Irish Name: Mhuineacháin: "Place of the shrubs"
County Town: Monaghan
Nickname: The Drumlin County, The Farney
GAA Colors: Blue and White
Famous People with Monaghan roots: Charles Gavin Duffy, Lady Mary Bailey, John MacKenna, Patrick Kavanagh, Thomas Bracken, Michael McLaverty, Joseph Finegan
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 Ireland. It was named after the town of Monaghan.
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 Louth to the southeast, County Meath to the south, County Cavan 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, Dartrey, Monaghan, and Truagh,which was left under the control of the McKenna chieftans.
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.
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 Egish, Lough Fea, Muckno Lough, Lough Avaghon, Inner Lough (in Dartrey Forest), 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 Glyde (along the Louth and Meath borders), the River Blackwater (along the border with County Tyrone) and Dromore River (along the border of County Cavan, linking Cootehill to Ballybay).
Monaghan also has a number of forests, including Rossmore Forest, Dartrey Forest 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 Ireland close to Scotshouse.
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.
Common Surnames in Monaghan: McKenna, McMahon, McCabe, Smith, Kelly, Treanor, Duffy, Woods, Hamilton, Connolly, Monaghan