Navan (/ˈnævən/; Irish: An Uaimh [ənˠ ˈuəvʲ], meaning "the Cave") is the county town of County Meath, Ireland. In 2019, it had a population of 36,969, making it the fifth largest town in Ireland. Navan is at the confluence of the River Boyne and Blackwater.


An Uaimh
Market Square
Location in Ireland
Navan (Europe)
Coordinates: 53.6528°N 6.6814°W / 53.6528; -6.6814
CountyCounty Meath
Dáil ÉireannMeath West
42 m (138 ft)
Time zoneUTC±0 (WET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST)
Eircode routing key
Telephone area code+353(0)46

History and name

Navan is a Norman foundation: Hugh de Lacy, who was granted the Lordship of Meath in 1172, awarded the Barony of Navan to one of his knights, Jocelyn de Angulo, who built a fort therefrom which the town developed.

Inside the town walls, Navan consisted of three streets. These were Trimgate Street, Watergate St. and Ludlow St. (which was once called Dublingate St.).

The orientation of the three original streets remains from the Middle Ages but the buildings date from the Victorian and Edwardian periods. The town’s Post Office on Trimgate Street office was built in 1908 on the site of an earlier post office.[2] In 1990, the post office was relocated to Kennedy Road. The building of a new shopping centre re-oriented the town’s centre. The onetime post office was acquired as the site of the town’s first McDonald’s restaurant.

Navan is one of the world's few towns that has a palindromic name. Variants of Navan had been in use since Norman times.[3] It is thought to come from Irish an Uamhain, meaning 'the cave/souterrain',[4] a variant of its more common Irish name an Uaimh. In 1922, when the Irish Free State was founded, an Uaimh was adopted as the town's only official name.[3] However, it failed to gain popularity in English and in 1971 the name was reverted to Navan in English.[3][5]

Bus transport

Navan is served by several bus routes. However the town as of yet has no central bus station and there are four separate stops in the town, with different routes serving each (Market Square, Mercy Convent, Shopping Centre & Fire Station). The majority of routes are operated by Bus Éireann. The most frequent route is the 109 to Dublin, which departs from the Market Square.

Sillan also serve the town.[6] Royal Breffni Tours provide services to Dundalk Institute of Technology.[7] Streamline Coaches provide services to NUI Maynooth.[8]

Navan bus stops

Stop Route
Market Square107 to Kingscourt/ Kentstown, 109 & 109N to Dublin, 190&/190A to Laytown, Drogheda, Trim & Athboy
NX (navan express) to Dublin
Mercy Convent030 to Donegal (infrequent), 070 to Athlone (infrequent), 109 to Cavan
Shopping CentreTown service, 134, 135, & 136 (Thursday-only rural routes)
Fire Station030 to Dublin Airport (infrequent), 109A to Dublin Airport


Navan has a number of secondary schools, including private denominational and public inter-denominational and non-denominational. St. Patrick's Classical School is a Roman Catholic boys-only school. Loreto Secondary School, St. Michael's at the Loreto Convent, and St. Joseph's Secondary School at the Mercy Convent are both girls-only Roman Catholic convent schools. Coláiste na Mí is a VEC-run school in Johnstown that opened in 2013. Beaufort College is a large state-owned inter-denominational vocational school. The Abylity Secondary College was a parent-owned fee-paying non-denominational school.[9][10]

Navan and the surrounding area has a number of primary schools, including the town's Catholic boys' primary school Scoil Mhuire, which was originally run by the De La Salle Brothers. Pierce Brosnan was a former pupil of St. Anne's Loreto, which is situated beside St. Mary's Catholic Church and near to St. Joseph's Mercy. There are also St. Paul's, St. Ultan's, and St. Oliver's primary schools. Scoil Éanna is the town's only gaelscoil. The town's only Church of Ireland secondary school, Preston School, closed in the 1970s. It is now the site of the shopping centre in the town. There is a Church of Ireland primary school known as Flowerfield School, at Connolly Avenue, a new site. It was originally situated at the Flowerfield area of the town, on the main thoroughfare to Drogheda, in a building that has been sympathetically converted into private accommodation. There is also a multi-denominational Educate Together primary school in the town, sited at Commons Road.



Páirc Tailteann is located in Navan and is home of the Meath Gaelic football and Navan Hibernians GAC Hurling teams.

Navan R.F.C. won over 186 trophies in the 1960s and currently compete in the All Ireland League (AIL) Division 1B

Knockharley Cricket Club were founded in 1982 and are the only cricket club in County Meath competing in the Leinster Cricket Union, the clubs most recent success came in 2006 when the 1st XI won the Middle 2 Leinster Cup defeating Mullingar at North Kildare.

Parkvilla Football Club[11] was founded in 1966 and currently plays in Leinster Senior League division 1B.


Navan is twinned with the following places:

Public art

Sniomh by Betty Newman Maguire in front of Navan Fire Station. A sculpture inspired by the movement of water and the merging of the rivers Boyne and Blackwater.

The Fifth Province by Richard King on the Navan Bypass. A sculpture symbolising the ideal for the cultural integration of all the people of the island of Ireland. Composed of four branches and a central upright stem that symbolises the flowering of hope and peace.

The Bull design by sculptor Colin Grehan is a prominent piece of public art. Situated in the Market square of the town the 16 tonne limestone statue of a bull being held back by two handlers commemorates the historic bull markets that took place in the area.[14]

The statue was surrounded by controversy over its cost, an estimated €8.7 million, and its location. Local man Paddy Pryle noted that "anybody coming up Timmons Hill, which is one of the main entrances into the town, will be entering Navan via the bull's arse. It is one of the most crazy things I have seen put up yet,"[15] Objections to the statue delayed its erection by 8 years.[16]

See also


  1. "Settlement Navan (An Uaimh)". Central Statistics Office. 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  3. An Uaimh - its Origin. Navan Historical Society.
  4. Joyce, P W. Origin of the name Navan, in The Wonders of Ireland (1911).
  5. "S.I. No. 200/1971:Local Government (Change of Name of Urban District) Order, 1971".
  6. User, Super. "Bus Timetables - Sillan Coach Hire".
  7. "Royal Breffni Tours". Royal Breffni Tours.
  8. "Streamline Coaches Luxury coach hire - Timetables".
  9. "School Details for all open Post Primary Schools in Ireland" (XLS). Department of Education and Science (Ireland). 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
  10. "Smith Duff appointed". Drogheda Independent. Independent Newspapers (Ireland). 15 June 2001. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2007.
  11. "". Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  12. "Group visits Navan's twin town in Italy". 19 August 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  13. "Twinning charter signed in Navan". 20 June 2006. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  14. "Navan Points of Pride" (PDF). Meath County Council. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  15. Daly, Susan. "Navan statue: a load of bull or taking the town by the horns?".
  16. "Meath Chronicle - After a decade of controversy, bull sculpture is now in place".
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