Meath (county)

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Coat of arms (crest) of Meath (county)
Official blazon
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The arms were officially granted on September 16, 1988.

The basic colours of the shield, green edged with gold represent the sporting colours of the county while the blue symbolises the Boyne River which traverses the county.The antique Irish crown placed in the centre of the shield symbolises 'Tara of the Kings' Newgrange, regarded as the finest achievement of the Boyne Valley civilisation is symbolised by the white concentric circle motif while the celtic cross recalls the rich christian heritage of the county, e.g. Slane, Kells and so forth. The salmon in the base represents the bradan feasa or "Salmon of Knowledge" story.

The myth recalls how Fionn MacCumhall first acquired preter-natural wisdom when he placed his thumb in his mouth after it had been scalded on coming in contact with the cooking salmon. Because he tasted the divine fish Fionn not only acquired the gift of wisdom and prophesy but also the power of healing a person in sickness by giving him a drink of water from the Boyne in the palms of his hands. This aspect of the 'Salmon of Knowledge' myth survives in the oft-heard gaelic toast "Slainte an Bhradain Chugat" - the health of the salmon to you!

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Literature : Image and information provided by Laurence Jones (<>).