Coordinates: 53°39′10″N 6°40′53″W / 53.6528°N 6.6814°W / 53.6528; -6.6814
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Irish: An Uaimh
Market Square
Market Square
Navan is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Navan is located in Europe
Navan (Europe)
Coordinates: 53°39′10″N 6°40′53″W / 53.6528°N 6.6814°W / 53.6528; -6.6814
CountyCounty Meath
Dáil constituencyMeath West
42 m (138 ft)
 • Rank9th
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC±0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST)
Eircode routing key
Telephone area code+353(0)46

Navan (/ˈnævən/ NAV-ən; Irish: An Uaimh [ənˠ ˈuəvʲ], meaning "the Cave")[2] is the county town and largest town of County Meath, Ireland.[3] It is at the confluence of the River Boyne and Blackwater, around 50 km northwest of Dublin. At the 2022 census, it had a population of 33,886, making it the ninth largest settlement in Ireland.[1]


The Modern Irish name An Uaimh is most likely derived from the prehistoric burial mound An Odhbha, named after Odhbha, the first wife of Érimón. It is likely the result of Odbha being later misunderstood and confused by locals with the similar sounding and much more familiar word uaimh, or uamha,[4] which also has a very similar meaning "cave, crypt or souterrain".[5] The Modern English name Navan is likely either an anglicisation of An Uaimh, which was often written and pronounced An Uamhainn, or of An Odhbha(n).[6][7] An Uaimh was the town's sole official name from the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922 until 1970 when it was changed to Navan.[8] Since the Official Languages Act 2003 both the Irish and English name have had equal status, as in the rest of the country.[9]



An Odhbha[edit]

Originally An Odhbha was probably a prehistoric tumulus, one of many in the Boyne Valley.[7]

Roman Artefacts[edit]

A small Roman copper alloy figure was found in the River Boyne near Navan. The figurine most likely represents a Lar, a Roman deity believed to protect the household. It is likely that the figure was placed in the river as a votive offering as in Irish mythology the river was considered divine and to have been created by the goddess Boann (Bóinn in Modern Irish). This belief in the divinity of rivers was shared by the Romans. Two Roman coins have also been found in Navan.[10][11][12]

Middle Ages[edit]

The town of Navan was founded by the Normans: Hugh de Lacy, who was granted the Lordship of Meath in 1172, awarded the Barony of Navan to one of his knights, Jocelyn de Angulo, who built a fort there, from which the town developed.[13]

Ludlow Street circa 1900–1939

Inside the town walls, Navan consisted of three streets. These were Trimgate Street, Watergate St. and Ludlow St. (which was once called Dublingate St.) The orientation of the three original streets remains from the Middle Ages but the buildings date from the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

More recent history[edit]

Navan Town Hall

Navan Town Hall started life as the local bridewell in 1831 and only became a municipal facility in 1983.[14]

The town's Post Office on Trimgate Street office was built in 1908 on the site of an earlier post office.[15][16] In 1990, the post office was relocated to Kennedy Road. The building of a new shopping centre re-oriented the town's centre. The onetime post office was acquired as the site of the town's first McDonald's restaurant.[17]

Map of Navan
Former Post Office converted to a McDonalds

Bus transport[edit]

Navan is served by several bus routes. The town has no central bus station.

Since 2020, there are two town bus routes operated by Bus Éireann, the N1 and N2.[18]

  • N1 runs from Commons Road to Kilcarn Bridge, serving the town centre and areas of the town east of the Boyne River.
  • N2 runs from Commons Road to Aisling Place, serving the town centre and areas north of the Boyne and Blackwater Rivers.[19]

Navan is also served by long distance bus routes. Several are operated by Bus Éireann including the 109 and its variants 109A and 109X, which run to Dublin.[20] Bus Éireann also runs the commercial NX express service to Navan.[21]

Sillan also serve the town.[22] Royal Breffni Tours provide services to Dundalk Institute of Technology.[23] Streamline Coaches provide services to NUI Maynooth.[24]


St. Mary's Church

Navan has a number of secondary schools, including private denominational and public inter-denominational and non-denominational. St. Patrick's Classical School is a Roman Catholic boys-only school. Loreto Secondary School, St. Michael's at the Loreto Convent, and St. Joseph's Secondary School at the Mercy Convent are both girls-only Roman Catholic convent schools. Coláiste na Mí is a VEC-run school in Johnstown that opened in 2013. Beaufort College is a large state-owned inter-denominational vocational school. The Abylity Secondary College was a parent-owned fee-paying non-denominational school.[25][26]

