County Meath - Economy


  • Good land, with a strong farming tradition has been prominent historically for cattle, dairying, potatoes and grain. Recently production volumes have decreased due to competition for labour from other sectors of the economy. Migrant labour from Eastern Europe has helped however. Meath is Ireland's leading county producer of potatoes, and a significant producer of beef, barley, milk, wheat, and root vegetables.
  • Quarrying and Mining. Europe's largest underground lead-zinc mine, Tara Mines, has operated since 1977, at a location to the west of Navan. Current ore production from the mine is 2,600,000 tonnes of ore per year, containing over 200,000 tonnes of zinc metal. Glacial deposits of gravel exist in a band stretching from the Offaly border at Edenderry, to the sea at Laytown. This is the basis of a long running quarrying tradition. A large cement plant near Duleek is situated in this territory.
  • An increasing proportion of Meath residents commute into Dublin, with a resulting shift to a services based economy in the developing dormitory towns.
  • Meat processing in Clonee, and Navan.
  • Historically Navan was a manufacturing town, involved in the household goods sector. Navan was the centre of the Irish Furniture industry. Gradually this has declined as a source of employment, though it has acted as a source of inspiration for other ventures producing finished products for the construction industry.
  • Navan was the centre of the Irish Carpet making industry, before this was lost to overseas competition.
  • Horse breeding and training.
  • Localized tourism in Trim, Kells, Tara and the Boyne Valley.
  • In common with other counties with thriving agricultural and traditional local industrial sectors, like Westmeath, Wexford, Kilkenny and Monaghan, Meath has few multinational investment facilities. Drogheda, Blanchardstown, Swords, and Leixlip are neighbouring towns that provide employment in this regard, however.

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