Irish Name: Cill Chainnigh - "cell or church of Cainnech"
County Town: Kilkenny
Nickname: The Cats
GAA Colors: Black and Yellow
Famous People with Kilkenny roots: White House architect James Hoban was a Kilkenny native as was the philosopher George Berkley, Oliver Cromwell, Jonathan Swift
Kilkenny is a county looked on enviously by other counties and not only because of the county's incredible track record in the ancient Irish game of hurling. Kilkenny is a county filled with enchantment and delight. From the spectacular scenery of the Nore and Barrow river valleys to the cultured beauty of Kilkenny City the county provides the perfect setting for whatever holiday you desire.
Known through history as the Marble City because of its distinctive indigenous jet black marble Kilkenny City offers a curious, yet undeniably attractive mix, of perfectly preserved old buildings and the vibrancy of a modern city which has made festivals like the Kilkenny Cat Laughs comedy festival an event with international recognition. St Canice's Cathedral and Kilkenny Castle are extremely important monuments and quality tours are available.
There's plenty of other things to see and outside the city and throughout Kilkenny's rural hinterland. Some of Ireland's finest craft studios are to be found in Kilkenny from pottery to gold and silver smithing and the experience of seeing a master craftsperson is not one to be missed.
For the more physically active tourists Kilkenny has no limit to the range of choices available. The Jack Nicklaus designed golf course at Mount Juliet is one of the finest in the state. Arguably the best river wild trout fishing is to be found near Durrow on the River Nore. There is also plenty of salmon and coarse fishing available.
There are excellent walking tours available in Kilkenny as well. The Walking Tours of Medieval Kilkenny are a must in the city but outside it for those with a thirst for beautiful scenery they can do no better than the South Leinster Way through the forests and mountains of the southeast.
The county has numerous ancient sites including Iron Age fortifications, inscribed stones and crosses, castles, and abbeys. The Dunmore Caves in Ballyfoyle are important both for historical and environmental reasons. The site of a massacre of the Irish by Viking raiders in 928 and according to legend the place where The Lord of the Mice was slain Dunmore is best known these days for the wondrous sight of stalagmites of huge size dominating the chambers.
With a range of accommodation to suit every budget throughout the county Kilkenny is an increasingly popular tourist destination in Ireland. Come and discover why for yourself.
Common Surnames in Kilkenny: Murphy, Walsh, Brennan, Maher, Butler, Phelan (& O'Phelan), Grace, Fitzpatrick, Comerford and Ryan