Callan, County Kilkenny

Callan, County Kilkenny

Town in Leinster, Ireland

Callan (Irish: Callainn) is a town in County Kilkenny in Ireland. Situated 16 km (10 mi) south of Kilkenny on the N76 road to Clonmel, it is near the border between County Tipperary. It is the second largest town in the county, and has a population of 2,475 as of the 2016 census.[1] Callan is the chief town of the barony of the same name.

History and name

"The Moat" situated in Callan

Callan was founded by William the Marshal in 1207 and reputedly gets its name from the High King of Ireland, Niall Caille. It is reported that while at war with the Norsemen the High King arrived in Callan to find that its river was in flood. The King witnessed his servant trying to cross the river and being swept away by the fast-flowing current.[citation needed]

The King, recorded in history as a man of action, seeing the impending disaster, impetuously urged his horse into the fast flowing river in a vain bid to save his servant, only to be also overcome and drowned by the torrent. The river in question is now named the "Kings River".

In order to commemorate those who died in the Callan area during World War One, a statue was erected outside the Church of the Assumption on Green Street.[citation needed]

In 2007, Callan celebrated its 800th year. President Mary McAleese launched the 800th celebrations of the town being granted a charter.

Places of interest

Callan Motte (also known locally as simply "The Moat") is located at the top of Moat Lane just off Bridge Street. It is one of Ireland's best-preserved Motte-and-bailey's.

Callan Augustinian Friary, known locally as the "Abbey Meadow", is at the North-East end of Callan and can also be accessed via Bridge Street.

St. Mary's Church is a medieval church located on Green Street. A historic workhouse is located in Prologue.

Callan Augustinian Friary


Callan had two primary schools, Scoil Mhuire and Scoil Iognáid Rís. the two schools amalgamated in 2007 to form Bunscoil McAuley Rice. Callan also has two secondary schools; the boys' school, Coláiste Éamann Rís, and the girls' St. Brigid's College.

Callan Local Electoral Area

The Callan Local Electoral Area of County Kilkenny includes the electoral divisions of Aghaviller, Ballinamara, Ballybeagh, Ballycallan, Boolyglass, Burnchurch, Callan Rural, Callan Urban, Coolaghmore, Danesfort, Dunamaggan, Earlstown, Ennisnag, Grange, Kells, Killamery, Kilmaganny, Kilmanagh, Knocktopher, Mallardstown, Outrath, Scotsborough, Stonyford, Tullaghanbrogue, Tullahought and Tullaroan.[7]

In popular culture

Neil Jordan's film Breakfast on Pluto with Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson was filmed in Callan during August–September 2005. During the two weeks of filming in Callan, the main streets of the town were transformed for use in the film.

Callan was the set and stage for The Big Chapel X, a large-scale theatre production and community engagement project that drew on the history of the Callan schism in August 2019, created by Asylum Productions in partnership with the Kilkenny Arts Festival supported by the Abbey Theatre and the Arts Council. Callan boasts many arts organisations including KCAT Arts Centre, Workhouse Union, Monkeyshine, Trasna Productions and Fennelly's Cafe.


Edmund Rice's childhood home at Callan

Callan is the birthplace of some famous people, namely:

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Sapmap Area - Settlements - Callan". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  2. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  3. ^ http://www.histpop.org Archived 2016-05-07 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J.M.; Clarkson, L.A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  6. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic History Review. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. hdl:10197/1406. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012.
  7. ^ Act of the Oireachtas: County of Kilkenny Local Electoral Areas Order 2008
  8. ^ Local History of Callan Archived 2007-11-18 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "The Hearth Municipal Heritage Site". Canada's Historic Places. Retrieved 13 October 2020.

Further reading

  • Walsh, F. R. (1952). "Callan". Old Kilkenny Review: 16–22.
  • Walsh, F. R. (1963). "Callan Olde Parish Church". Old Kilkenny Review: 14–18.
  • O'Brien, Seamus (1979). "Callan Electricity Board". Old Kilkenny Review: 48–49.
  • Phelan, Margaret (1980). "Fr Thomas O'Shea and the Callan Tenant Protection Society". Old Kilkenny Review: 49–58.
  • Phelan, Margaret (1982). "Callan Doctors". Old Kilkenny Review: 364–368.
  • O'Doherty, Sean (1981). "Repeal in Callan Workhouse". Old Kilkenny Review: 226–230.
  • Kennedy, Joe (1984). "Cromwell in Callan". Old Kilkenny Review: 47–51.
  • Kennedy, Joseph (1988). "Thomas Shelly of Callan (1823-1905) His Life and Times". Old Kilkenny Review: 492–502.
  • Kennedy, Joseph (1991). "Coca-Cola (The Callan Connection)". Old Kilkenny Review: 885–894.
  • Kealy, Carmel (1986). "Callan in the early 20th century". Old Kilkenny Review: 299–301.
  • Kealy, Carmel (1987). "Callan Memories". Old Kilkenny Review: 379–383.
  • Hogan, Patrick (1987). "The Callan Schism 1869-1879". Old Kilkenny Review: 339–357.
  • Clutterbuck, Richard, Ian Elliot & Brian Shanahan (2006). "The Motte and Manor of Callan, County Kilkenny". Old Kilkenny Review: 7–28.
  • Grace, Pierce A. (2011). "'Much Like Yesterday' - Callan Folklore in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries". Old Kilkenny Review: 58–63.

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