Killarney: Wikis


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Cill Airne
Coat of arms of Killarney
Location of Killarney
centerMap highlighting Killarney
Irish grid reference
Province: Munster
County: County Kerry
Elevation: 50 m (160 ft)
Population (2006)
 - Town:
 - Environs:


Killarney (from the Irish: Cill Airne meaning "church of sloes")[6] is a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland. The town is located north of the MacGillicuddy Reeks, on the northeastern shore of the Lough Lein/Leane which are part of Killarney National Park. The town and its surrounding region are home to St. Mary's Cathedral, Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey, Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall and Gap of Dunloe.

Killarney was awarded the "Best Kept Town" award for 2007 in a cross-border competition jointly organised by the Department of the Environment and the Northern Ireland Amenity Council. Owing to its natural heritage, history and proximity to the Dingle Peninsula, Skellig Michael island and its location on the Ring of Kerry, Killarney is a popular tourist destination.



Killarney is served by National Primary Route N22 (north to Tralee and Castleisland and east to Cork); the National Secondary Routes N72 (west to Killorglin) and the N71 (south to Bantry).

There are train services to Tralee, Limerick, Cork and Dublin operated by Iarnród Éireann. Bus Éireann provides bus services to Limerick (and onwards to Dublin), Tralee, Cork, Kenmare and Skibbereen. Killarney railway station opened on 15 July 1853.[7]

Kerry Airport, in Farranfore between Tralee and Killarney, provides an increasing number of air services. Cork Airport, easily accessible by bus or rail, also serves the Kerry region.



Association football

Killarney has two association football clubs—both of which compete in the Kerry District League.

Killarney Athletic was founded in 1965. Originally the club played in the centre of Killarney, but have since moved to a modern facility (with two pitches) in the Woodlawn area of the town.

Killarney Celtic was founded in 1976. The club purchased their own ground in 1993 and have invested in their facilities since then.[8] There are two grass pitches (one floodlit to match standard) and a 70 x 35 metre synthetic training pitch which is also fully floodlit.

Gaelic games

Killarney has three Gaelic football teams: Dr. Crokes, Killarney Legion and Spa. The rural hinterland has a large number of football teams, such as Kilcummin, Fossa, Firies, Glenflesk and Gneeveguilla. All these teams compete in the Kerry County league and the East Kerry Senior Football Championship (O'Donoghue Cup) and league.

Dr Crokes are the most successful of these teams, with the most notable triumphs being the capture of the All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship in 1992 and the Munster Senior Club Football Championship in 1991 1990 and 2007 . The club has also won the County Championship on 6 separate occasions, the last being in 2000. Dr Crokes are the only club in Killarney with a hurling team, which has had some important successes, most recently winning the Kerry Intermediate Hurling Championship in 1999 and 2001.


There are six active rowing clubs in the town, who share a common history in Ireland's oldest surviving regatta, the Killarney Regatta, which is held annually on the first or second Sunday in July. The six clubs are Commercial RC (Killarney), Flesk Valley RC, Fossa RC, Muckross RC, St. Brendan's RC and Workmen RC. The style of rowing seen at the regatta is traditional, fixed seat rowing in wide, wooden 6 person boats. Since the eighties, a number of the clubs have moved toward coastal type rowing and modern 'slide' or Olympic style rowing.

Muckross Rowing Club is the largest and most successful of the clubs, having developed into a full time 'sliding' club with 24 National Championships (since 1996) at various levels from Junior to Senior. A number of members of the club have also been selected to row for Ireland and have competed successfully at the Home International Regatta, Coupe de la Jeunesse, World Rowing Championships and Olympic Games. Paul Griffin and Sean Casey, members of Muckross Rowing Club and Cathal Moynihan, a former member, are Olympic and Irish World Championship rowers. Paul Griffin, racing in Irish Mens Lightweight Four, finished sixth at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, won a silver medal at the 2005 World Championships and a bronze at the 2006 World Championships. As a member of the Lightweight Four, Paul was overall category winner of the 2006 World Cup Rowing series. Sean Casey represented Ireland in the Mens Heavyweight Four at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In the same crew, Sean also won the 'B' final (seventh overall) at the 2006 World Championships and won bronze at the 2006 Munich World Cup Regatta. Cathal Moynihan joined Paul Griffin in the Irish Lightweight Four, which raced at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Cathal made his international Senior début in the Mens Lightweight Four at the 2007 Linz World Cup Regatta in Austria.

