|Elevation||48 m (157 ft)|
|Telephone area code||01|
Maynooth (//; Irish: Maigh Nuad) is a university town in north County Kildare, Ireland. It is home to Maynooth University (part of the National University of Ireland and also known as the National University of Ireland, Maynooth) and St Patrick's College, a Pontifical University and Ireland's main Roman Catholic seminary. Maynooth is also the seat of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference and holds the headquarters of Ireland's largest development charity, Trócaire. Maynooth is located 24 kilometres (15 miles) west of central Dublin.
Location and access
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-Sligo railway line and is served by the Commuter and InterCity train services.
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.
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Maynooth was a long-term centre for the Geraldine or FitzGerald family, which dominated Irish affairs 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 Milseán opened a few doors away, which closed in early 2020.
The town is just inside the western edge of The Pale. It 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 who was better known as Silken Thomas. The castle was overrun in 1535, after the rebellion of the Earl.
The most important historical buildings in the town are those of St. Patrick's College and some 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.
Conolly's Folly is within Maynooth's very extensive town boundaries
Maynooth Pound is a rare example of a surviving pound which has existed since the 18th century. The existing walls were built in 1822 although the pound is older than that. Historically, stray animals were impounded here to be returned to their owners for a fee or sold at auction if not claimed. More recently[when?] the pound was renovated and is now a place of recreation by the Lyreen River.
The population of 14,585 (according to the census in 2016) makes Maynooth the fifth largest settlement in Kildare and the 31st largest settlement in Ireland. However, during the academic year the population of Maynooth nearly doubles in size. Measurement can be difficult as much of the population is transient – students at Maynooth University (above 12,000) or St. Patrick's College, or temporary employees at the nearby Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise facilities (both located in Leixlip).
There are two third-level educational institutions – St Patrick's College, founded under King George III in 1795 to train Ireland's Roman Catholic clergy, and Maynooth University, separated from St. Patrick's College in 1997 – located in the town. They share campus space and many facilities. Maynooth University is the only university in the Republic of Ireland not situated in a city.
There are two secondary schools (Maynooth Post Primary & Maynooth Community College, run from the same premises by Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board), and five primary schools: a Presentation Sisters girls-only school, a Dublin Archdiocese boys-only school (St. Mary's BNS), an Educate Together school, a Dublin Archdiocese Irish-language school and an An Foras Pátrúnachta multi-denominational Irish-language primary school, currently co-located with the other Irish-language school.
A KWETB Irish-language secondary school is due to open in September 2020.
The town contains a fire station, in addition to the area's part-time Garda station, a health centre, a public library, and a credit union as well as various restaurants, including Romayo's which was voted to be the best Take-Away in Leinster in 2014. Maynooth Community Library hosts regular public events, including book clubs, a film club, children's storytime, and author visits. It also offers services and events relating to National Healthy Ireland and Work Matters initiatives.
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, and St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, where the Kilcock Road turns into Maynooth Village, serving the Maynooth Parish of St. Mary's and Lady chapel. Also close by is the former Moyglare Church which is used as the Church of Ireland, Meath & Kildare Diocesan Centre. Maynooth Community Church, a congregation linked to the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, has applied for planning permission to construct a church.
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. 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 Sports Direct, Next Children and Boots. A number of shops that formed part of the former Maynooth Shopping Centre remain open on the old site; with the former Tesco store having been converted to The Range after many years empty.
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, as it serves two major educational institutions and is a major commuter town for people working in Dublin. The town is the terminus of most Iarnród Éireann Western Commuter trains, as well as being served by the Dublin-Sligo InterCity service.
In December 2019, Iarnród Éireann awarded a contract for Multi-Disciplinary Consultancy Team for the expansion of the DART on the Maynooth Line which will lead to electrification of the line to Maynooth and increase capacity on the line.
Dublin Bus operates routes 66, 66e and 67 to Maynooth via Merrion Square. Bus Éireann services 20 (Galway to Dublin Airport), 22 (Ballina to Dublin Airport), 23 (Sligo to Dublin Airport) and 115 (Mullingar/Kilcock to Dublin) serve the town; but cannot carry local passengers from Maynooth to Dublin City Centre. Passengers may travel from Maynooth westbound or to Dublin Airport. Airport Hopper route 767 provides an additional higher frequency link to Dublin Airport.
JJ Kavanagh/National Transport Authority Route 139 links Naas to Blanchardstown via Maynooth. A number of private operators also serve the town, linking it with nearby towns and cities; many in college term-time only.
Sport and voluntary groups
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.
Maynooth Town F.C. is the local soccer club. The senior men's team competes in co-operation with Maynooth University as Maynooth University Town F.C., a member of the Leinster Senior League. They won the FAI Intermediate Cup in 2018  and hence now compete in the senior FAI Cup. They progressed to the second round of the 2018 tournament.
North Kildare RFC is the local rugby club and is situated about 3 km from Maynooth on the Kilcock road. Maynooth native Bob Casey (born 1978) was a professional rugby player and a senior Irish international.
Le Chéile Athletic Club is a nearby Athletics club based on the Dublin Road in Leixlip not far from Maynooth.
There are two cycling clubs based in Maynooth. Maynooth Cycling Club is sponsored by and runs out of Maynooth Cycles in Newtown Shopping Centre and runs weekly spins on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The other is Maynooth Students for Charity also known as the Galway Cycle. This club runs out of Maynooth University. It trains on weekends from January to April culminating in a charity cycle to Galway and back over one weekend. The club has raised over 1 million euro for charity since its inception. Both clubs are open to new members.
The Maynooth Scout group has been in existence since 1975. After many years operating out of the Maynooth Post Primary school they restored and redeveloped the Geraldine Hall, a protected building, as their Den in 2013. The Scout group caters for youth members from 6 years (Beavers) to 25 years (Rovers).
Carton House is a four-star hotel located on the outskirts of Maynooth. The hotel is home to many facilities such as a swimming pool, gym, spa, and training grounds. The Irish National Rugby Union Team frequently stays at the hotel.
The Glenroyal Hotel is a four-star hotel located in the centre of Maynooth. It has a two swimming pools (adult and family), gym and spa as part of its facilities as well as the Arkle Bar and Restaurant. Shoda Market Cafe is part of the building and adjacent to the hotel itself. Since 2017 the Roses of Tralee have stayed there as part of their tour of the country.
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