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As Gaeilge


Quotes about Kilkenny

The Kilkenny Cats

Collectively, Kilkenny people are known as 'The Cats', most specifically in the arena of hurling and celebrated by the limerick:

"There once was two cats of Kilkenny
Each cat thought there was one cat too many
So they fought and they fit
And they scratched and they bit
'Til instead of two cats there weren't any."

The origin of this seems to have been the two 'tribes' of cats that lived in Kilkenny in medieval times, one tribe in Irishtown and the other 'foreign' tribe in the walled Englishtown, who would fight each other at every opportunity.

Cromwellian troops appear to have taken barbaric advantage of this peculiar trait through the practice of tying two cats' tails together and hanging them over a line to fight to the death. The Kilkenny cats were known never to lose and their indomitable spirit became associated with similar traits exhibited by the Kilkenny hurling team over the last century.
Decorative Celtic Drawing
"Fire without smoke,
Air without fog,
Water without mud,
Land without bog."

Unknown, circa 17th Century

This verse refers to the smokeless anthracite coal that was mined in nearby Castlecomer and also the limestone paving of Kilkenny city which prevented mud on the streets, as well as the acknowledged quality of the hinterland.

"To understand Kilkenny's unique character one should retire from the busy streets to the lovely Castle Park and, standing within the shadow of the ancient pile, contemplate the great jumble of roof-tops, old and young, which tumble down to the quiet-flowing river beneath. Here dove-grey spires and battlemented towers proclaim a city old in Christian living and wise in human experience. One can feel the heartbeat of an ancient civilised community."

Katherine M Lanigan, Gerald Tyler (Eds), 'Kilkenny, Its Architecture & History', Appletree Press 1977.

"The dearest thing I know is a memory of sunny Sunday mornings in Kilkenny; the lovely line of castle, roof-top, spire and round tower against the pale blue sky, the sun revelling in the quiet colours of old stone, old walls, old tree; the tip-tap of the feet of people on the flagstones, and above all the flocking floating notes of the church bells. Sunday has a flavour of its own there, a clean, sweet, warming flavour."

Francis McManus, Kilkenny-born writer.

Decoarative celtic drawing

"If you ever go to Kilkenny
Remember the Hole in the Wall
You may there get drunk for a penny
Or tipsy for nothing at all."

Unknown, circa 18th Century.

Quotes taken from: Katherine M Lanigan, Gerald Tyler (Eds), 'Kilkenny, Its Architecture & History', Appletree Press 1977.


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