Killarney in Song

"There's only the one Killarney" is a song that was recorded by Irish tenor, Patrich O'Hagan. The song was written by Irish songwriter, Dick Farrelly, who wrote the words & music. Killarney appears in another song, titled, "How Can you buy Killarney", written by Kennedy, Steels, Grant and Morrison, the song was recorded by Joseph Locke among others.


Hosiery manufacturing and shoe making were major industries in the town during the last century but have since seen decline. Liebherr Cranes have had a presence in Killarney since 1958, with a combined manufacturing/research and development facility in the town. Dollinger-SPX, a filtration products firm and KMG Killarney Plastics have production facilities in the local IDA Industrial Estate. Indigenous firms such as Torc Engineering and National Organic Products have established small industries in Killarney. Muckross Weavers have a small tableware and woolens business aimed at the tourist market. The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism have also moved to Killarney, a key beneficiary of the decentalisation of Civil Service departments outside the capital, Dublin. Certain sections of the Department of Justice have been situated in Killarney for a number of years.


Tourists near Ross Castle.

Tourism is by far the largest industry in Killarney. With the exception of Dublin, there are more hotel beds in Killarney than in any other Irish town or city. The tourist population is increasingly diverse however a significant proportion of tourists originate from the US, Ireland, the UK, Germany and other European countries.

Killarney's tourism history goes back at least to the mid 1700s, when Thomas, fourth Viscount Kenmare, began to attract visitors and new residents to the town. The date of 1747 was used in recent 250-year celebrations to honour the history of Killarney tourism. A visit by Queen Victoria in 1861 gave the town international exposure, which it has enjoyed ever since. In the Summer months, Killarney is busy with tourists perusing the town's numerous shops and tourist attractions. Many shops are tourist oriented with many gift shops around the town. The town centre also offers a wide range of hotels, pubs and restaurants to cater for every requirement. Killarney is also famous for its jaunting cars (horse drawn carts) operated by local jarvies. Tourists can avail of jaunting car rides and a guided tour of the town's attractions offered by the jarvies.

Killarney SummerFest[9] is a highlight of the year in the town, featuring outdoor and indoor concerts from major Irish and international acts. Previous acts include Snow Patrol, The Cranberries, Bryan Adams, The Corrs, Westlife, Tom Jones, Kris Kristofferson, David Gray, Pink, Shane Ward and KT Tunstall. In 2009, the SummerFest played host to the only Irish concert for 2009 of the Pussycat Dolls supported by Industry[10]. Other events during the SummerFest 2009 included outdoor theatre, art exhibitions, children's events, and the annual SummerFest Black Tie Ball. Sporting events during the festival included the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle, the Killarney Regatta, the 5 km SummerFest Fun Run and the Killarney Races.


Ross Castle


Killarney is a popular destination for partygoers. Killarney's nightspots are often busy seven days a week during the summer months, when the population of the town and the surrounding area increases significantly.

Car rallying

Until the early 1980s, Killarney was the destination of the Circuit of Ireland Rally, which was held every year over the Easter holiday weekend. Nowadays, on the first weekend of May each year, the town plays host to the International Rally of the Lakes. The rally brings spectators in their thousands to watch the top tarmac rally crews do battle over the classic stages of the southwest.

