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Móin Choinn
Church at Mooncoin
Church at Mooncoin
Mooncoin is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°17′46″N 7°15′36″W / 52.296°N 7.260°W / 52.296; -7.260Coordinates: 52°17′46″N 7°15′36″W / 52.296°N 7.260°W / 52.296; -7.260
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Kilkenny
Elevation 25 m (82 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
 • Total 1,002
Irish Grid Reference S503162

Mooncoin (Irish: Móin Choinn, meaning "Coinn's bog") is a town situated in the far south of County Kilkenny, in Ireland, just 10 km from Waterford City on the main Waterford to Limerick road.

The town has continually received high scores in the Tidy Towns competition.[2][3][4]

Mooncoin in song[edit]

Mooncoin has been made famous by the song 'The Rose of Mooncoin', which has been adopted as the Kilkenny GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) anthem by Paddy Grace. This is an apt acknowledgement of the village, as Mooncoin (along with Tullaroan) was one of the leading hurling teams in the country in the early years of the Gaelic Athletic Association.

The song was written in the 1800s by a local schoolteacher and poet named Watt Murphy, who met and gradually fell in love with a local girl called Elizabeth, also known as Molly. Elizabeth was just 20 years old, and Watt was then 56, but the difference in age was of no consequence to either of them. Both were intellectuals, and they would often stroll along the banks of the river Suir, composing and reciting poetry. However, Elizabeth's father, who was the local vicar, did not approve of their relationship, and she was sent away to England. Watt was brokenhearted at the loss of his beloved lady, and wrote this song in her memory.

"How sweet 'tis to roam by the sunny Suir stream,
And hear the dove's coo 'neath the morning's sunbeam.
Where the thrush and the robin their sweet notes combine
On the banks of the Suir that flows down by Mooncoin.

Flow on, lovely river, flow gently along.
By your waters so sweet sounds the lark's merry song.
On your green banks I'll wander where first I did join
With you, lovely Molly, the Rose of Mooncoin.

Oh Molly, dear Molly, it breaks my fond heart,
To know that we two for ever must part
But I'll think of you, Molly, while sun and moon shines
On the banks of the Suir that flows down by Mooncoin...

Parish Of Mooncoin[edit]

The Catholic parish of Mooncoin has 3 churches, the main parish church in Mooncoin, and two smaller churches in Killinaspick and Carrigeen.

Mooncoin was the birthplace of Bishop John Walsh (1830–1898) of the Archdiocese of Toronto (1888–1898).


Mooncoin have been County Kilkenny Senior Hurling Champions twelve times, 1888, 1900, 1906, 1908, 1913, 1916, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1932, 1936 and 1965. They were also Senior County Gaelic football Champions in 1886, beating James Stephens (The Village) in a replay. The most famous and successful GAA player in Mooncoin's history was Richard 'Drug' Walsh (1878–1958). He won 7 all Ireland medals with Kilkenny and famously captained Kilkenny to three all Ireland finals (1907, 1909, 1913). Only two other people in the history of hurling have achieved this same featChristy Ring of Cork and Mikey Maher of Tipperary in the 1890s. There is unfortunately no memorial to Drug or his teammates' achievements in Mooncoin. However, the new Days Hotel in Kilkenny City has named one of its function rooms the 'Richard Walsh' room, in recognition of his incredible achievements.

Business in Mooncoin[edit]

The continued growth in the population supports numerous businesses. There are currently two pubs (reduced from three after Howleys closed), three convenience stores and a take-away. Four retails units are situated at the start of the Roseleigh development. One unit is a Chinese Takeaway, another, due to open soon is a barbers, with the other two units still available. A 24 hour petrol station exits at the location known as "The Pound" on the Waterford road side of the village.

Famous people[edit]

William Dollard (1842–1851) was the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint John in Canada.[5] James McDonald (1824-1890) and Walter McDonald (1830-1899) were important pioneering missionary priests in Auckland, New Zealand.

See also[edit]