) is a university town located in north County Kildare
. It is located on the R148 road
, with the M4 motorway
bypassing the town. Other roads connect the town to Celbridge
, and Dunboyne
. The ancient name of Maynooth means the plain of Nuada
. Nuada is referred to as the maternal grandfather of the legendary Fionn mac Cumhail
in the Annals of the Four Masters
. It is currently within the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin.
The population of 10,715 (2006 Census) makes it the fifth largest town in Kildare and the 35th largest in the Republic of Ireland. A difficulty in measurement is due to the fact that much of the town's population is transient - students at NUI Maynooth or temporary employees at the nearby Intel and Hewlett Packard facilities (both located in Leixlip).
The town is a major historical
centre, with, at either end of the main street, Maynooth Castle
and Carton House
: two former seats of the Dukes of Leinster. The castle
was a stronghold of the 16th century historical figure Thomas FitzGerald, 10th Earl of Kildare
better known as Silken Thomas. The castle was overrun in 1535, after the rebellion of the Earl. The town is just inside the western edge of The Pale
The most important historical buildings in the town are those of St. Patrick's College some of which antedate the foundation of the college, while others are in the late Georgian and neo-Gothic revival style. The "new range" of buildings was erected by A.W.N. Pugin in 1850 under a commission from then college president Laurence F. Renehan, while the highly important College Chapel was designed and completed by J.J. McCarthy during the presidency of Dr. Robert Browne in 1894.
In the 1920s, the town was the unofficial home to the King's representative in Ireland, Domhnall Ua Buachalla, who declined to take up official residence in the Viceregal Lodge in the Phoenix Park, and whose family operated a hardware store in the town until 2005, the only store with an Irish language name in the town for many years.
The famed Connolly's Folly is also near the town, although it is arguably in Celbridge, as it is much closer to it, but is covered by Maynooth's very large town boundaries.
Two third-level educational institutions -- St. Patrick's College, Maynooth
founded by King George III
in 1795 to educate Ireland's Catholics and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth
founded in 1997 -- are located in the town. They share campus space and many facilities. The two institutions were formally separated in 1997. NUI Maynooth is the only university
in the Republic of Ireland not situated in a city.
Economy & amenities
The town is the main retail
and other service centre for North Kildare and South Meath
, with branches of SuperValu
, Tesco Ireland
, as well as a wide variety of non-chain stores. In October 2005
, Dunnes Stores
opened a major shopping centre
off the town's main street, Manor Mills
. This centre contains a number of other high street names, such as Easons
, Elvery's Sports and a Halifax branch. Both Tesco and Dunnes Stores are open 24 hours. On 18 January 2007
Tesco Ireland announced plans to demolish its existing store in Maynooth (the same store having been demolished and rebuilt only seven years previously) and build a larger shopping centre, anchored by a Tesco Extra store, on the same site
The new centre will be known as Carton Park, after nearby Carton House
The town contains a fire station, in addition to the area's part time Garda station, a health centre, a branch library and a Credit Union. In the mid-1980s the town gained some minor fame for having the first callcard phones in Ireland.
Maynooth is on the Royal Canal, navigable from central Dublin to this point, now used mostly for leisure purposes. It provided an important stopping point before Dublin in the period directly before the coming of the railways to Ireland in the first half of the 19th century. The harbour, known locally as Dukes Harbour
is roughly triangular in shape and on the north side of the canal, opposite the railway station.
Maynooth station is one of the busiest in the Dublin / Kildare region, serving as it does two major educational institutions. The town is the terminus of most Iarnród Éireann Western Commuter, as well as a being served by the Sligo InterCity service. Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann services also serve the town. A number of private operators also serve the town, linking it with nearby towns and cities.
The North Kildare Rugby Club is the local rugby club and is situated about 3km from Maynooth on the Kilcock road, recently renovated and a regular host to major area finals (2006 Towns Cup Wicklow vs Tullamore attracted 3500+) and schools cup matches, North Kildare RFC boasts successful youth teams from Under 8's to under 18's, and field 3 men's senior teams. The 1st XV were promoted in 2006 to the Leinster League Div 2, after an extended period in division 3. 2006 was also a successful year for the 2nd XV winning the Div 3 league undefeated, and also going close in the 2nds towns cup losing out in the semi finals. 2007-8 saw the 2nd XV reach the provincial towns cup final. http://www.northkildarerfc.com/
Le Chéile Athletic Club
was founded to offer the youth of Leixlip, Maynooth and Celbridge (aged 7 and over) the opportunity to partake, regardless of their ability, in all athletics disciplines at a club, county and national level. Outside of competing, the club offers its members the opportunity to get fit, stay healthy and have a bit of fun! The club trains every Tuesday and Thursday evening throughout the year at their facility at the Leixlip Amenities Centre
, Collinstown, Leixlip