What is Louth's 'heritage'?
Sometimes the word 'heritage' is used to refer only to ruined castles, churches and abbeys but we think Louth‘s heritage is what Louth people say it is. Our 'heritage' is what we have inherited from our ancestors and what we want to pass on to our descendents. Heritage gives us a sense of who we are, where we come from, where we belong, indeed, who 'we' are. Heritage gives us pride in ourselves, the achievements of our predecessors and the inspiration to create a better tomorrow. Heritage gives us pride in place and makes places worth living in, visiting and investing in. Places that look after and care for their heritage are better places to live and invest in than those that let it crumble and collapse.
County Louth is a place of contradictions. Although Ireland’s smallest county, it has the two biggest provincial towns in the State (Dundalk is the largest town in Louth but Drogheda is the largest town in the country!). Louth is full of exciting landscapes and seascapes, monuments, historic gardens and buildings, industry and wildlife.
Lying midway between Dublin and Belfast, the ‘Wee County’ is at the heart of the island’s economy and is traversed for its entire length by the primary national road and rail links. Yet, the wild mountainous Cooley peninsula is here too, an hour's drive from both Belfast and Dublin and the perfect getaway from big city life. The county also has an internationally important, and protected, coastline and its associated wildlife, landscapes, geology and archaeology.
A rich and productive farmland made Louth a centre of brewing, distilling and baking. Towns sprang up at many of Louth's natural harbours and these developed into important ports, both for imports to and for exports from Louth's agricultural hinterland. Railway lines developed to link counties Armagh, Cavan, Meath and Monaghan to Louth's ports. Dundalk’s Great Northern Works were long a national centre of railway engineering. Ireland’s most impressive railway engineering feat is undoubtedly MacNeill’s magnificent Boyne Viaduct in Drogheda.
Today Louth is a lively, go-ahead, busy place but with plenty of great sites for contemplation and enjoyment of a glorious and dramatic past and for dreaming of a better future.