Geel (Dutch pronunciation) is a city located in the Belgian province of Antwerp, which acquired city status in the 1980s. It comprises Central-Geel which is constituted of 4 old parishes a/o towns: Sint-Amand, Sint-Dimpna, Holven and Elsum. Further on around the center are the parish-towns of Ten Aard (N), Bel (E), Winkelomheide (SE), Stelen, Oosterlo and Zammel (S), Punt (SW) and Larum (W). On January 1, 2006, Geel had a total population of 35,189. The total area is 109.85 km2 (42 sq mi) which gives a population density of 320 inhabitants per km². Geel’s patron saint, the Irish Saint Dymphna, inspired the town’s pioneering de-institutionalized method of care for the mentally ill. The city is also a regional hub of commerce and industry due to its location alongside the Albert Canal. Geel is also featured in Ciarán Carson's novel Shamrock Tea (Granta 2001).