Leinster

Last updated

Leinster
Laighin [1]
Leinster locator map.svg
State Ireland
Counties
Area
  Total19,801 km2 (7,645 sq mi)
  Rank 3rd
Population
 (2022) [2]
  Total2,870,354
  Rank 1st
  Density140/km2 (380/sq mi)
Time zone UTC±0 (WET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (IST)
Eircode routing keys
Beginning with A, C, D, K, N, R, W, Y (primarily)
Telephone area codes 01, 04x, 05x, 090 (primarily)
ISO 3166 code IE-L
Patron Saint: Brigid [3] a. ^ Leinster contains the entirety of the Dublin constituency and parts of the South and Midlands–North-West constituencies; Leinster contains 44.4% of the population of the Midlands–North-West constituency and 32.3% of the population of the South constituency. [4]

Leinster ( /ˈlɛnstər/ LEN-stər; Irish : Laighin [ˈl̪ˠəinʲ] or Cúige Laighean [ˌkuːɟəˈl̪ˠəinˠ] ) is one of the four provinces of Ireland, in the southeast of Ireland.

Contents

The modern province comprises the ancient Kingdoms of Meath, Leinster and Osraige, which existed during Gaelic Ireland. Following the 12th-century Norman invasion of Ireland, the historic "fifths" of Leinster and Meath gradually merged, mainly due to the impact of the Pale, which straddled both, thereby forming the present-day province of Leinster. The ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local government legislation has prompted further sub-division of the historic counties.

Leinster has no official function for local-government purposes. However, it is an officially recognised subdivision of Ireland and is listed on ISO 3166-2 as one of the four provinces of Ireland. "IE-L" is attributed to Leinster as its country sub-division code. Leinster had a population of 2,858,501 according to the preliminary results of the 2022 census, making it the most populous province in the country. [2] The traditional flag of Leinster features a golden harp on a green background.

History

Early history

Leinster, province of Ireland (Hogg, 1784) Ireland Leinster Hogg 1784 700x1030.jpg
Leinster, province of Ireland (Hogg, 1784)

The Gaelic Kingdom of Leinster before 1171, considerably smaller than the present-day province, usually did not include certain territories such as Meath, Osraige or the Viking cities of Wexford and Dublin.

The first part of the name Leinster derives from Laigin , the name of a major tribe that once inhabited the area. [5] The latter part of the name derives either from the Irish tír or from the Old Norse staðr, both of which translate as 'land' or 'territory'.

Úgaine Mór (Hugony the Great), who supposedly built the hill fort of Dún Ailinne , near Kilcullen in County Kildare, united the tribes of Leinster. He is a likely, but uncertain, candidate as the first historical king of Laigin (Leinster) in the 7th century BC. Circa 175/185 AD, following a period of civil wars in Ireland, the legendary Cathair Mor re-founded the kingdom of Laigin. The legendary Finn Mac Cool, or Fionn mac Cumhaill , reputedly built a stronghold at the Hill of Allen, on the edge of the Bog of Allen.

In the 4th and 5th centuries AD, after Magnus Maximus had left Britain in 383 AD with his legions, leaving a power vacuum, colonists from Laigin settled in North Wales, specifically in Anglesey, Carnarvonshire and Denbighshire. [6] In Wales some of the Leinster-Irish colonists left their name on the Llŷn Peninsula (in Gwynedd), which derives its name from Laigin. [7]

In the 5th century, the emerging Uí Néill dynasties from Connacht conquered areas of Westmeath, Meath and Offaly from the Uí Enechglaiss and Uí Failge of the Laigin. [8] Uí Néill Ard Rígh attempted to exact the Boroimhe Laighean (cattle-tribute) from the Laigin from that time, in the process becoming their traditional enemies.

By the 8th century the rulers of Laigin had split into two dynasties: [9]

After the death of the last Kildare-based King of Laigin, Murchad Mac Dunlainge in 1042, [10] the kingship of Leinster reverted to the Uí Cheinnselaig sept based in the southeast in present-day County Wexford. [11] This southern dynasty provided all the later Kings of Leinster.

