54°14′38″N 7°02′24″W / 54.244°N 7.040°W / 54.244; -7.040

County Monaghan
Contae Mhuineacháin
Coat of arms of County Monaghan
The Drumlin County The Farney County
Dúthracht agus Dícheall (Irish)
"Diligence and Best Endeavour"
Location of County Monaghan
RegionNorthern and Western
County townMonaghan
 • Local authorityMonaghan County Council
 • Dáil constituencyCavan–Monaghan
 • EP constituencyMidlands–North-West
 • Total1,295 km2 (500 sq mi)
 • Rank28th
Highest elevation373 m (1,224 ft)
 • Total65,288
 • Rank28th
 • Density50/km2 (130/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC±0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST)
Eircode routing keys
A75, A81, H18, H23
Telephone area codesin the South of the County 042 - Carrickmacross and Castleblayney in the North of the County 047 - Clones and Monaghan
Vehicle index
mark code
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

County Monaghan (/ˈmɒnəhən/ MON-ə-hən;[3] Irish: Contae Mhuineacháin) is a county in Ireland. It is in the province of Ulster and is part of Border strategic planning area of the Northern and Western Region. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county was 65,288 according to the 2022 census.[2]

The county has existed since 1585 when the Mac Mathghamhna rulers of Airgíalla agreed to join the Kingdom of Ireland. Following the 20th-century Irish War of Independence and the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Monaghan was one of three Ulster counties to join the Irish Free State rather than Northern Ireland.

Geography and subdivisions

County Monaghan is the fifth smallest of the Republic's 26 counties by area, and the fourth smallest by population.[4] It is the smallest of Ulster's nine counties in terms of population.


Main article: Baronies of Ireland

Civil parishes and townlands

Main articles: List of civil parishes in County Monaghan and List of townlands in County Monaghan

Towns and villages

Largest Towns in County Monaghan (2016 Census)

  1. Monaghan = 7,678 [7]
  2. Carrickmacross = 5,032 [7]
  3. Castleblayney = 3,607 [7]
  4. Clones = 1,680 [7]
  5. Ballybay = 1,241 [7]


Shannahergoa countryside.

Notable mountains include Slieve Beagh (on the Tyrone and Fermanagh borders), Mullyash Mountain and Coolberrin Hill (214 m, 702 ft). Lakes include Lough Avaghon, Dromore Lough, Drumlona Lough, Lough Egish, Emy Lough, Lough Fea, Inner Lough (in Dartrey Forest), Muckno Lough and White Lough. Notable rivers include the River Fane (along the Louth border), the River Glyde (along the Louth and Meath borders), the Ulster Blackwater (along the Tyrone border) and the Dromore River (along the Cavan border, linking Cootehill to Ballybay).

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

The Finn Bridge is a border crossing point over the River Finn to County Fermanagh. It is close to Scotshouse.

Clones Round Tower


Lead used to be mined in County Monaghan. Mines included Annaglogh Lead Mines and Lisdrumgormley Lead Mines.


In 1585, the English Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir John Perrot, visited the area and met the Irish chieftains. They requested that Ulster be divided into counties and land in the kingdom of Airgíalla be apportioned to the local chiefs. A commission was established to accomplish this and County Monaghan came into being. The county was subdivided into five baronies: Farney, Cremorne, Dartrey, and Monaghan controlled by MacMahon and Truagh by McKenna.

After the defeat of the rebellion of The Earl of Tyrone 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. Following their defeat, some colonisation of the county took place by Scottish and English families.

Inland waterways

County Monaghan is traversed by the derelict Ulster Canal.[8] However, Waterways Ireland are embarking on a scheme to reopen the canal from Lough Erne into Clones.


The Ulster Railway linked Monaghan with Armagh and Belfast in 1858 and with the Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway at Clones in 1863.[8]: Map 8  It became part of the Great Northern Railway (GNR) in 1876.[8]: xiii  The partition of Ireland in 1922 turned the boundary with County Armagh into an international frontier, after which trains were routinely delayed by customs inspections. In 1957, the Government of Northern Ireland made the GNR Board close the line between Portadown and Armagh, and all lines between Armagh and County Monaghan. This left the GNR Board with no option but to withdraw passenger services between Armagh and Clones as well.[8]: Map 39  CIÉ took over the remaining section of line between Clones, Monaghan and Glaslough in 1958, but withdrew goods services between Monaghan and Glaslough in 1959 and between Clones and Monaghan in 1960, leaving Monaghan with no railway service.[8]: Map 39 

Governance and politics

This section needs to be updated. The reason given is: to reflect more recent general and local elections. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (June 2022)

Local government

Main article: Monaghan County Council

At the 2019 local election, County Monaghan was divided into three local electoral areas, each of formed a municipal district: BallybayClones, CarrickmacrossCastleblayney, and Monaghan.[9]

2019 local election
Monaghan County Council
Party Seats Change
Sinn Féin 6 −1
Fine Gael 5 =
Fianna Fáil 4 =
Independent 3 +1

Former districts

The towns of Ballybay, Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Clones and Monaghan were formerly represented by nine-member town councils which dealt with local matters such as the provision of utilities and housing.[10] These were abolished in 2014 under the Local Government Reform Act 2014.

National politics

For elections to Dáil Éireann, the county is part of the constituency of Cavan–Monaghan which elects five TDs.[11] In the 2011 general election, there was a voter turnout of 72.7%.[12]

For elections to the European Parliament, the county is part of the Midlands–North-West constituency.[13]

Culture and architecture

County 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.

