseáin has opened a few doors away.

Historical features[edit]

The town has, at either end of the main street, Maynooth Castle and Carton House: two former seats of the Dukes of Leinster. The castle was a stronghold of the 16th century historical figure Thomas FitzGerald, 10th Earl of Kildare better known as Silken Thomas. The castle was overrun in 1535, after the rebellion of the Earl.

The village is just inside the western edge of The Pale.

The most important historical buildings in the town are those of St. Patrick's College and some of which antedate the foundation of the college, while others are in the late Georgian and neo-Gothic revival style. The "new range" of buildings was erected by A. W. N. Pugin in 1850 under a commission from then college president Laurence F. Renehan, while the College Chapel was designed and completed by James Joseph McCarthy during the presidency of Dr. Robert Browne in 1894.

The famed Conolly's Folly is also near the town, although it is arguably in Celbridge, as it is much closer to it, but is covered by Maynooth's very extensive town boundaries. It was known to be the gateway to the west as the main route from Dublin.

There are three old monastic settlements in the vicinity of Maynooth, including Laraghbryan and its cemetery, Taghadoe and its Round Tower and Grangewilliam (Donaghmore).


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
state 1,813 —    
1468 1,821 +0.4%
1364 1,831 +0.5%
2053 1,841 +0.5%
2129 1,851 +0.5%
1696 1,861 +0.5%
1497 1,871 +0.5%
1414 1,881 +0.5%
1278 1,891 +0.5%
958 1,901 +0.5%
948 1,911 +0.5%
886 1,926 +0.8%
846 1,936 +0.5%
632 1,946 +0.5%
573 1,951 +0.3%
581 1,956 +0.3%
1722 1,961 +0.3%
1753 1,966 +0.3%
1254 1,971 +0.3%
1296 1,981 +0.5%
3388 1,986 +0.3%
6893 1,991 +0.3%
6027 1,996 +0.3%
8528 2,002 +0.3%
10845 2,006 +0.2%
10715 2,011 +0.2%
12510 —    

The population of 12,510[5] makes it the fifth largest village in Kildare and the 35th largest in Ireland. Measurement can be difficult as much of the village's population is transient – students at NUI Maynooth or St. Patrick's College, or temporary employees at the nearby Intel and Hewlett Packard facilities (both located in Leixlip).


St Patrick's College

Two third-level educational institutions – St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, founded under King George III in 1795 to train Ireland's Roman Catholic clergy, and the Maynooth University, separated from St. Patrick's College in 1997 – are located in the town. They share campus space and many facilities. NUI Maynooth is the only university in the Republic of Ireland not situated in a city. There is one secondary school (Maynooth Post Primary), and four primary schools: a girls' school, a boys' school (St. Mary's BNS), an Educate Together school, and an Irish-speaking school.

Kildare VEC has received patronage authority to build a second secondary school, albeit their desire is to split the existing one to senior and junior schools instead.


The town contains a fire station, in addition to the area's part-time Garda station, a health centre, a branch library, and a credit union as well as various restaurants.


Maynooth is served by two churches named St. Mary's, one St. Mary's Church of Ireland (Anglican) which is incorporated into the walls of St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, and St. Mary's Roman Catholic church where the Kilcock Road, turns into Maynooth Village, serving the Maynooth Parish of St. Mary's and Ladychapel. Also close by is the former Moyglare Church which is used as the Church of Ireland, Meath & Kildare Diocesan Centre. Maynooth Community Church is a congregation linked to the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.


Device used as logo for Maynooth village on street signs, tourist information, etc.

The town is the main retail and service centre for North Kildare and South Meath, with branches of SuperValu, Tesco Ireland, Aldi and Lidl, as well as a wide variety of non-chain stores. In October 2005, Dunnes Stores opened a major shopping centre off the town's main street, Manor Mills. This centre contains a number of other high street names, such as Easons and Elvery's Sports. On 18 January 2007 Tesco Ireland announced plans to demolish its existing store in Maynooth (the same store having been demolished and rebuilt only seven years previously) and build a larger shopping centre, anchored by a Tesco Extra store, on a neighbouring site.[6] The new centre is known as Carton Park, after nearby Carton House. The Tesco Extra portion of the new shopping centre opened on 3 November 2008, with Heatons, Sports World, Next Children and Boots. A number of shops that formed part of the former Maynooth Shopping Centre remain open on the old site.


Maynooth Harbour by the Train station


Maynooth is on the Royal Canal, navigable from central Dublin to this point, now used mostly for leisure purposes. It provided an important stopping point before Dublin in the period directly before the coming of the railways to Ireland in the first half of the 19th century. The harbour, known locally as Dukes Harbour is roughly triangular in shape and on the north side of the canal, opposite the railway station is a popular fishing area.


Maynooth railway station is one of the busiest in the Dublin / Kildare region, serving as it does two major educational institutions. The town is the terminus of most Iarnród Éireann Western Commuter trains, as well as being served by the Sligo InterCity service.


Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann services also serve the town. A number of private operators also serve the town, linking it with nearby towns and cities.



  • Carton House Golf Club is located in Maynooth. The Golfing Union of Ireland, the longest established golf union in the world, have their national headquarters on the estate. This facility also comprises the GUI National Academy, a 22-acre (89,000 m2) teaching facility for up and coming golfers, as well as being a facility available to all golfers in Ireland. It has a driving range, putting green, and short game area, as well as lessons.

Pitch & Putt[edit]

  • Elm Hall Golf Club, Celebridge provides two 18 hole Pitch & Putt courses. Societies from Maynooth play Pitch & Putt every Sunday morning.


  • North Kildare RFC is the local rugby club and is situated about 3 km from Maynooth on the Kilcock road. Additionally, the nearby rugby club NUIM Barnhall is run in connection with the University in Maynooth. It is, however, sited in and more commonly associated with Leixlip.
  • Maynooth Native Bob Casey is a professional rugby player and Ireland international. Casey has represented Ireland at Schools, U19, U21, Ireland 'A' and U25 levels. He made his senior debut against Australia in 1999. Casey has six caps for Ireland. When he played for Ireland against Canada in May 2009, it was his first cap since 2000. He Currently Plays for London Irish. He has also played for the Barbarians.

Gaelic games[edit]


  • Maynooth Town F.C. is the local soccer club.

Horse Racing[edit]


  • Le Chéile Athletic Club

See also[edit]


External links[edit]