Kingdom of Ireland period

Leinster includes the extended "English Pale", counties controlled directly from Dublin, at the beginning of the 1600s. The other three provinces had their own regional "Presidency" systems, based on a Welsh model of administration, in theory if not in fact, from the 1570s and 1580s up to the 1670s, and were considered separate entities. Gradually "Leinster" subsumed the term "The Pale", as the kingdom was pacified and the difference between the old Pale area and the wider province, now also under English administration, grew less distinct.[ citation needed ]

The expansion of the province took in the territory of the ancient Kingdom of Mide encompassing much of present-day counties Meath, Westmeath and Longford with five west County Offaly baronies. [12] Local lordships were incorporated during the Tudor conquest of Ireland and subsequent plantation schemes.

Other boundary changes included County Louth, officially removed from Ulster in 1596, the baronies of Ballybritt and Clonlisk (formerly Éile Uí Chearbhaill in the county palatine of Tipperary) in Munster becoming part of Leinster in 1606, and the 'Lands of Ballymascanlon' transferred from Armagh to Louth c.1630. The provincial borders were redrawn by Cromwell for administration and military reasons, and the Offaly parishes of Annally and Lusmagh, formerly part of Connacht, were transferred in 1660.

The last major boundary changes within Leinster occurred with the formation of County Wicklow (1603–1606), [13] from lands in the north of Carlow (which previously extended to the sea) and most of southern Dublin. [14] Later minor changes dealt with "islands" of one county in another. By the late 1700s, Leinster looked as shown in the above map of 1784.

Geography and subdivisions

Counties

The province is divided into twelve traditional counties: Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow. Leinster has the most counties of any province, but is the second smallest of the four Irish provinces by land area. With a population of 2,870,354 as of 2022, it is the island's most populous province. Dublin is the only official city in the province, and is by far its largest settlement. [15]

CountyPopulation
(2022)
Area
Carlow (Ceatharlach)61,968897 km2 (346 sq mi)
Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath)1,458,154922 km2 (356 sq mi)
Kildare (Cill Dara)247,7741,695 km2 (654 sq mi)
Kilkenny (Cill Chainnigh)104,1602,073 km2 (800 sq mi)
Laois (Laois)91,8771,720 km2 (660 sq mi)
Longford (An Longfort)46,7511,091 km2 (421 sq mi)
Louth ()139,703826 km2 (319 sq mi)
Meath (An Mhí)220,8262,342 km2 (904 sq mi)
Offaly (Uíbh Fhailí)83,1502,001 km2 (773 sq mi)
Westmeath (An Iarmhí)96,2211,840 km2 (710 sq mi)
Wexford (Loch Garman)163,9192,367 km2 (914 sq mi)
Wicklow (Cill Mhantáin)155,8512,027 km2 (783 sq mi)
Total2,870,35419,801 km2 (7,645 sq mi)

Large settlements

As of the 2016 census, the larger settlements in Leinster included:

#SettlementCountyMunicipal District Pop.Settlement Pop.Former Legal Town Pop.
1 Dublin City [16] County Dublin 1,347,3591,173,179554,554
2 Dundalk County Louth 55,806 [17] 39,004 [18] 32,520 [19]
3 Kilkenny County Kilkenny 52,172 [20] 26,512 [21] 9,842 [22]
4 Drogheda County Louth 44,052 [23] 40,956 [24] 31,785 [25]
5 Swords County Dublin 42,73839,248 [26] 36,924
6 Bray County Wicklow 35,53132,600 [27] 27,709
7 Navan County Meath 34,93130,173 [28] 30,097
8 Carlow County Carlow 34,84624,272 [29] 14,425

Culture

Language

As is the norm for language in Ireland, English is the primary spoken language, but there is an active Irish-speaking minority in the province. According to the Census of Ireland of 2011, there were 18,947 daily speakers of Irish in Leinster outside the education system, [30] including 1,299 native speakers in the small Gaeltacht of Ráth Chairn. As of 2011, there were 19,348 students attending the 66 Gaelscoils (Irish-language primary schools) and 15 Gaelcholáistí (Irish-language secondary schools) in the province, primarily in the Dublin area. [31]

