It gives me great pleasure to introduce Navan – Its People and Its Past, the first volume of the Journal of the Navan and District Historical Society.

The Journal dips through the centuries of Navan’s past, including aspects that should be within living memory, and I hope you finds it whets your appetite and increases your interest in the town and its heritage.

The Navan and District Historical Society has been in existence for the past four years. We hold our meetings and our talks in the Columbanus House, Canon Row, and I would like at this point to thank the Knights of Columbanus for providing us with such a wonderful venue.

I would also like to thank the Society’s committee, many of whom have contributed articles to the Journal. In particular I would like to thank the Society’s Secretary, Ethna Cantwell, and Peter Connell, who has acted as editor and whose expertise has smoothed what would have been a difficult path to negotiate towards its publication. James Carney has provided invaluable assistance in editing photographic work included in the Journal for which I am very grateful.

I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the County Librarian, Ciarán Mangan and the staff of the Local Studies Room of Navan Library, especially Tom French and Frances Tallon, who have been of immense support to us in every project we have undertaken.

The Meath Heritage Centre has provided assistance in the production of this volume and I am very grateful to Noel French for this valuable support in this the Society’s first publishing venture.

The Society’s logo (above) is based on one of the panels of the Old Market Cross, recently restored to the town courtesy of the National Museum, and now on permanent display in the Solstice Arts Centre. The logo was designed by local graphic artist Laura Geraghty, and shows the arms of some of the early Norman families of the town, including the lozenges of the Nangles, Barons of Navan for 500 years.

We care about the town and one of our aims is to see a County Museum established here to house what can be brought together of its rich and varied past, including its industrial heritage. We have made contact with the Co. Council with regards the possible use of the Old Infirmary building towards this end.

We have made suggestions which are included in the pre-Draft Development Plan Review of Meath Co. Council concerning the preservation of the Medieval Town Wall and Bastion and St. Pat's Study Hall among other aspects.

Our website www.navanhistory.ie, to be launched shortly, will contain all information on the Society and its activities.

Finally, I would like to remember our deceased members who have passed away since the Society was founded.

This journal is dedicated to the citizens of Navan, past and present.

Richard Farrelly (Chairman) Navan and District Historical Society