In recent years the event has attracted vast numbers of "boy racers" and an increase in public order offences. The 2008 event saw a large Gardaí presence in the town to tackle such problems but the event was still marred by 64 arrests in the town for various degrees of public order offences including burnt out cars, destruction of property and numerous reckless driving arrests [11]


International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Killarney is twinned with:

Country Place County / district / region / state Date
Italy Italy Tolfa-Stemma.gif Castiglione di Sicilia Province of Catania 1986
United States U.S. Concord Flag of North Carolina.svg North Carolina 1993
United States U.S. Springfield, Illinois flag.svg Springfield Flag of Illinois.svg Illinois 1997
United States U.S. Cooper City Flag of Florida.svg Florida 2003
United States U.S. Myrtle Beach Flag of South Carolina.svg South Carolina 2007
United Kingdom United Kingdom Kendal Cumbria
Germany Germany Wappen von Pleinfeld.png Pleinfeld Bayern Wappen.svg Bavaria

See also


  1. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish cProxy-Connection: keep-alive Cache-Control: max-age=0 suses". in Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A.. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  5. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November), "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850", The Economic History Review Volume 37 (Issue 4): 473–488, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x, 
  6. ^ Official Killarney website outlining meaning of name
  7. ^ "Killarney station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ The official web-site of Killarney SummerFest
  10. ^
  11. ^ The Kingdom: 100 arrests as gardaí crackdown on thugs

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Killarney (disambiguation).

Killarney is one of Ireland's leading tourist destinations because of the abundant scenery nearby in Killarney National Park. It is also situated on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive.

Lower Lake at sunset from behind Ross Castle.
Lower Lake at sunset from behind Ross Castle.

Get in

By plane

There is a small international Airport [1] at Farranfore 10 ml to the north. There are regular flights from London, Frankfurt and Dublin.

By train

Killarney is on the Dublin-Tralee and the Cork - Tralee railways. It is about 3 and a half hours from Dublin and about an hour and a half from Cork. You might be required to transfer trains at Mallow in County Cork. The train station is only a few hundred metres from the centre of town.

By car

Killarney is situated approximately two hours from Shannon Airport, one and a half hours drive from Cork Airport and 4 and half hours drive from Dublin Airport. It is possible to rent a car from any one of these places or to drive directly to Ireland via Ferry from the United Kingdom or Europe.

By bus

The bus station is located next to the train station, although they use different entrances. The bus station is beside the Outlet Centre opposite the Friary. For the train station, go between the Outlet Centre and the Malton Hotel (formerly The Great Southern Hotel).

By taxi

There are nearly always taxi cabs available from the rank, outside McSorleys bar and niteclub. Local numbers to call are (064)37676, and (064) 37444, to name but a few.

The Meeting of the Waters
The Meeting of the Waters

Cycling is an ideal way to see the Killarney National Park. There are paved bicycle paths in Muckross, Knockreer and Ross Island.

If you do not have a bicycle, there are several places in Killarney where you can rent them. O' Sullivans Cycles, located across from the Tourist Office, charges €15 to rent a bike for the day.

Put on your runners...

Killarney town can easily be covered by foot. It is a mere ten minute walk from the town centre to the entrance of the National Park, or 'Demense', and there are many beautiful sign-posted walks you can follow from there. If you are a parent, there is a new enclosed playground two minutes walk from the main gate by the river.

