Ratoath is a rapidly expanding town in south east County Meath, Ireland. In the 1996 census, the population was recorded as 1,061. In the 2006 census, this showed a 683% increase to 7,249. The Broad Meadow River flows through the town.
Just outside the town is the horse racing track, Fairyhouse Racecourse where the Irish Grand National is held in annually in Easter.
Ratoath gives its name to a village, a townland, a parish and to a barony. The derivation or meaning of the word is uncertain. Two alternative Irish forms are cited: Ráth-Tógh and Ráth-Tábhachta. These placenames occur in Irish manuscripts and scholars say that the writers were referring to Ratoath. Evidently they were trying to give a phonetic rendering of a name that was unfamiliar to them. Mruigtuaithe occurs in the Book of Armagh as the name of one of these places in Meath where St Patrick founded a church and Eoin MacNeill identifies it as Ratoath. If this is correct it would seem that the second portion of the word comes from the Irish word tuath which means a territory belonging to a family or sept. Mruig means a grazing plain. Ráth is the Irish for a fortified mound or a Motte.