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Muine Mheá
Monivea is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°22′04″N 8°41′52″W / 53.3678°N 8.6978°W / 53.3678; -8.6978Coordinates: 53°22′04″N 8°41′52″W / 53.3678°N 8.6978°W / 53.3678; -8.6978
Country Ireland
Province Connacht
County County Galway
Elevation 83 m (272 ft)
Population (2002)
 • Urban 300
 • Rural 564
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference M535354

Monivea (Irish: Muine Mheá, meaning "Meadow of the mead" is a village in County Galway, Ireland.

It was formerly part of the kingdom of the Soghain of Connacht. It is located approximately 30 km from Galway City and 9 km from Athenry. Monivea is known for its sizable forest, Monivea Castle which now lies in partial ruins, and a well-preserved mausoleum. Mausoleum and castle were built by the Ffrench (or ffrench) family, one of the "Tribes of Galway" and landholders since early Norman times, who remained Catholic.[1] The Ffrench family were also responsible for the distinctive layout of the greens in the centre of the village, which were used as drying stations for the linen (known as flax) of local industries.[2][3]

The forest, mausoleum and castle were left to the State by the last Ffrench, and the forest is now held by Coillte (formerly the Irish Forestry Commission).

There are two small grocery shops one with a petrol station, a butcher shop, four pubs, a Garda station, a post office, a playground, a church in Ryehill, and Monivea National School.


The Ffrenches (one of the tribes of Galway) bought lands off the O'Kelly family in 1609, building on to the fortifications of the O'Kelly castle and establishing Monivea House. The following generations of the Ffrenches reclaimed useful land which was mainly bog. Oliver Cromwell confiscated their land in 1650, but once he was gone the Ffrenches continued to reclaim the land.

In 1744 Robert Ffrench inherited the land. He turned bogs into arable land by ploughing, liming and seeding it. He set up a linen industry and houses for the weavers. Greens were laid out to dry the linen. He built a school and planted trees where Monivea woods now stands. He married Sofia, a noble Russian, and had one child called Kathleen.

In 1762 construction commenced on the Protestant Church, and it was consecrated by the Archbishop of Tuam. It remained in use until 1924. The south side of the roof collapsed in 1955. The remains of the church can now be seen alongside the playground in the village.


  • The Fr. Sammon Centre has held many events including twinning with Treméven and celebrating the 1916 rising. The hall is also used by several clubs in including boxing, active age, taekwondo and dance.
  • The mausoleum contains the remains of Robert Ffrench and his daughter.
  • The icehouse was used for food storage by the Ffrenches.



The village of Monivea had been officially twinned with the town of Treméven France on the 15th of August 2010. However this process begun long before this with a number of visits between the two towns in the preceding years. The first part of the twinning towns charter was signed on 5 July 2009 in the town of Treméven France.[4] The Monivea representatives spent an exciting week being entertained by music, dance, tours of the area, and banquets provided by their hosts in Trémeven. Monivea signed the second part of the Twinning towns charter on Sunday 15 August 2010 in Monivea with the town of Treméven France.[5]


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