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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Kilkenny County
Kilkenny, (Irish: Cill Chainnigh, meaning Church of Cainneach), is the county town of County Kilkenny in Ireland. It is situated on both banks of the River Nore, at the centre of County Kilkenny in the province of Leinster in the south-east of Ireland. Kilkenny City is administered by a borough council and has a Mayor. The population of the city and its environs is approximately 25,000. The majority of the population of Kilkenny City live outside the borough boundary.

From an ecclesiastical foundation, Kilkenny was the ancient capital of the kingdom of Ossory. The town was established, then a city, in 1609 by royal charter. Kilkenny was the capital of Confederate Ireland between 1642 and 1649. The seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ossory and the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel and Ossory are in Kilkenny.

Kilkenny is famous for its medieval building and castle. The town has been referred to as the "Marble City" for centuries. People from Kilkenny are often referred to as 'Cats'.

Kilkenny is 117km (73miles) from Dublin and 48km (30miles) north of the nearest city

Kilkenny railway station opened on 12 May 1848. Kilkenny acquired railway links to Dublin in 1850, Waterford in 1854, Portlaoise in 1876 and Castlecomer in 1919. Córas Iompair Éireann closed the Castlecomer and Kilkenny Junction lines in 1962. Kilkenny railway station was renamed McDonagh Station in 1966 after Irish nationalist, poet and playwright Thomas MacDonagh. Kilkenny remains an important stop on Iarnród Éireann's Intercity route between Dublin and Waterford. Unlike other countries, the location of railway stations in Ireland was closely related to military matters rather than trade or public transport{{Fact}. Kilkenny railway station is a fine example of this peculiarity, with the military barracks being closely positioned to the railway station.

Kilkenny was given the status of a city by Royal Charter in 1609 by King James I of England. Kilkenny was the capital of Confederate Ireland between 1642 and 1649, until it surrendered during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. In 1710 St. Francis Abbey Brewery, the home of Smithwick's Ale, was founded by John Smithwick.

A 17th century description of city of Kilkenny lies in a manuscript called De Ossoriensi Dioescesi, which was a tract on the diocese of Ossary believed to be written by David Rothe the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ossary.

Kilkenny is the anglicised version of the Irish Cill Chainnigh, meaning Church of Cainneach or Canice. This probably relates to the church and round tower, now St. Canice's Cathedral, which was built in honour of St. Canice.

There is no mention of Kilkenny in the lives of Cainnech of Aghaboe, Ciarán of Saighir or any of the early annals of Ireland suggesting that it was not of ancient or great civil importance. The hill now containing St. Canice's Cathedral and the Round Tower seems to be the first major settlement. The early Christian origin of the round tower suggests an early ecclesiastical foundation at Kilkenny. The area surrounding the cathedral, Irishtown, is the oldest part of the town and became the hub around which the town developed. Though the religious origins of the town are well documented, it is not known how early secular structures were constructed.

Kilkenny was the main town and dynastic capital of the Kingdom of Osraige one of the ancient kingdoms of Ireland. It gave its name to the area delineated by the rivers Suir and Nore, what is modern-day County Kilkenny. The round tower currently at St Canice's Cathedral is an above ground remnant of the early medieval period.

In early Norman times, up to the late 12th century, Kilkenny was the capital of the colony in Ireland. It also became the home of a preceptory of the Knights of St Thomas. By the late thirteenth century Kilkenny was under Norman-Irish control. The Norman presence in the town is still very evident. Kilkenny Castle was built on an outcrop of rock offering a natural vantage point at a prominent bend in the River Nore. This lies on the site of earlier wattle and mud structures and was the site of the fortifications of the Fitzpatricks and the O'Carrolls (AD 840), amongst others.[citation needed] A series of walls was built to protect the burghers. There were two townships Irishtown, and Englishtown. Irishtown had its charter from the bishops of Ossory and Englishtown which was established by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke.

A account of the Black Death from a monastery in Cill Chainnigh, by Friar John Clyn in 1348. The pestilence gathered strength in Kilkenny during Lent, for between Christmas day and 6 March, eight Friars Preachers died. There was scarcely a house in which only one died but commonly man and wife with their children and family going one way, namely, crossing to death.

Irish Parliament
The Statutes of Kilkenny (AD 1366) got their name from the then Irish Parliament in Kilkenny. The statutes contained nineteen clauses, their general provision being to reduce the influence of the Irish on the Normans. They prohibited intermarriage as well as the customs and language of the Irish, which were considered to have had an adverse effect on the Norman settlers. The statutes also attempted to outlaw Brehon Laws.

County Kilkenny's chief claim to sporting fame lies in the ancient Irish game of hurling, and the city is one of the centres of hurling in the county. The Kilkenny county team have won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship 31 times. Kilkenny are the current All-Ireland champions, having overcome Waterford in the 2008 All-Ireland Championship final to make it 3 consecutive All-Ireland wins at senior level.

Kilkenny is also home to prominent hurling secondary schools St. Kieran's College and Christian Brothers School (CBS). Many famous current and past players have played for St. Kieran's, including Eddie Keher, Brian Cody, Eoin Kelly and DJ Carey.

As well as the famous inter-county team, Kilkenny has many local hurling clubs including O'Loughlin Gaels, James Stephens and the 2007 All-Ireland club champions, Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Gaelic football is also played in Kilkenny, although it is not as popular as it is in most Irish counties. It lags well behind the other traditional GAA game of hurling. Indeed, Kilkenny GAA's county football team is not considered good enough at present to compete in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, although they have recently been promoted to play in Division Four of the National Football League.

Kilkenny City AFC played in the first division of the Football League of Ireland until January 2008. It entered the league as EMFA in 1986, but resigned their position in the league after 22 years citing “lack of finance, poor results and paltry attendances”. Kilkenny and District Soccer League run leagues at schoolboy, youths and junior level throughout the county. It is affiliated to Leinster Football Association, Football Association of Ireland and the Schoolboy’s Football Association of Ireland.

The Kilkenny Floodlit Football League was formed in 2002 with 10 teams in one division. Since then the league has gone from strength to strength and today has 34 teams competing in 3 divisions. At the end of each season all clubs compete for the Floodlit Cup and the Floodlit Shield. All profits go to the O’Neill Centre/Enable Ireland in Kilkenny.

Kilkenny Rugby Football Club has a very strong and successful Rugby Union club based at Foulkstown on the Waterford Road. The club has provided many players for the Ireland team including Ernie Ridgeway, Bill Tector, Jack Notley, Willie Duggan, Ned Byrne, Ronan Kearney and Gary Halpin. Ian Dowling plays for the Munster Rugby team and is a two time winner of the European Rugby Cup in 2006 and 2008.

Rugby is played at schools level by Kilkenny College and the Christian Brothers School (CBS).

Ice Hockey
Despite the city's lack of an ice rink, Kilkenny is home to the Kilkenny City Storm ice hockey team, who play in the Irish Ice Hockey Association Development League. The Storm are one of the top two teams in the league, which is currently in its inaugural year. The Storm consists of both local and foreign players, who travel to Dundalk Ice Dome every week for training and matches, with the players themselves footing transport and ice rental costs. The team also enjoys moderate success as an inline hockey team, playing in the Northern Inline Hockey League.

Kilkenny City
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Kilkenny County
Place: Leinister
People: 75,000
Speak: English, Irish
Area: 40 Sqm
GPS: -7.240677, 52.655144