  • Ross castle a medieval tower in Killarney National Park. Situated in a beautiful location on the lake. Tours are available.
  • Muckross House and Estates. This area of the park also boasts the "Muckross Traditional Farms", a perfect outing for the kids. A ring walk (not very long, approx 2hours from start to finish, including stops), leads you past several 'traditional farmhouses'. These farmhouses demonstrate 'the way we were'. During the summer, there are often litters of kittens and puppies, which the children will be delighted with as you watch the demonstrations of soda bread and butter making, a sample of which will be given to you if you behave!
  • Watch a game of Gaelic football, Ireland's national game. Kerry has won more All-Ireland Football Championship titles than any other team. Killarney has a rich footballing tradition and Kerry inter-county matches are often played at Fitzgerald Stadium in the town.
  • Go for a swim or relax in the sauna in Killarney's only brand new, purpose-built leisure centre, Aura. 5mins from town by car or 25min walk, it is on the bypass. Several hotels also have swimming pools open to non-residents, but they tend to be expensive.
  • Have a game of pool in the Cue club in the centre of town. Watch the latest movies in the Killarney cineplex (recently renovated and looking fabulous!), go for a drink in any of the numerous pubs Killarney has to offer, or simply put on a jacket... and go outside!
Pigs at Muckross Traditional Farms
Pigs at Muckross Traditional Farms
  • Take a boat trip on the Lakes of Killarney. Boats leave Ross Castle regularly during the summer. From there you can visit the likes of the Innisfallen Island, which boasts spectacular monastical ruins.
  • Visit Ross Road and Killarney National Park, which is very near to town — approximately 1 mile.
  • The Killarney Outlet Centre (opposite the Friary) has a wide range of shops including NIKE, Blarney Woolen Mills, and other name brands. Also available are books, camping gear, and Irish style jewellery. It's all under cover, so good for a wet day.
  • In the basement of Muckross House, you'll find a modest gift shop offering fine woolens at very attractive prices.
  • 'The Laurels' The Laurels enjoys a great reputation for its food. Expect to find the best traditional fare around prepared not with just a little flair entirely from local ingredients. Bantry Bay mussels come in a tureen of white wine, garlic and fresh cream with home-made soda bread; Irish stew with crusty home-baked rolls; and traditional potato-cakes filled with chicken and smoked bacon on a mushroom sauce. As well as dining in the pub, the adjoining restaurant seats 65 people between two rooms for more leisurely dining. Main Street, Killarney. Phone: +353 (0)64 31149. Fax: +353 (0)64 34389. Email: Web: [2]
  • CRONIN's This small cafe has a friendly, unpretentious setting and gives a particularly hearty welcome to families. There are a good variety of hot and cold options, with something to suit everyone. Salads, soups, sandwiches, and hot entrees are available throughout the day and evening, all for very economical prices. Specials offer daily diversity to the menu. A special child's menu has a number of pleasing standards with generous helpings of chips. Enthusiastic and fast service makes eating at Cronin's a pleasure.
  • Scéal Éile A nice restaurant and café on Main Street. Try to get a window seat if you're dining on the second-floor restaurant. On a sunny day, the window boxes compliment the view as the bustling life goes by. The menu is varied and quite nice, as are the staff.
  • Courtneys Bar, 24 Plunkett Street (5min walk from bus/train). Open until 11.30PM weeknights and untill 12.30AM Friday and Saturday nights. Log fires during the winter, wide variety of clientele, live music varies from trad to rock. Wide range of international beers offered. Warm atmosphere and general good humoured banter guaranteed.  edit

There is a wide variety of pubs in Killarney.

  • The Laurels. Log Fires, tiled floors, beamed ceilings and a warm welcome combine to bestow that elusive ambiance that is characteristic the Irish Pub. Main Street, Killarney. Phone: +353 (0)64 31149. Fax: +353 (0)64 34389. Email: Web: [3]  edit
  • Jimmy Brien's.  edit
  • Buckley's Bar.  edit
  • The Curraglass Inn.  edit
  • Kate Kearney's Cottage.  edit
  • Countess House [4] - Family run bed and breakfast has 17 luxurious en-suite bedrooms. The house is situated in a quiet peaceful location off Muckross Road, only 3 minutes walk from Killarney town centre and en route to the Ring of Kerry, Muckross House, Killarney National Park & The Gap of Dunloe.
  • Holiday Inn Hotel Killarney [5] The hotel enjoys a quiet but central location affording the guests both tranquility and easy access to the bustling town of Killarney in Co Kerry.
  • Neptunes Hostel, New Street (Opposite Tesco Shopping centre, up lane beside Denjoes take-away. Few mins walk from bus/train station.), [6]. Spacious atmospheric hostel located in centre of town. Close to all local amenities and walking distance to Natonal park. Free parking/wifi/internet access. Double private rooms available. Friendly, knowledgeable staff. Ideal for backpackers, families, tours etc.  edit

Killarney has a huge variety of accommodation available for visitors, from top of the range luxury 5 star hotels to comfortable B&B's and hostel accommodation. There's something to suite every budget.

