Carlow is the county town of County Carlow in Ireland. It is situated in the south-east of Ireland, 84 km from Dublin. County Carlow is the second smallest county in Ireland by area; however Carlow Town is the 14th largest urban area in Ireland by population according to the 2006 census. The population of the town and its environs is 20,724 according to the 2006 census. The River Barrow flows through the town, and forms the historic boundary between counties Laois and Carlow: the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 included the town entirely in County Carlow. The settlement of Carlow is thousands of years old and pre-dates written Irish history. The town has played a major role in Irish history, serving as the capital of the country in the 14th century. It was voted the cleanest town in Ireland by Irish Business against Litter (IBAL) in 201.