Sport

A number of sporting and cultural organisations organise themselves on provincial lines, including Leinster Rugby, the Leinster Cricket Union, Leinster Hockey Association and Leinster GAA. While Leinster GAA is made up primarily of the traditional counties of the province, GAA teams from Galway, Kerry and Antrim have played in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship, as has a team from London; Galway won the title in 2012. Participation of these counties is based on their performances in the Christy Ring Cup.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">County Wicklow</span> County in Ireland

County Wicklow is a county in Ireland. The last of the traditional 32 counties, having been formed as late as 1606, it is part of the Eastern and Midland Region and the province of Leinster. It is bordered by the Irish Sea to the east and the counties of Wexford to the south, Carlow to the southwest, Kildare to the west, and South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown to the north.

There are four provinces of Ireland: Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster. The Irish word for this territorial division, cúige, meaning "fifth part", suggests that there were once five, and at times Meath has been considered to be the fifth province. In the medieval period, however, there were often more than five. The number of provinces and their delimitation fluctuated until 1610, when they were permanently set by the English administration of James I. The provinces of Ireland no longer serve administrative or political purposes but function as historical and cultural entities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">County Meath</span> County in Ireland

County Meath is a county in the Eastern and Midland Region of Ireland, within the province of Leinster. It is bordered by County Dublin to the southeast, Louth to the northeast, Kildare to the south, Offaly to the southwest, Westmeath to the west, Cavan to the northwest, and Monaghan to the north. To the east, Meath also borders the Irish Sea along a narrow strip between the rivers Boyne and Delvin, giving it the second shortest coastline of any county. Meath County Council is the local authority for the county.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Greater Dublin Area</span> Metropolitan area in Ireland

The Greater Dublin Area, or simply Greater Dublin, is an informal term that is taken to include the city of Dublin and its hinterland, with varying definitions as to its extent. At the expansive end, it has been defined as including all of the traditional County Dublin and three neighbouring counties, while more commonly it is taken as the contiguous metropolitan area of Dublin plus suburban and commuter towns. The area is defined for strategic planning, and, for example, transport, and it is not a formal administrative or political unit.

The Laigin, modern spelling Laighin, were a Gaelic population group of early Ireland. They gave their name to the Kingdom of Leinster, which in the medieval era was known in Irish as Cóiced Laigen, meaning "Fifth/province of the Leinstermen", where their descendants ruled till the 17th century. Their territory, located in south-east Ireland, is thought to have once extended from the River Shannon to the River Boyne. The surnames of those descended from the Laigin are still counted amongst the most numerous in Ireland.

Lyons Hill or Lyons is a townland and restored village in County Kildare. At a time when canal passenger boats travelled at 3 mph (4.8 km/h) Lyons was the nearest overnight stop to Dublin on the Grand Canal. On the hilltop is a trigonometrical point used by Ireland's Ordnance Survey. The name derives from the Irish language name for an elm tree, Liamhan.

Muiredach mac Brain was a King of Leinster of the Uí Dúnchada sept of the Uí Dúnlainge branch of the Laigin. This sept had their royal seat at Líamhain. He was the son of Bran mac Fáeláin and brother of Ruarc mac Brain, previous kings.

The Uí Dúnlainge, from the Old Irish "grandsons of Dúnlaing", were an Irish dynasty of Leinster kings who traced their descent from Dúnlaing mac Énda Niada a fifth century King of Leinster. He was said to be a cousin of Énnae Cennsalach, eponymous ancestor of the rival Uí Chennselaig.

