Infobox Irish Place
name = Leinster
gaeilge = Laighin


area = 19,774.23
population = 2,292,939
census yr = 2006

Leinster (IPAEng|ˈlɛnstər; Irish: "Laighin", IPA2|lainʲ), one of the Provinces of Ireland, lies in the east of Ireland and comprises the counties of Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow. Leinster has the largest population of the four provinces of Ireland. The traditional flag of Leinster features a golden harp on a green background.


*The largest city in Leinster is Dublin, the capital of Ireland. The Greater Dublin Area (GDA) has a population of 1,661,185 (2006). Some of the larger urban areas in the GDA are Tallaght & environs (103,301), Blanchardstown (60,000), Clondalkin (43,929) and Lucan (37,622). The City of Kilkenny (and environs) has a population of 23,967 (2006).

Large Towns

In order of size:
*Swords (37,806)
*Drogheda (35,090)
*Dundalk (35,085)
*Bray (31,901)
*Finglas (31,529)
*Navan (26,938)
*Naas (21,715)
*Carlow (20,724)
*Wexford (18,590)
*Mullingar (18,529)
*Newbridge (18,520)
*Athlone (16,888)
*Balbriggan (15,559)
*Leixlip (14,676)
*Celbridge (14,675)
*Greystones (14,569)
*Portlaoise (14,275)
*Tullamore (13,085)
*Longford (13,000)
*Arklow (11,712)
*Malahide (11,069)
*Maynooth (10,715)
*Wicklow (10,070)


According to the CSO regional income report, GDP for the province of Leinster in 2004 was estimated to be well over 75 billion Euro.

Name and Early History

In ancient times Leinster was occupied by five major Fir-Bolg tribes, of which the tribe of Laigin rose to dominance and gave Leinster its name. The Fir Bolg may be related to the Belgae, but this has not been firmly established. The tribes of Leinster were united by Úgaine Mor Hugony, The Great, who built the hill-fort of Ailinne Knochawlin, near Kilcullen, County Kildare. He is a likely, but uncertain candidate as the first historical King of Laigin (Leinster) in the 7th century BC. The "-ster" of the toponym comes from the Nordic S-genitive and the Irish "tír", meaning country, as the Vikings dominated and held Dublin, Wexford and Waterford, among other times for a period of time (around 800 - 1000). Therefore Leinster breaks down as:

or "the country of the Laigin".

The kingdom of Laigin was re-founded circa 175/185 AD following a period of civil wars in Ireland by the legendary Cathair Mor.

Finn Mac Cool, or Fionn mac Cumhaill, was reputed to have built a stronghold at the Hill of Allen, on the edge of the Bog of Almhainn, in what was then Leinster.

In the fourth and fifth centuries, after Magnus Maximus left Britain with his legions, leaving a power vacuum, colonists from Laigin settled in North Wales, specifically in Anglesey, Carnarvonshire, and Denbighshire. In Wales some of the Leinster-Irish colonists left their name on the Llŷn peninsula, which derives its name from Laigin.

By the eighth century, Laigin , had split into two dynasties:

Northern Leinster dynasty: Murchad mac Brain (d. 727), King of Uí Dúnlainge, and joint leader of the Laigin

Southern Leinster dynasty: Áed mac Colggen (d. 738), King of Uí Cheinnselaig, and joint leader of the Laigin

After the death of the last Kildare-based King of Laigin, Murchad Mac Dunlainge in 1042, the Kingship of Leinster reverted to the Uí Cheinnselaig sept based in the south east (southern dynasty) which comprise the later Kings of Leinster.

Some contend it was named after a powerful Welsh colony, meaning Land of the men of the Llyn Peninsula [http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/Leinster] [http://experts.about.com/e/l/le/leinster.htm] .

Borders of Leinster

Today, made of twelve counties, it encompasses the old province of Mide (mostly now in modern-day County Meath and County Westmeath). Also in it are County Longford and the Annally and Lusmagh parishes of County Offaly, formerly of Connacht, and County Louth, formerly of Ulster. The borders were redrawn by Cromwell for administration and military reasons. The last major boundary changes occurred with the formation of County Wicklow (1603-1606), from lands in the north of Carlow (which previously extended to the sea) and most of southern Dublin.

Later minor changes dealt with "islands" of one county in another. By the late 18th century, Leinster looked as shown below.

ee also

* Kings of Leinster
* Duke of Leinster
* Leinster House
* Provinces of Ireland
* Leinster GAA
* Leinster Rugby
* RMS "Leinster


* Foster, R. F. "The Oxford History of Ireland." Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 1992. ISBN 0-19-285271-X (references to Irish colony in North Wales, Lleyn Peninsula, page 6)
* [http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=en&dat=32&srt=npan&col=aohdq&geo=-102 2006 Town population estimates] [http://www.cso.ie/releasespublications/documents/economy/current/regincome.pdf CSO Irish Regional Income/GDP 2004 Report]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Leinster — (en irlandés: Laighin) es la provincia occidental de Irlanda, que comprende los condados de Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Leinster —   [ lenstə], irisch Cúige Laighean [kuː gi laːn], historische Provinz in der Republik Irland, umfasst den Südosten der Insel, 19 633 km2, 1,92 Mio. Einwohner; an der Küste liegt Dublin. Leinster (gälisch Laigin) war eines der fünf alten… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Leinster — (spr. Lenster), 1) Provinz in Irland, den südöstlichen Theil desselben umfassend, im Süden u. Osten an das Irische Meer, im Norden an die Provinz Ulster, im Nordwesten an Connaugh, im Westen an Munster grenzend; 358,81 QM.; 1851: 1,667,771 Ew.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Leinster [1] — Leinster (spr. linnster oder lennster), die südöstlichste Provinz von Irland (s. Karte »Irland«), umfaßt 19,735 qkm (358,4 QM.) mit 1861: 1,457,635,1901: 1,150,485 Einw., von denen 85,8 Proz. katholisch sind. L. zerfällt in die Grafschaften… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Leinster [2] — Leinster (spr. linnster oder lennster), irischer Herzogstitel, den Meinhard Schomberg, Sohn des berühmten Marschalls Schomberg (s. d.), erhielt, nachdem sein Vater 1690 am Boynefluß gefallen war. 1766 ging der nach Meinhards Tod (1719) erloschene …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Leinster — (spr. linstĕr), Provinz im südöstl. Irland, östl. von der Irischen See begrenzt, 19.735 qkm, (1901) 1.150.485 E.; Hauptstadt Dublin. Im S. der Mount L., 795 m hoch …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Leinster — (Linstr), Provinz im südöstl. Irland, hügelig, in den Thälern zum Theil noch sumpfig, etwas über 358 QM. groß mit 1667000 E., die größtentheils von Ackerbau u. Viehzucht, sodann von Wolle , Baumwolle u. Linnenfabrikation leben. Hauptstadt Dublin …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Leinster — [len′stər] province of E Ireland: 7,578 sq mi (19,627 sq km); pop. 1,861,000 …   English World dictionary

  • Leinster — Cúige Laighean Provincia de Irlanda …   Wikipedia Español

  • Leinster — Lage in der Republik Irland Flagge der Provinz Leinster …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.