ARDEE, a market-town of Co. Louth, Ireland, in the south parliamentary division, on the river Dee, 48 m. N. by W. from Dublin on a branch of the Great Northern railway. Pop. (1901) 1883. It has some trade in grain and basket-making. The town is of high antiquity, and its name (Ather-dee) is taken to signify the ford of the Dee. A form Ath-Firdia, however, is connected with the ancient story of the warrior Cuchullain of Ulster, who, while defending the ford against the men of Connaught, was forced to slay many with whom he was on friendly terms, and among them the warrior Firdia, whom he regarded with special affection. A castle of the lords of the manor was built early in the 14th century, and remains, as does another adjacent fortified building of the same period. Roger de Peppart, lord of the manor early in the 13th century, founded the present Protestant church and a house of Crutched Friars. There was also a house of Carmelite Friars, but neither of these remains. Ardee received its first recorded charter in 1377. It had a full share in the several Irish wars, being sacked by Edward Bruce (1315) and by O'Neill (1538); and it was taken by the Irish and recaptured by the English in the wars of 1641, and was occupied later by the forces of James II. and of William III. It returned two members to the Irish parliament. A large rath, or encampment, with remains of fortifications, stands to the south of the town.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)