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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Kilkenny County > Callan
Callan (Callainn in Irish) is one of the largest towns in County Kilkenny in Ireland. Situated 16 km (10 mi) south of Kilkenny on the N76 road to Clonmel (recently bypassed by the route), it forms the border between South Tipperary and Kilkenny.

Callan was founded by William the Marshall in 1207 and reputedly gets its name from the High King of Ireland, Niall Caille. It is reported that while at war with the Vikings the High King arrived in Callan to find that its river was in flood. The King witnessed his servant trying to cross the river and being swept away by the fast flowing current. The King, recorded in history as a man of action, seeing the impending disaster, impetuously urged his horse into the fast flowing river in a vain bid to save his servant, only to be also overcome and drowned by the torrent. The river in question is now named the "Kings River".

Callan is the birth place of some famous people, namely Edmund Ignatius Rice, founder of the Irish Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers

Callan also has links with Asa Griggs Candler's family and the Coca-Cola company. Perhaps its most famous inhabitant was Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin (1780–1838), who was a schoolmaster and linen-draper in the town, and kept a diary in the Irish language between 1827 and 1835. This recorded in great detail the life of the town, which he named Callain an Chlampair or "Callan of the Ructions". At the time the town was notorious for its extreme poverty. Amhlaoibh's diary is considered one of the most detailed contemporary accounts of life in Ireland at the time from a native perspective.

John Locke, Ireland's Poet in Exile, was born here in 1847. He was the author of many well known poems, including The Calm Avonree and Dawn on the Irish Coast, also referred to as the Emigrants Anthem and for which he is probably best remembered.

John Lockes are the local GAA club in the town.
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In: Kilkenny
People: 2000
Speak: English
Type: Market Town
GPS: -7.383333, 52.55