  • Hillcrest Farmhouse, (064) 34702. Located in the beautiful Black Valley near the Gap of Dunloe.  edit
  • Hotel Ard na Sidhe, +353 64 71350 (, fax: +353 66 9769282), [8].  edit
  • Hotel Europe, +353 64 71300 (, fax: +353 64 32118), [9]. On a 30-acre property on the shores of Loch Lein. Golf course, conference center, gourmet restaurant. €500 (double occupancy).  edit
  • The Malton (formerly The Great Southern Hotel), Town Centre, Killarney, +353 (0)64 38000, [10]. This opulent 4 Star Hotel is located conveniently in the Town Centre and yet has the luxury of a wonderfully landscaped 6 Acre garden.  edit
  • Sunny Banks B&B, (064) 34109. Just across from the Bus station. A nice, clean, and friendly place with en suite bathrooms and TV.  edit
  • Friars Glen Country House ([11]) is built in a traditional style and offers a haven of peace and tranquility. This charming house is set in 28 acres of wood and pastureland and is in the heart of Killarney National Park.
  • The Sugan. A fantastic and cosey hostel in the centre of town. Run by a Polish couple who a very friendly and often join you for drinks in the pub next door. You will enjoy viewing the many pictures hung randomly throughout the hostel.  edit

Stay safe

Like all tourist towns, Killarney can get very busy, so remember, safety in numbers. In case of trouble call the local police (known as the 'Garda') 064-31222.

  • The Gap of Dunloe is about 6 miles west of Killarney, a wild gorge about 12.8 kilometre's long with Macgillycuddy's Reeks and Tomies mountains on either side. The highest mountain is Carrantuohill, and at about three and a half thousand feet high is the highest mountain in Ireland. For the very fit a walk though the gap is the best option while for the less able a Jaunting Car ride would suit. There are also ponies for hire, the choice is yours. The scenery in the Gap is spectacular, with steep sides and deep glacial lakes. Don't try and drive though, the road is very narrow.
  • The Ring of Kerry [12] is a route which meanders around the Iveragh Peninsula, mostly skirting the coast. 176 kilometre's in circumference, it takes about 4 hours to complete, without stops. Drive from Killarney towards Kenmare on the N70 and follow the signs. You will pass St Finan's Bay, Bolus Head and Doulus Head, with the ring ending at Killorglin. In places the views are sensational, especially at Caherdanial where you will find Ireland's only beach pub. At regular intervals you will come across restaurants, cafes and gift shops majoring in Irish crafts.
  • Carrauntoohil is the highest mountain in Ireland. Although it reaches just 1041 meters into the sky, it is a real mountain, and a very nice climb. The tree-line in the region is very low, there are barely trees at all, and from the very start of the climb, it gives a true feeling of mountaineering. The route starts from the west, where Carrauntoohil is in the bottom of a valley. Looking in the valley, to the right is the third highest summit, and to the left are many smaller summits, with the second highest as the crown. You may walk across them all.
    It is possible to ascend the mountain from different angles. The standard route is up Devils Ladder, up the east face. Another option is to try and visit the whole range in one go, something which is possible to do in one very long day. Finally, it is possible with some good scrambling to approach from the west and visit the three highest peaks. If you are not a skilled navigator, the Devil's Ladder route may be preferable. As for steepness, there are ridges that are fairly narrow, but at most places, there are paths when this occurs. There is, however, a narrow passage about half-way between the highest point and the second highest point, which requires scrambling, and which is rather exposed. A fall could be fatal.
    Make sure you are prepared for bad weather also when the weather is beautiful. The mountain is exposed to high winds and the weather in Ireland changes rapidly. A good pair of boots or walking shoes are mandatory, as well as warm clothing and raingear. It is also strongly recommended to buy a map and carry a compass, and know how to use it.
  • Aghadoe (pronounced AHA-DOE) is a decent but not overly strenuous cycle, approx 45mins from town will leave you gazing over some of the most spectacular views Killarney has to offer from the viewing point, located just beside the Aghadoe burial grounds. The view is the one that most commonly appears on Killarney postcards, and is world famous. Aghadoe is also a popular area for those interested in Ireland's early history, with an 13th century Norman ruin named Parkavonear Castle, and ancient Ogham stones in the church ruins. If you cycled up by heading north from Killarney, there are two nice alternate routes back to town - both downhill.
    The shorter one is to go between the graveyard and Parkavonear Castle, and follow the road past the back of the golf course, then turn left when you meet the main road to town. Alternativly, head past the Aghadoe Heights Hotel car park, and follow the road. You'll pass an old church (closed now) on the left that makes a nice photo, and turn left at the T junction near the German Butcher Shop. The Killarney youth hostel is worth a quick look. It is a grand old house hidden in among the forests. Its entrance is at the junction, look for the gatehouse. Continue downhill and turn left on the main road to town.Careful, this is the main road from west Kerry, and can be busy.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