Castle Leslie

County Monaghan has produced several successful artists. Chief among these is George Collie (1904–75), who was born in Carrickmacross and trained at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. He was a prolific exhibitor at the Royal Hibernian Academy throughout his lifetime and is represented by works in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland and the Ulster Museum.

County Monaghan was also the home county of the Irish writer Sir Shane Leslie (1885–1971), 3rd Baronet of Glaslough, who lived at Castle Leslie in the north-east corner of the county. A Catholic convert, Irish nationalist and first cousin of Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Leslie became an important literary figure in the early 1900s. He was a close friend of many politicians and writers of the day including the American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940), who dedicated his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, to Leslie.

Monaghan County Museum is recognised as one of the leading provincial museums in Ireland, with a Council of Europe Award (1980), among others, to its credit. Located in Hill Street, Monaghan Town, the museum aims to reflect the history of County Monaghan and its people in all its richness and diversity.

The best of the county's architecture developed in the Georgian and Victorian periods and ranges from the dignified public spaces of Church Square and The Diamond in Monaghan Town to the great country houses of Lough Fea, Carrickmacross; Hilton Park, Clones and Castle Leslie, Glaslough.

Significant ecclesiastical buildings include St Joseph's Catholic Church in Carrickmacross; the Gothic-Revival St Patrick's Church of Ireland Church, Monaghan Town, and St Macartan's Catholic Cathedral, Monaghan Town, by James Joseph McCarthy (1817–1882).


Agriculture is a significant part of the County Monaghan economy, employing about 12% of the population in 2011 (compared with 5% nationally).[14] The county is the main source of egg supplies in the Republic of Ireland.[15]

Notable people

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "County Monaghan" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

See also: Category:People from County Monaghan

Literature and scholarship

Politics and military


Music and entertainment




Twin cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in the Republic of Ireland

County Monaghan is twinned with the following places:

See also


  1. ^ Russell, C. W. (21 June 1874). "Calendar of the State Papers, Relating to Ireland, of the Reign of James I.: Preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, and Elsewhere. 1606 - 1608". Longmans, Green, Reader, & Dyer – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c "Census Mapping – Monaghan County Council". Census 2022. Central Statistics Office. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  3. ^ "Monaghan definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary". www.collinsdictionary.com. Archived from the original on 10 March 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  4. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186–191.
  5. ^ "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: County Monaghan". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Archived from the original on 28 July 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  6. ^ for post 1821 figures, 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865, For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census returns see JJ Lee "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses Irish Population, Economy and Society edited by JM Goldstrom and LA Clarkson (1981) p54, in and also New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850 by Joel Mokyr and Cormac O Grada in The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Nov., 1984), pp. 473-488. Archived 9 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b c d e "Percentage population change in Ireland's cities and towns, 2011-2016". Census 2016. CSO. 2016. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e Hajducki, S. Maxwell (1974). A Railway Atlas of Ireland. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. map 9. ISBN 0-7153-5167-2.
  9. ^ County of Monaghan Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018 (S.I. No. 629 of 2018). Signed on 19 December 2018. Statutory Instrument of the Government of Ireland. Archived from the original on 3 February 2019. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book on 11 September 2020.
  10. ^ [1] Archived 29 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2017, Schedule (No. 39 of 2017, Schedule). Enacted on 23 December 2017. Act of the Oireachtas. Archived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book on 22 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Cavan-Monaghan - RTÉ News". RTÉ.ie. Archived from the original on 7 March 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011. - Election 2011 Cavan–Monaghan
  13. ^ European Parliament Elections (Amendment) Act 2019, s. 7: Substitution of Third Schedule to Principal Act (No. 7 of 2019, s. 7). Enacted on 12 March 2019. Act of the Oireachtas. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book on 21 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Monaghan Socio Economic Profile" (PDF). Monaghan County Council. April 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 July 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  15. ^ Ryan, Órla (28 April 2020). "Egg shortage in some supermarkets amid bird flu outbreak and increased demand". TheJournal.ie. Archived from the original on 3 May 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Life". Patrick Kavanagh 1904 – 1967. Patrick Kavanagh Trust, Trinity College Dublin. Archived from the original on 7 June 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  17. ^ "Current members. Literature: Patrick McCabe". Aosdána. Archived from the original on 16 October 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Current members. Literature: Eugene McCabe". Aosdána. Archived from the original on 16 October 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  19. ^ Cowan, Leslie. "John Robert Gregg: A Biography". Oxford: The Pre-Raphaelite Press, 1984, p. 11.
  20. ^ "William Tyrone Guthrie". Tyrone Guthrie Centre. Archived from the original on 17 October 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  21. ^ Joy E. Parnaby (1972). "Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (1816–1903)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Vol. 4. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Archived from the original on 8 April 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  22. ^ "GEN. EOIN O'DUFFY (1892 -1944)". Cumann na nGaedhael History. Collins 22 Society. Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  23. ^ "Barry McGuigan". BoxRec.com Boxing Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10 November 2009.[dead link]
  24. ^ "Tommy Bowe 2009 British and Irish Lions Squad Profile". Archived from the original on 25 April 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  25. ^ "Big Tom". BBC Music. BBC. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  26. ^ Chris True. "Biography: Monaghan Mimic". all music. Retrieved 10 November 2009.