COUNTY WESTMEATH (/wɛstˈmiːð/ west-MEEDH ; Irish : Contae na
hIarmhí or simply An Iarmhí) is a county in Ireland . It is in the
Leinster and is part of the Midlands Region . It
originally formed part of the historic
Kingdom of Meath
Kingdom of Meath (Midhe). It
Mide because kingdom was located in middle of Ireland (the
Mide means middle).
Westmeath County Council is the government
for the county, the capital is Mullingar. The population of the county
* 1 History
* 2 Geography and political subdivisions
* 3 Local government and politics
* 4 Demography
* 5 Economy
* 6 Railways
* 7 Road transport
* 8 Sport
* 9 People
* 10 Gallery
* 11 See also
* 12 Towns/villages
* 13 References
* 14 External links
Norman invasion of Ireland
Norman invasion of Ireland , the territory of the
Kingdom of Meath
Kingdom of Meath formed the basis for the Anglo-Norman Lordship
of Meath granted by King
Henry II of England
Henry II of England to Hugh de Lacy in 1172.
Following the failure of de Lacy's male heirs in 1241, the Lordship
was split between two great-granddaughters. One moiety, a central
eastern portion, was awarded to Maud (de Geneville) as the liberty of
Trim ; the other moiety, comprising north-eastern and western
portions, went to Maud's sister Margery (de Verdun) and in 1297 became
the royal county of Meath . The liberty and royal county were merged
in 1461. While the east of the county was in the
English Pale , the
west was Gaelicised in the fourteenth century and outside the control
of the sheriff of Meath .
In 1543, during the
Tudor reconquest of Ireland
Tudor reconquest of Ireland , the Parliament of
Ireland passed an act dividing the county into two, the east still
called Meath and the west called Westmeath.
GEOGRAPHY AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS
Westmeath is the 20th largest of Ireland's 32 counties by area and
the 22nd largest in terms of population. It is the sixth largest of
Leinster’s 12 counties in size and eighth largest in terms of
Hill of Uisneach in the barony of
sometimes regarded as the notional geographical centre of Ireland
although the actual geographic centre of Ireland lies in neighbouring
County Roscommon . The summit of
Mullaghmeen is the highest point in
County Westmeath. At just 258 metres this makes it the lowest county
top in Ireland.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
The head office of
Westmeath County Council is located in
There are currently 20 councillors. The three electoral areas of
Athlone (7 seats), Mullingar-Coole (7 seats) and
Kilbeggan (6 seats). The Local Government (Ireland) Act
1898 , provided the framework for the establishment of County Councils
throughout Ireland. The first meeting of
Westmeath County Council was
held on 22 April 1899.
Westmeath's population growth has been stronger than the national
average. After the Great Famine , the population of Westmeath
declined dramatically. It stabilized in the middle of the 20th
century, and has continued to grow. Westmeath's proximity to Dublin
with good motorway facilities and frequent rail service has made
County Westmeath saw a decline in population during 18th and 19th
century, due to the immigrants leaving it for better opportunities in
America . The largest town in the county is
Athlone , followed by the
Mullingar . Westmeath is the largest county by population
Irish Midlands . Important commercial and marketing centres
Castlepollard . According to the 2011
census 51.9% of Westmeath households have at least one Irish speaker.
Westmeath is one of oldest counties in Ireland to have census in
1841.Some of the records of that census have been digitized and
maintained by the National Archives of Ireland.
According to the latest census of April 2011 Westmeath had a
population of 86,164, consisting of 42,783 males and 43,381 females.
It was also revealed by central statistics office that despite being
overall increase in population, rural population still faced
declination. The population of pre-school age (0-4) was 6,882, of
primary school going age (5-12) was 10,111 and of secondary school
going age (13-18) was 7,141. There were 9,796 persons aged 65 years
and over. The number of persons aged 18 years or over was 63,112.
Mullingar Barbavilla Stud Horses
Initially, development occurred around the major market centres of
Mullingar, Moate, and Kinnegad.
Athlone developed due to its military
significance, and its strategic location on the main Dublin–Galway
route across the
River Shannon .