KILLARNEY, a market town of county Kerry, Ireland, in the east parliamentary division, on a branch line of the Great Southern & Western railway, 1854 m. S.W. from Dublin. Pop. of urban district (1901), 5656. On account of the beautiful scenery in the neighbourhood the town is much frequented by tourists. The principal buildings are the Roman Catholic cathedral and bishop's palace of the diocese of Kerry, designed by A. W. Pugin, a large Protestant church and several hotels. Adjoining the town is the mansion of the earl of Kenmare. There is a school of arts and crafts, where carving and inlaying are prosecuted. The only manufacture of importance now carried on at Killarney is that of fancy articles from arbutus wood; but it owed its origin to iron-smelting works, for which abundant fuel was obtained from the neighbouring forests.

The lakes of Killarney, about 12 m. from the town, lie in a basin between several lofty mountain groups, some of which rise abruptly from the water's edge, and all clothed with trees and shrubbery almost to their summits. The lower lake, or Lough Leane (area 5001 acres), is studded with finely wooded islands, on the largest of which, Ross Island, are the ruins of Ross Castle, an old fortress of the O'Donoghues; and on another island, the "sweet Innisfallen" of Moore, are the picturesque ruins of an abbey founded by St Finian the leper at the close of the 6th century. Between the lower lake and the middle or Torc lake (680 acres in extent) stands Muckross Abbey, built by Franciscans about 1440. With the upper lake (430 acres), thickly studded with islands, and close shut in by mountains, the lower and middle lakes are connected by the Long Range, a winding and finely wooded channel, 22 m. in length, and commanding magnificent views of the mountains. Midway in its course is a famous echo caused by the Eagle's Nest, a lofty pyramidal rock.

Besides the lakes of Killarney themselves, the immediate neighbourhood includes many features of natural beauty and of historic interest. Among the first are Macgillicuddy's Reeks and the Torc and Purple Mountains, the famous pass known as the Gap of Dunloe, Mount Mangerton, with a curious depression (the Devil's Punchbowl) near its summit, the waterfalls of Torc and Derrycunihy, and Lough Guitane, above Lough Leane. Notable ruins and remains, besides Muckross and Innisfallen, include Aghadoe, with its ruined church of the 12th century (formerly a cathedral) and remains of a round tower; and the Ogham Cave of Dunloe, a souterrain containing inscribed stones. The waters of the neighbourhood provide trout and salmon, and the flora is of high interest to the botanist. Innumerable legends centre round the traditional hero O'Donoghue.

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