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County Monaghan ( – ) is one of the traditional counties of Ireland. It is located within the province of Ulster and is part of the Republic of Irelandmarker. It was named after the town of Monaghanmarker ( ).

Monaghan is the sixth smallest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area and fourth smallest in terms of population. It is the second smallest of Ulster’s 9 counties in size and smallest in terms of population.

The county borders County Tyrone (NI) to the north, County Armagh (NI) to the east, County Louthmarker to the southeast, County Meathmarker to the south, County Cavanmarker to the southwest and County Fermanagh (NI) to the west. There is a pene-enclave jutting into Fermanagh in the western area of the county.


In 1585, Sir John Perrot, the natural son of King Henry VIII, visited the area and met with the Irish chieftains. They requested that Ulster be divided into counties and land in the kingdom of Airgíalla be apportioned to each of the McMahon chiefs. A commission was established to accomplish this and County Monaghan came into being. The County was subdivided into the five baronies that exist today: Farney, Cremorne, Dartreymarker, Monaghanmarker, and Truagh.

After the defeat of the rebellion of Hugh O'Neill, The O'Neill and the Ulster chieftains in 1603, the county was not planted like the other counties of Ulster. The lands were instead left in the hands of the native chieftains. In the Irish Rebellion of 1641 the McMahons and their allies joined the general rebellion of Irish Catholics, and following their defeat there was some plantation of the county with Scottish and English families.


County Monaghan is twinned with the Province of Prince Edward Islandmarker in Canadamarker. At least 20% of the population of Prince Edward Island can trace ancestry to Co Monaghan as a result of migration from Monaghan to that part of Canada during the years 1820-1840. Co Monaghan is also twinned with the City of Miramichimarker in New Brunswickmarker and also with the City of Peterboroughmarker in Ontario and with the township of Cavan-Millbrook-North Monaghan in Ontario.

It also has links with Gheelmarker in Belgiummarker, as a result of the martyrdom there in the 5th century of St Dymphna, a local Monaghan saint who is regarded as Patroness of those with mental illness.

The following places are twinned with Co. Monaghan:


There are several mountains in the county: Mullyash Mountain, Slieve Beagh (on the border with Tyrone and Fermanagh) and Coolberrin Hill (214 m).

There are also a large number of lakes, including Lough Egishmarker, Lough Fea, Muckno Lough, Lough Avaghon, Inner Lough (in Dartrey Forestmarker), Drumlona Lough, White Lough and Emy Lough.

Rivers in Monaghan include the river Fane (in the southeast of the county and along the border with Louth), river Glydemarker (along the Louth and Meath borders), the river Blackwater (along the border with Tyrone, Northern Irelandmarker) and Dromore river (along the border of Cavan, linking Cootehillmarker to Ballybaymarker).

Monaghan also has a number of forests, including Rossmore Forest, Dartrey Forestmarker and Dún na Rí Forest Park. Managed by Coillte since 1988, the majority of trees are conifers. Due to a long history of intensive farming practices and recent intensive forestry practices only small pockets of native woodland remain.

The Finn Bridge is a border crossing point across the River Finn between County Monaghan in the Republic of Irelandmarker close to Scotshousemarker.

Culture & arts

Monaghan is the birthplace of the poet and writer Patrick Kavanagh, who based much of his work in the county. Kavanagh is one of the most significant figures in 20th century Irish Poetry. The poems Stony Grey Soil and Shancoduff refer to the county. The county was also home to the writer of the much-loved Irish ballad Danny Boy, whose lyrics, written to the tune of the Derry Air, mark the poignant departure of his son for war from the historic town of Clones in the west of the county.

Notable residents

Towns and villages

Monaghanmarker is the principal town. Other major towns include Carrickmacrossmarker, Castleblayneymarker, and Clonesmarker. Towns with legally defined boundaries are shown in italics.


See also

External links

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