Cloich na Coillte
|— Town —|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC-1)|
|Irish Grid Reference||W381417|
Clonakilty (Irish: Cloich na Coillte, Clanna Chaoilte), often referred to by locals simply as Clon, is a small town in County Cork, Ireland, approximately 45 minutes away by road to the west of Cork City. The town is located at the head of the tidal Clonakilty Bay and is surrounded by hilly country devoted primarily to dairy farming. The town's population is 4,721.
The town won the Irish Tidy Towns Competition in 1999 and every year since has gained awards for its environmental efforts. The cleanliness is the result in part of the voluntary efforts of local shopkeepers and staff. In 2003, Clonakilty became Ireland’s first ever official Fair Trade Town. In 2007 it was awarded the status of European Destination of Excellence by the European Commission at a ceremony in Portugal and is Ireland's first recipient of this prestigious title.
Clonakilty is known as "the only place in all Munster where a blow of some sort had been struck during the Rising of '98". There is a commemorative statue celebrating the Battle of the Big Cross in Astna Square in the centre of Clonakilty.
Michael Collins, who was leader of the IRA, which campaigned for independence from Britain in the 1920-1921 period, and later the Free State movement, lived in Clonakilty and attended the local boys' national school. He is widely regarded as one of Ireland's leading historical figures. He was killed by an Anti-Treaty ambush party during the Civil War. He gave many an oration from O'Donovan's Hotel on the Main Street of Clonakilty. A statue of Michael Collins by local artist Kevin Holland was erected in the centre of Clonakilty and dedicated in 2002. It can be seen at the junction of Bridge Street and Emmet Square.
Kennedy Gardens at Emmet square in the centre of town are named after John F. Kennedy. In June 2012, Clonakilty was damaged by flooding. Clonakilty was founded on 5 May 1613. To commemorate its 400 years, President Michael D. Higgins and his wife visited the town.
- The nearest airport to the town is Cork Airport
- Bus Éireann provides frequent coach links from Clonakilty to Cork and Skibbereen.
- Clonakilty was one of the destinations on the West Cork Railway, an Irish mainline railway from Cork City to various parts of West Cork, shut down in 1961. Clonakilty railway station opened on 28 August 1886, but finally closed on 1 April 1961.
- During the summer months, there's a bus link to Killarney via the N71 road through Skibbereen, Bantry, Glengarriff and Kenmare.
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Clonakilty's position as a centre of music, both traditional and contemporary, has helped this small town to become a thriving melting pot of musicians. Clonakilty's bars host live music nights throughout the year and it is possible to find live music on most nights. Many famous musicians have found a welcome and a home here, and have contributed much to the energy and vibrancy of the town. The late Noel Redding made Clonakilty his home as has singer-songwriter Roy Harper. Currently, English novelist David Mitchell calls Clonakilty home. Monday Night Trad Sessions, O'Donovans Tuesday Trad and Shanley's Famous Music Bar main venues. Summer afternoon sessions in Scannells beer garden with Dave and Friends, De Barras Folk Club presents famous acts like folk legend Christy Moore and Sharon Shannon, Frances Black and Setmaker play here regularly. Clonakilty hosts several festivals every year, among these are The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival in mid-September, The Motion festival and The Waterfront Festival in August. The 2010 Waterfront Festival featured Irish acts, The Dublin Gospel Choir, Mundy, Aslan, The Heathers, Setmaker and Spanish Singer Paula Gómez and her band.
Clonakilty is also known for its black pudding. The famous Clonakilty Blackpudding originated in Twomey's butcher shop in Pearse Street. The secret spice recipe has been handed down through the generations since the 1880s. To this day, the secret recipe is only known to the Twomey family.
The Model Village in Clonakilty is a leading tourist destination in the Clonakilty area, it is an excellent way to start a tour of the region. The village is a fully scaled model of a West Cork town that grew along the old railway line between 1930 and 1950. Built on a minature of the Railway line, you can enjoy an unique overview of the character and history of a heritage town. Location: Station Road, Inchydoney, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Clonakilty is the home of the famous and world's only "Random Acts of Kindness Festival" set up in 2012 by the local Clonakilty Macra na Feirme Club. The festival aims to celebrate the welcoming and warm hearted nature of not only the Clonakilty community but also of the Irish people as a whole. The Festival is held each year on the third weekend in July, with the motto: "Cut the Misery and Spread the Positivity". In its first year the festival was a major success with a large crowds turning out for the opening Street party and bubble blowing ceremony. Other events held included; children's sports Day, Voluntary organisation showcase, Speakers corner, Break dancing, Story telling, traditional Irish music, Kindness Zones (areas throughout the town where small free gift where given out), A free raffle and Jungle Picnic.
Clonakilty has a GAA club, two soccer clubs (Clonakilty A.F.C, Clonakilty Town), a rugby club and a Martial Arts club (Warrior Tae Kwon Do). The teams have been successful in recent years winning the Cork Senior Football Championship in 2009, 1996, and being runners up in the 2003 competition. Clonakilty RFC also became a senior rugby club in 2001 and currently play in Division 2 of the All Ireland Rugby League. Clonakilty won their first adult hurling county title when they won the Cork Minor B Hurling Championship in 2007. Clonakilty A.F.C. have won the Beamish Cup in 2008 & 1995. Students of the Clonakilty "Warrior Tae Kwon Do" club compete in a variety of Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing and Freestyle tournaments and the club has produced 4 World Champions  in various martial arts disciplines.
See also 
- List of towns and villages in Ireland
- Market Houses in Ireland
- Clonakilty (Parliament of Ireland constituency)
- Michael Collins (Irish leader)
- Census for post 1821 figures.
- Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". 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.
- 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.
- Clonakilty Agricultural College
- "The Battle of the Big Cross where one hundred Irish died". C.O. Ruairc
- Community pulls together to ensure it’s business as usual in Clonakilty Irish Examiner. Retrieved 19th July 2012.
- Public service acknowledged by President at Clonakilty Town Council civic reception Southern Star Retrieved May 20, 2013
- "Clonakilty station". Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
- "Bassist for Jimi Hendrix Experience dies". USA Today, 13 May 2003
- Phelan, Eugene (24 February 2012). "Press 22 snapper wins portrait award at AIB Press Photographers event". Limerick Leader. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- 'Irish Central news web site' Retrieved January 28, 2013.
- "Warrior Tae Kwon Do Hall of Fame". Warrior Tae Kwon Do Official Website. Retrieved 2010-09-06.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Clonakilty|
- Official Web site (Clonakilty town council)
- Awarded "EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence" non traditional tourist destination 2007
- Clonakilty Business site