Navan and the surrounding area has a number of primary schools, including the town's Catholic boys' primary school Scoil Mhuire, which was originally run by the De La Salle Brothers. Pierce Brosnan was a former pupil of St. Anne's Loreto, which is situated beside St. Mary's Catholic Church and near to St. Joseph's Mercy. There are also St. Paul's, St. Stephen's, St. Ultan's, and St. Oliver's primary schools. Scoil Éanna is the town's only gaelscoil. The town's only Church of Ireland secondary school, Preston School, closed in the 1970s. It is now the site of the shopping centre in the town. There is a Church of Ireland primary school known as Flowerfield School, on the Trim rd a new site. It was originally situated at the Flowerfield area of the town, on the main thoroughfare to Drogheda, in a building that has been sympathetically converted into private accommodation. There is also a multi-denominational Educate Together primary school in the town, sited at Commons Road.


In 2022, there were 33,707 people residing in Navan. In 2022, according to the CSO, the town is 64.2% White Irish and 1.9% Irish Traveller, 17.8% White of any other background, 3.9% Black, 4.1% Asian, 3.6% any other racial background, and 4.3% not stated.[27]


Gaelic Games[edit]

Navan Races (September 2007)

Navan is home to several GAA clubs, including Navan O'Mahonys and Simonstown Gaels.

Páirc Tailteann is a stadium in Navan and is home of the Meath Gaelic football and Hurling teams

Association football[edit]

Parkvilla Football Club[28] was founded in 1966 and currently plays in North East Football league Premier Division and their reserve team competes in Division 3B.


Navan R.F.C. currently compete in the All Ireland League (AIL) Division 2A.


Knockharley Cricket Club was founded in 1982 and are the only cricket club in County Meath competing in the Leinster Cricket Union, the club's most recent success came in 2006 when the 1st XI won the Middle 2 Leinster Cup defeating Mullingar at North Kildare.

Public art[edit]

Public art and sculptures in Navan include Sniomh, by Betty Newman Maguire, which sits in front of Navan Fire Station.[29] This sculpture is reputedly inspired by the movement of water and the merging of the rivers Boyne and Blackwater.[citation needed]

Another public sculpture, The Fifth Province by Richard King, is located on the Navan Bypass.[30] This sculpture is composed of four branches and a central upright stem that symbolises the flowering of hope and peace.[citation needed]

The Bull, designed by sculptor Colin Grehan, is a prominent piece of public art. Situated in the market square of the town, this is a 16 tonne limestone statue of a bull being held back by two handlers and commemorates the historic bull markets that took place in the area.[31] The statue was surrounded by controversy over its cost, an estimated €90,000, and its location. Local man Paddy Pryle noted that "anybody coming up Timmons Hill, which is one of the main entrances into the town, will be entering Navan via the bull's arse. It is one of the most crazy things I have seen put up yet,"[32] Objections to the statue delayed its erection by 8 years.[33]


According to local folklore a Souterrain was discovered near the Navan Viaduct in 1848. The location of its entrance has since been lost.[34]

Another folk tale involves the ghost of Francis Ledwidge. According to the story an old friend of Ludwidge was working at the Meath Chronicle, the local news printer, when he heard the sound of Ledwidge's motorcycle outside. His friend was confused as he believed Ledwidge was fighting on the Western Front, upon going out to greet him the friend found that Ledwidge had disappeared. The story claims that this ghostly apparition appeared at the same moment he died.[35]

In the Fenian cycle of Irish mythology, Fionn mac Cumhaill studied under the druid Finegas along the river Boyne. He is believed to have caught the Salmon of Knowledge[36] in what is now Navan.[citation needed]


Navan is twinned with the following places:

Notable people[edit]

