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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Kilkenny County > Kilkenny City
Kilkenny, (Irish: Cill Chainnigh, meaning "Cell of Canice"), is the county seat 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.

Originally founded by Aengus Osraige, 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 other city Waterford.

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.

A series of walls was built to protect the burghers(an Eurasian ethnic group). 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.

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.

In early May 1922 before the Irish Civil War there was a serious clash in Kilkenny, when anti-Treaty forces occupied the centre of the town and 200 pro-Treaty troops were sent from Dublin to disperse them. On 3 May the Dáil was informed that 18 men had been killed in the fighting in Kilkenny. In a bid to avoid an all-out civil war, both sides agreed to a truce on May 3, 1922.

Kilkenny is a popular tourist destination in Ireland. Well regarded for its cultural life, it has always tended to attract culturally aware visitors. Art galleries, historic buildings, craft and design workshops, theatre, comedy, public gardens and museums are some of main reasons Kilkenny has become one of Ireland's most visited towns and a popular base to explore the surrounding countryside.

Points of interest within the city and its environs include Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice's Cathedral and round tower, Rothe House, St. Mary's Cathedral, Kells Priory, Kilkenny Town Hall, Black Abbey and Jerpoint Abbey.

The recent rise in "stag" and "hen" parties in the city has seen attempts made at local level to discourage such activity, without impinging on the vibrant nightlife the city is known for.

Kilkenny is encouraged as festival location throughout the year and especially during the summer months.

The Kilkenny Arts Festival established in the 1970s takes place in late August. During this time Kilkenny plays host to contemporary art with Theatre, Dance, Visual Art, Literature, Film, Paintings, Sculptures and live performances. Musical events including traditional, Classical, World, Jazz Music take place durning the festival.

Kilkenny holds the annual Smithwicks Cat Laughs Comedy festival every June.

The Kilkenny Rhythm and Roots Festival, http://www.kilkennyroots.com, is held on the first weekend in May every year and features the best in Americana/Bluegrass/Folk/Rockabilly/AltCountry in various venues throughout the city.

Kilkenny has a rich and vibrant music scene. The Kilkenny Arts Festival held every August embraces musical acts of all ages and styles.

The 'Source' annual concert in Nolan Park attracts mainstream musical performers such as Rod Stewart, Shania Twain, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Andrea Bocelli. Dolly Parton headlined at the 2008 event.Graiguenamanagh is also the hometown of Scuba Dice a local pop punk band which entered You're A Star in 2006 and came fourth in the competition they also have a loyal local following which continue to support them. Other local acts include; Saving J, the Kilkennys and Caboose.

Cleere's pub and theatre in Parliament Street is well-known for touring Irish and international bands including indie, jazz and blues. They also have a trad music session every Monday night, as does Ryan's on Friary Street on Thursdays. The Zoo nightclub hosts up and coming local acts.

Classical tastes are catered for in St. Canice's Cathedral, where classical musicians and choirs often perform. The Kilkenny Choir and a Gospel Choir frequently perform in churches throughout the city.

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
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Kilkenny City
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Kilkenny City
In: Kilkenny
People: 55,000
Speak: English, Irish
Type: Hertige
GPS: -7.2561, 52.6477