The Uí Ceinselaig, from the Old Irish "grandsons of Cennsalach", are an Irish dynasty of Leinster who trace their descent from Énnae Cennsalach, a supposed contemporary of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Énda was said to be a grandson of Bressal Bélach and a first cousin of Dúnlaing mac Énda Niada, eponymous ancestor of the rival Uí Dúnlainge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Laytown–Bettystown–Mornington–Donacarney</span> Built-up area in County Meath, Ireland

Laytown–Bettystown–Mornington–Donacarney is a built up area in County Meath, Ireland, comprising the adjoining villages of Laytown, Bettystown, Mornington and Donacarney. Prior to 2016, it was listed as Laytown–Bettystown–Mornington.

Malachy MacMurrough was King of Leinster, Ireland in the late 10th and early 11th century.

Murchad mac Brain Mut was a King of Leinster from the Uí Dúnlainge branch of the Laigin. He was the son of Bran Mut mac Conaill, a previous king. He ruled from 715 to 727.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mullaghmast</span> Hill and prehistoric site in Ireland

Mullaghmast is a hill in the south of County Kildare, Leinster, Republic of Ireland, near the village of Ballitore and near the borders with Wicklow, Laois and Carlow. It was an important site in prehistory, in early history and again in more recent times. It is classed as a National Monument by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Muiredach mac Murchada was a King of Leinster from the Uí Dúnlainge branch of the Laigin. He was the son of Murchad mac Brain Mut, a previous king. He ruled from 738 to 760.

Forbassach Ua Congaile was a king of the Uí Failge, a Laigin people of County Offaly.

Events from the 8th century in Ireland.

Events from the 10th century in Ireland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kingdom of Leinster</span> Former Gaelic kingdom in Ireland

The Kingdom of Leinster was a kingdom of Gaelic Ireland which existed in the east of the island from the Irish Iron Age until the 17th century Early Modern Ireland. According to traditional Irish history found in the Annals of the Four Masters, the kingdom was founded as the territory of the Laighin, a Heremonian tribe of Irish Gaels. Some of the early kings of Leinster were also High Kings of Ireland and Kings of Tara, such as Úgaine Mór, Labraid Loingsech and Cathair Mór.

Uí Dúnchada was an Irish lineage and kingdom.

References

  1. "ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-1" (PDF). Iso.org. 19 February 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 February 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2016. which gives Leinster as the official English name of the Province and Laighin as the official Irish name of the Province and cites "Ordnance Survey Office, Dublin 1993"
  2. 1 2 "Population and Actual and Percentage Change 2011 to 2016 by Sex, Province County or City". Central Statistics Office. 2016. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2016.[ failed verification ]
  3. Koch, John (2006). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. ABC-CLIO. ISBN   9781851094400. Archived from the original on 4 August 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2016. Brigit (Goddess)
  4. Census of Ireland 2016
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  6. R F Foster (1992). The Oxford History of Ireland. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. p. 6. ISBN   0-19-285271-X. (References to Irish colony in North Wales, Lleyn Peninsula)
  7. "Kings of Laigin / Leinster (Gaels of Ireland)". HistoryFiles.co.uk. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  8. Clinton, Mark (2000). Alfred P. Smyth (ed.). "Settlement patterns in the early historic kingdom of Leinster (seventh-mid twelfth centuries)". Seanchas: Studies in Early and Medieval Irish Archaeology, History and Literature in Honour of Francis John Byrne. Dublin: Four Courts Press: 275–298.
  9. Duffy, Seán (2005). Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. pp. 426, 449. ISBN   9781135948245.
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  11. Bhreathnach, Edel (2000). Alfred P. Smyth (ed.). "Kings, the kingship of Leinster, and the regnal poems of "laidshenchas Laigen": a reflection of dynastic politics in Leinster, 650–1150". Seanchas: Studies in Early and Medieval Irish Archaeology, History and Literature in Honour of Francis J. Byrne. Dublin: Four Courts Press: 299–312.
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  14. Smyth, Alfred P. (1994). Ken Hannigan; William F. Nolan (eds.). "Kings, Saints and Sagas" . Wicklow History & Society. Geography Publications: 41–111. ISBN   9780906602300.
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Further reading

53°20′52″N6°15′35″W / 53.34778°N 6.25972°W / 53.34778; -6.25972