Francis Beaufort

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Census 2022 Profile 1 - Population Distribution and Movement". Central Statistics Office. 2022. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  2. ^ "An Uaimh/Navan". Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  3. ^ "Navan | Meath County Council Online Consultation Portal". Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  4. ^ "Foclóir Gaeilge–Béarla (Ó Dónaill): uamha". Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Foclóir Gaeilge–Béarla (Ó Dónaill): uaimh". Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  6. ^ "Interpreting Irish Local Names (Origin of the name Navan) - Wonders of Ireland". Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  7. ^ a b "Navan Historical Society - Navan and An Uaimh". Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  8. ^ "S.I. No. 200/1971:Local Government (Change of Name of Urban District) Order, 1971". Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Official Languages Act 2003". Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  10. ^ "Roman Figurine from the Boyne Valley". National Museum of Ireland. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  11. ^ "Navan Historical Society - Roman Finds in Navan". Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  12. ^ Crinion, Mairéad (2013). "Navan's Roman Artefacts and W.F. Wakeman". Navan - its People and its Past. Vol. 2. Navan & District Historical Society. pp. 175–179. ISBN 9780957120617.
  13. ^ "New Settlers in Meath - Irish Pedigrees". Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  14. ^ "County Meath, Navan, Bridewell". Dictionary of Irish Architects. Retrieved 25 October 2023.
  15. ^ "Trimgate Street". Navan & District Historical Society. Archived from the original on 13 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  16. ^ "McDonald's, Trimgate Street, TOWNPARKS, Navan, County Meath". National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Navan Post Office, 37 Trimgate Street, Townparks, Navan, Meath". National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 25 October 2023.
  18. ^ Donohoe, John. "Navan bus service sees four-fold jump in usage". Meath Chronicle. Celtic Media Group. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  19. ^ "Navan Town Bus Services". Transport for Ireland. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  20. ^ "109 Dublin to Kells via Navan Timetable" (PDF). Bus Éireann. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  21. ^ "NX Dublin to Navan via Blanchardstown Timetable" (PDF). Bus Éireann. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  22. ^ "Bus Timetables - Sillan Coach Hire". Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  23. ^ "Royal Breffni Tours". Royal Breffni Tours. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  24. ^ "Streamline Coaches Luxury coach hire - Timetables". Archived from the original on 20 November 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  25. ^ "School Details for all open Post Primary Schools in Ireland" (XLS). Department of Education and Science (Ireland). 2006. Archived from the original on 4 March 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
  26. ^ "Smith Duff appointed". Drogheda Independent. Independent Newspapers (Ireland). 15 June 2001. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
  27. ^ "Interactive Data Visualisations | CSO Ireland". Retrieved 26 March 2024.
  28. ^ "". Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Sníomh by Betty Newman-Maguire". Meath County Council. Archived from the original on 6 September 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  30. ^ "The Fifth Province by Richard E. King". Meath County Council. Archived from the original on 6 September 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  31. ^ "Navan Points of Pride" (PDF). Meath County Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 December 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  32. ^ Daly, Susan (12 April 2011). "Navan statue: a load of bull or taking the town by the horns?". Archived from the original on 14 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  33. ^ Finegan, Noelle (30 March 2011). "After a decade of controversy, bull sculpture is now in place". Meath Chronicle. Archived from the original on 17 April 2017.
  34. ^ Holten, Anthony (2016). The River Boyne: Hidden legacies, history and lore explored on foot and by boat. p. 319. ISBN 978-0-9569911-2-6.
  35. ^ Marsh, Richard (2013). Meath Folk Tales. The History Press Ireland. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-84588-788-9.
  36. ^ "Fionn mac Cumhail and the Salmon of Knowledge". 30 May 2020.
  37. ^ a b "Twinning". Meath County Council. Archived from the original on 18 May 2021. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  38. ^ Donohoe, John (19 August 2009). "Group visits Navan's twin town in Italy". Meath Chronicle. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  39. ^ "Twinning charter signed in Navan". 20 June 2006. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  40. ^ Laughton, John Knox (1885). "Beaufort, Francis" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 04. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
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  44. ^ "Curtis brothers sign pro deals with St Patrick's Athletic". 23 January 2022.
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  46. ^ "Navan Historical Society - Publications". Archived from the original on 25 April 2021. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  47. ^ "Grainne Maguire: 'Why I decided to live tweet my menstrual cycle to Enda Kenny'". Irish Irish Times. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2022.
  48. ^ "Helen McEntee, TD". Archived from the original on 7 December 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  49. ^ "Dylan Moran: 'Smoking or breathing, one of them had to go'". Irish Times. 13 July 2018. Archived from the original on 28 February 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
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  51. ^ "Tommy Tiernan speaks about growing up in Navan". 12 December 2018. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  52. ^ "Navan-born priest is third to occupy Vatican position". Meath Chronicle. 8 December 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  53. ^ "elections 2019 making-history gogglebox-star-elected as irelands-first-black-female councillor". Irish Independent. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2021.

External links[edit]