Mullingar gained considerable
advantage from the development of the
Royal Canal . The canal
facilitated cheap transport of produce to Dublin, Britain and Europe.
Mullingar expanded further with the coming of the Midland
Great Western Railway network in the nineteenth century.
Tourism in Westmeath is generally based on its many water amenities.
The county lakes include
Lough Derravaragh ,
Lough Ennell , Lough Owel
Lough Lene ,
Lough Sheelin and
Lough Ree . Both the Grand Canal ,
Royal Canal flow through Westmeath, and the River Shannon
(Ireland's key tourism waterway) has a modern inland harbour in
In 2017 the largest employment sectors within Westmeath were :
PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL EMPLOYMENT
Wholesale & retail trade
Health & social work
Real estate, renting & business activities
Hotels "> The
Athlone IT International Arena in
Westmeath is an active sporting county.
Westmeath GAA senior football
team won the
Leinster Senior Football Championship , the Delaney Cup,
in 2004. They also won the National football league competition
Division 2 in 2001, 2003 and 2008. The Westmeath senior hurling team
has enjoyed much recent success winning the
Christy Ring Cup in 2005,
2007 and 2010.
Athlone Town F.C. have won the League of Ireland Championship in 1980
and 1982, and the
FAI Cup in 1924.
Westmeath Ladies team have won the 2011 All-Ireland Intermediate
Athlone Institute of Technology boasts an €10 million international
athletics arena which opened in early 2013. The International Arena
has a footprint of 6,818m2 and an overall building floor area of
9,715m2. Some 850 tonnes of structural steel and 50,000 concrete
blocks went into the construction of the facility which can house
Westmeath Snooker Ranking Tournaments officially recognised by The
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland Billiards "> Christ the King Cathedral,
Notable Westmeath natives include:
* Tony Allen one half of music duo Foster ">
Christ the King Cathedral,
Church of Ss. Peter and Paul,
The Royal Canal,
Celtic Cross at Columb
Lough Derravaragh ">
Hill of Ben Fore
19th century concrete stile
19th century concrete stile,(v1) Mass-Path,
Alternative 19th century concrete stile (v-2) mass path,
Turgesius Island ,
Church of St. Peter and Paul,
* List of abbeys and priories in Ireland (County Westmeath)
Lord Lieutenant of Westmeath
High Sheriff of Westmeath
Killucan and Rathwire
* Mount Temple
Mullingar , the county town
* ^ "Kingdom of Mide".
* ^ "ArcGIS Web Application". census.cso.ie. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
* ^ Ellis, Steven G. (2015-05-07). Defending English Ground: War
and Peace in Meath and Northumberland, 1460–1542. Oxford University
Press. pp. 62–64. ISBN 9780199696291 . Retrieved 2015-06-24.
* ^ "1543 (34 Hen. 8) c. 1 An Act for the Division of Methe in two
Shires". The Statutes at Large passed at the Parliaments held in
Ireland. 1: 1310 to 1612. B. Grierson. 1765. pp. 232–235. ; short
title "Counties of Meath and Westmeath Act 1543" assigned by "Statute
Law Revision Act 2007, Schedule 1, Part 1".
Irish Statute Book .
Retrieved 26 May 2017.
* ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline
Ireland. pp. 186–191.
* ^ "
Mullaghmeen Hill". MountainViews.ie. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
* ^ "Electoral Area Boundaries" (PDF).
* ^ "About Us". Westmeath County Council. Archived from the
original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
* ^ "Demographic context" (PDF). Offaly County Council Development
Plan 2009 - 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2008.
* ^ "
Population decline in County".
* ^ "Demographics of Westmeath".
* ^ "Westmeath Archives".
* ^ "Rural
* ^ "Westmeath Census 2011".
* ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those
years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865.
* ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
* ^ "Census".
* ^ "
County Westmeath Census". Archived from the original on 4
April 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
* ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish
censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. Irish Population,
Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell.
Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
* ^ Mokyr, Joel ; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New
Developments in Irish
Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic
History Review. 37 (4): 473–488. doi
Westmeath County Council - Westmeath
Royal Canal Greenway
* ^ "AIT International Arena". ait.ie.
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