Ireland of the Welcomes
Few Irish villages have welcomed more famous faces than County Meath’s picturesque Slane, writes
Domhnall O'Donoghue visits Slane Castle and discovers so much hidden beneath its history
Being a Navan-man makes me biased, but I will always argue that the Royal County of Meath is one of the best destinations on the Emerald Isle. While the likes of Newgrange, the Hill of Tara and Trim Castle understandably receive the lion’s share of the county’s attention, there’s a charming, picture-perfect village here that should not be overlooked: Slane. From adulterous monarchs to rebellious saints, World War poets to international rock stars, this pocket-sized delight boasts an extraordinary history. Better yet, being just a 45-minute drive from Dublin city, Slane is the perfect afternoon escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital.
Of course, the village’s crown jewel is Slane Castle, standing tall within the lush and dramatic countryside. Framed by the majestic River Boyne, the 18th-century property is the family seat of the Conyngham family - originally a noble Scottish family who settled in County Donegal, in 1611.
Today, Slane Castle is owned by Lord Henry Mount Charles, the eighth Marquess Conyngham, and his wife, Lady Iona. They live nearby in Beauparc, so the responsibility of the day-to-day running of the estate has been left in the capable hands of their son, Alex, along with his wife, Carina.