County Monaghan

County Monaghan is one of Ireland’s many counties. It is included in Border Region and is located in the Ulster province. The name is derived from one of the towns located in the county. The local authority for the county is called the Monaghan County Council and it hosts four political groups. The last recorded population amount for the county was 60,483 when the 2011 census results were released.

The county was created in 1585 after the rulers of Airgíalla, Mac Mathghamhna, decoded to officially join the Irish Kingdom. Though after both the modern day Irish war which lead to independence along with the final signing of the treaty between Anglo-Irish – County Monaghan was a part of the free states of Ireland as well as being one of the three Ulster counties to join the free states.


There was a meeting scheduled in 1585 where the English lord Sir John Perrot, frequented the area of Ulster with Irish chieftains to request that the county is divided into three separate counties due to the large size. The request also included having the rulers of Airgíalla all be appointed to be chefs in the area. Thus, the following was a commission which created County Monaghan. After the creation, five baronies were created within the county – Cremorne, Dartrey, Farney, Monaghan, and Truagh – which were remained under the chiefs of McKenna’s control.

However, the county did differently from the other two after defeating the Hugh O’Neill rebellion in 1603. Afterward, the count was left in the control of the native chiefs instead of being appointed a new chief. This did not last for long as a hybrid of Scottish and English colonization soon began in County after the 1621 Irish Rebellion – who was accompanied by the Irish Catholics.

Geography and Political Subdivisions

The Irish Republic has 26 counties, and Monaghan is considered to be the fifth smallest. Though, regarding the population of the 2011 census, Monaghan is the fourth smallest. It holds the title of being the smallest Ulster counties in both size and population. Despite being on the smaller size, Monaghan is home to an array of unique landmarks which includes the Sileve Beagh mountains, several lakes which spans across the county, and two massive forests with a high number of conifers – though with the increasing number of agriculture, these forests have been reduced to small areas of woodlands.

County Monaghan does include many civil parishes who rules over the following areas. Each one of the following towns and villages is under one of the civil parishes.

• Newbliss
• Oram
• Rockcorry
• Scotshouse
• Scotstown
• Smithborough
• Latton
• Ballybay
• Castleblayney
• Clones
• Drum
• Ballinode
• Doohamlet
• Carrickmacross
• Glaslough
• Magheracloone
• Inniskeen
• Threemilehouse
• Emyvale
• Truagh
• Killanny
• Knockatallon
• Tydavnet
• Tyholland


As mentioned above, there are five baronies located in County Monaghan, these baronies are historical subdivisions and can easily be identified on a map: Cremorne, Dartree, Farney, Monaghan, and Trough.

Tourist Destinations in Monaghan

While Monaghan is filled with a historical past, there are still a countless amount of activities and attractions that tourists can view to get a more personal touch with Monaghan and its history.

• Castle Leslie – a supposedly haunted castle and garden
• Bragen – mountain range with scenic views which are perfect for walking, biking, bird watching, and fishing
• Lough Muckno – great lake
• Clones – smaller scale town which was the inspiration for “The Butcher Boy”
• Inniskeen – a historical village
• Rossmore Park – the garden remains of the Rossmore Castle
• Monaghan Town Centre – filled with the highlighted areas, such as museums, a market, and the Catholic cathedral
• St. Peters Tin Church – A unique church that was entirely crafted out of tin

Linked to Belfast and Armagh by the Ulster railway in 1858 and by 1863 with the Enniskillen and Dundalk railway at Clones, County Monaghan became in 1876 part of the Great Northern railway. In 1922 it was the partition of Ireland that turned County Armagh into an international frontier where train inspections delayed the routines, the Government of Northern Ireland in 1957 closed the GNR between the border and Portadown, which gave the GNRB no other option but to withdraw its services to passengers. The remaining section between Glaslough, Clones and Monaghan was taken over by CIE in 1958, although goods services were withdrawn between Glaslough and Monaghan in 1959, and between Monaghan and Clones in 1960 which left Monaghan without railway services.

Politics and Local Government in County Monaghan

The four electoral areas in Monaghan includes Clones, Carrickmacross, Monaghan and Catleblayney. A nine-member town council represents Ballybay, Castleblayney, Carrickmacross, Clones and Monaghan the council deals with provisional housing and utilities as well as local matters. The county is part of the Caven-Monaghan Consistuency for the Dail Eireann, and by the general election in 2011, a turnout of 72.7% voters took part. The county for European parliament elections is part of the former Connacht-Ulster, now North-West Consistuency and politically is considered as a stronghold for the left wing, Sinn Fein the largest part of the county followed by the centre-right Fine Gael.

County Monaghan Culture and Architecture

It is the birthplace of the writer and poet Patrick Kavanagh, who based most of his work on County Monaghan. Kavanagh is known for poems such as Shancoduff and Stoney Grey Soil and seen as one of the most important writers in Irish poetry in the 20th-century. But then it is no secret that many successful artists came from Monaghan with one of the main ones being George Collie (1904–75 born in Carrickmacross who studied at Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. Collie was an inexhaustible exhibitor throughout his whole life of the Royal Hibernian Academy his works is now part of major collections at the Ulster Museum and National Gallery of Ireland. It was also home to Sir Shane Leslie and Irish writer who resided at Castle Leslie.

An Irish nationalist, a Catholic convert, and the cousin of the Prime Minister of the UK Winston Churchill, by the 1900s Leslie became an imperative literary figure. Leslie was also a close friend of writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald the American novelist as well as several politicians. Fitzgerald actually dedicated his novel titles The Beautiful and Damned, to Leslie. Recognised as a leading provincial museum in Ireland, the Monaghan County Museum proudly have a Council of Europe Award since 1980, to its name. The best architecture of the county was developed during the Victorian and Georgian periods which ranges from the country houses of Carrickmacross; Lough Fea, Hilton Park, Castle Leslie, Clones and Glaslough.

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