Irish Name: An Cabhán – "The hollow"
Motto(s): Feardhacht is Fírinne (Irish) or "Manliness and Truth"
Nickname: The Breffni County – if heaven existed on earth, it would be Cavan.
Population: 76,000 (2016 Census)
Religion: The 82% (62,393 people) identified as Roman Catholic. Other stated religions made up 11% of the population (8,671 people). 5% (3,904 people) stated that they followed no religion. 2% (1,209 people) did not state their religion.
A brief history:
Cavan is one of the three counties of the province of Ulster that are not part of Northern Ireland. The town of Cavan is the county seat and lies in the northeast of the county, relatively close to the border with Northern Ireland.
The O'Reilly family (still the most common surname in the area) established a castle in the Cavan town in the late 13th century. The phrase 'Life of Reilly' was credited to the O'Reilly clans due to their great wealth and power, having created and issued their own currency during the 1600s.
Cavan is where the famous classic Gulliver’s Travels was reputedly penned by Dean Jonathan Swift while vacationing in Mullagh, a beautiful village in East Cavan. The main character in the book Gulliver was loosely based on a local giant of a man, Big John Doughty, who was so strong he could carry a pony on his shoulders.
Shannon Pot – source of the River Shannon, Ireland's longest river. Cavan is known for its rolling hills and lakes shaped by the last Ice Age. There are 365 lakes in Cavan, one for every day of the year.
1. Cavan is situated in the most disadvantaged region of Ireland, the border region. It is the second most disadvantaged county in the region, after Donegal. Disadvantage in Cavan has tended to relate to its rural nature, its border status, and depopulation, in particular, problems with retaining young people in rural communities.
2. In County Cavan, 75% of the population live in rural areas. As a mainly rural county, there are problems with accessing services in dispersed population areas. Many communities have had to contend with issues such as the closure of post offices, banks, markets, and creameries. Rural areas have a considerably higher risk of experiencing poverty and social exclusion
3. The border itself and the Northern Ireland conflict had a major impact on County Cavan, resulting in road closures, lack of investment in the area, and tension between communities, the legacy of which is still being addressed today through successive Peace programmes.
4. Cavan traditionally had a reliance on agriculture, a sector which has been in decline. Census statistics show the extent of the downturn in farming.
5. Cavan has comparatively lower education levels than some other parts of the country.
6. Town and village regeneration and development is badly needed.
7. Tourism is a key element in our economic future. The promotion and development of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark as part of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands is key.
8. There is a very real fear of crime in the community. The easy availability and use of illegal drugs must be tackled not just be the Gardaí but by all state agencies
9. Protecting the older, the young and those with a disability.
Pray for the leaders in the churches. They can be quite isolated in this very rural area, with small congregations, many of whom may not be Christians.
Pray for protection, perseverance and for more Christians who are passionate about seeking the Kingdom to come alongside their leaders with resources, time and partnership.