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Ireland Gazeteer

County Meath in 1839

Canals, Roads, Railroads, and other Communications.

The Royal Canal enters the county near Kilcock (Kildare county), and runs for some miles just within the border, occasionally quitting it for the adjacent county of Kildare. It is carried by an aqueduct over the smaller Blackwater and by another aqueduct over the Boyne, soon after crossing which it enters West Meath.

About 14 or 15 miles of this canal are within the county. It opens a communication with Dublin at one end, and the Shannon, near the town of Longford, at the other.

A railroad from Dublin to Drogheda, for which an act has been obtained, is to cross the county from south to north along the coast.

The lines laid down by the government commissioners for the railroads from Dublin to Enniskillen and Armagh respectively also cross this county.

They coincide in the first part of their course, entering the county on the south side near Dunboyne, about 8 miles from Dublin, and running from thence north-west about 20 miles to Navan.

Here the lines separate; that to Armagh running north about 17 miles, till it enters the county of Louth; and that to Enniskillen continuing to pursue a north-western direction about 16 miles, till it enters the county of Cavan.

Surveys have been laid before the commissioners for the following railway lines across this county.

One from Dublin to Sligo and Galway crossing the county from Kilcock (county Kildare), nearly parallel to the Royal Canal, into the county of West Meath.

A branch from this by Trim passes to the Enniskillen line at Kells; and a branch from the Enniskillen line near Kells runs westward into the county of West Meath, joining the Sligo line at Longford.

A line collateral to the Armagh line and to the east of it passes near Ratoath and Slane, and another line runs from Navan to Drogheda.

The principal coach-road is that from Dublin to Drogheda, Dundalk, Newry, and Belfast, with a branch to Armagh.

From Dublin to Drogheda this road has two branches, one near the coast through Gormanstown, the other more inland.

There are well frequented roads from Dublin to Virginia, Cavan, and Enniskillen, through Dunshaughlin, Navan, and Kells ; from Dublin to Granard by Trim and Athboy, with a branch by Old Castle to Killyshandra: and from Dublin to Longford, Carrick on Shannon, and Sligo by Clonard, in the south-west part of the county.

A considerable number of passengers travel by the Royal Canal from Dublin and Kilcock to Mullingar in West Meath.

The principal roads for the conveyance of goods are from Dublin by Navan and Kells to Virginia; and from Drogheda (one of the principal ports of Ireland) by Slane to Kells, and by road to Navan.

The land traffic on this latter line would probably be greater but for the communication between the towns of Drogheda and Kells by means of the navigation of the Boyne.

There is considerable traffic also from Dublin to Trim and Athboy, and from thence to Oldcastle; also from Kells to Oldcastle on one hand, and to Bailyborough (county Cavan) on the other.

The county appears to be on the whole tolerably well provided with roads.