Ireland by Region Co. Kilkenny
Kilkenny Castle River Cottage
Map of Co. Kilkenny
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The Towns

  kilkenny   Thomastown





County Kilkenny, the creative heart of Ireland, is in the south east, covering an area of 796 square miles. To the north, the upland regions of Castlecomer, the Slieveardagh Hills and Booley Hills sweep down to the gentle green rolling hills of the southern part of the county. The rivers Nore and Barrow offer excellent angling, boating and water sports. Horse riding is widely available at several top equestrian centres in the county. There are five golf clubs within 10 miles of Kilkenny City including 2 world championship courses.

Kilkenny derives its name from the irish ' Cill Chainnigh', the church of Cainneach, which was founded by St Canice in the 6th century. The county is steeped in history, having been occupied by Celts, Vikings and Normans over the ages. Kilkenny is rich in ancient sites, monastic ruins, castles and burial sites.

Home to a vibrant creative community, Kilkenny is a meeting point for modern culture and ancient history. The population of County Kilkenny is just over 75,000.

Towns in County Kilkenny

The county capital is Kilkenny. Other principle towns are Callan, Castlecomer, Thomastown and Graiguenamanagh. Please see our individual town guides for further information.

Business Information

Agriculture is a major sector in Kilkenny and a principle employer in the county. The fertile soil gives rise to mixed farming - crops, dairy, beef, grain and sugar beet. Food processing, particularly dairy, is the main industry in Kilkenny. Glanbia, formerly Avonmore and Waterford Foods combined, is the fourth largest dairy producer in the world. Smithicks, Budweiser and Kilkenny beer are all brewed by Guinness in County Kilkenny. General engineering is well represented in the county. Dublin steel and SFL Engineering have plants in Kilkenny, producing roofing systems, frames for buildings and petrol station covers. County Kilkenny is well known for its thriving craft industry. The Kikenny Design Workshops were established in the 1960's and although now dismantled, have left an arts legacy. Kilkenny has twice as many craft producers per capita head than any other county in Ireland, including award winning potteries, furniture makers and silver smiths. The overseas companies of NN Ball & Roller from the US and Great West Life Insurance claim processing centre have both made their Irish homes in Kilkenny.

Helpful contact details for business enquiries

Kilkenny County Enterprise Board

Tel: (353) 056 52662
Kilkenny County Council Tel:(353) 056 52699
Enterprise Ireland Regional Office Tel:(353) 051 333500
IDA Ireland Regional Office Tel:(353) 051 333500
BNA Rural Development Ltd Tel:(353) 056 52111
Sources of finance applicable to business start up, development and acquisition, and related agencies, are as follows

Credit Unions:

Tel: (353) (0)1 490 8911
National Irish Bank:  Tel: (353) (0)1 678 5066
Ulster Bank (Small Business Unit):  Tel: (353) (0)1 677 7623
Bank of Ireland Enterprise Support Unit:  contact any branch
Smurfit Job Creation Enterprise Fund Tel: (353) (0)1 478 4091
The Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Employment:
TEL: (353) (0) 1 661 4444;
www.irlgov.ie/entemp has extensive and very helpful advice on all aspects of business and employment in Ireland, including a business start up information pack which is superbly put together and includes everything from planning, funding, locating, employing people and development businesses.
Travel (see also town guides)

Kilkenny is very accessible with trunk roads passing through the county to Dublin, the south and west of Ireland.Kilkenny city is on the direct railway line from Heuston Station in Dublin with connections to Waterford and Rosslare. Bus Eireann operate a regular bus service across the county.Waterford Airport provides flights to the UK Dublin Airport, only 2 hours away, has international connections daily. Rosslare is the closest ferry port to Kilkenny.

Aer Rianta Dublin Airport

Tel: (353) 01 8141111

Waterford Airport
http://homepage.tinet.ie/- wra

Tel:  (353) 051 875589

Stena Line

Tel: (353) 01 204 7700

Irish Ferries

Tel: (353) 01 555 1995

Iarnrod Eireann - Irish Rail

Tel: (353) 056 22024

Bus Eireann

Tel: (353) 051 879000
Tourism, Leisure and Accommodation
Please see town guides
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