Kilkenny (town, Republic of Ireland)
Kilkenny (kĬlkĕn´ē), Gaelic Cill Chainnigh, town (1991 pop. 8,515), seat of Co. Kilkenny, S Republic of Ireland, on the Nore River. The districts of Irishtown and Englishtown, separated by a stream, were legally united in 1843. Strife between the inhabitants of the two districts, to the near destruction of both, may have given rise to the stories of the Kilkenny cats, who ate each other up. A third district is High Town. Industries include software and computer services, food processing, and handicrafts; tourism is also important. Kilkenny was the seat of the kings of Ossory. The first earl of Pembroke founded a castle there in the 12th cent. (restored c.1835) overlooking the Nore. Parliaments and assemblies were held in the 14th, 16th, and 17th cent. Among noted pupils at the Protestant school of Kilkenny were Jonathan Swift, Bishop Berkeley, and William Congreve. In Irishtown is the great Cathedral of St. Canice (13th cent.), the seat of the Protestant dioceses of the United Dioceses of Ossory, Ferns, and Leighlin. The Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Mary (seat of the diocese of Ossory), a round tower, and remains of Dominican and Franciscan monasteries (mostly 13th cent.) are noteworthy.
Kilkenny (county, Republic of Ireland)
Kilkenny (kĬlkĕn´ē), Gaelic Cill Chainnigh, county (1991 pop. 73,635), 796 sq mi (2,062 sq km), S Republic of Ireland. The county seat is Kilkenny. The region is mainly a rolling plain, part of the central plain of Ireland, with low hills to the south. The principal rivers are the Suir, the Nore, and the Barrow. Grains and vegetables are grown, and livestock is raised. Industries include software and computer services, food processing, brewing, agricultural engineering, clothing, and handicrafts. The county has concentrated on reforestation programs for the past several years. Kilkenny is roughly coextensive with the ancient kingdom of Ossory, and it is rich in antiquities.