Callan, County Kilkenny

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Junction of Mill Street and Green Street in Callan
Junction of Mill Street and Green Street in Callan
Callan is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°33′00″N 7°23′00″W / 52.55°N 7.383333°W / 52.55; -7.383333Coordinates: 52°33′00″N 7°23′00″W / 52.55°N 7.383333°W / 52.55; -7.383333
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Kilkenny
 • Town 5 km2 (2 sq mi)
Elevation 65 m (213 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Town 2,330
 • Urban 1,489
 • Rural 281
Irish Grid Reference S410440

Callan (Irish: Callainn) is a market 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 and Kilkenny. It is the largest town in the county, with a recorded population of 2,330 (census 2011).

History of the name[edit]

"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".


Edmund Rice's childhood home at Callan

Callan is the birthplace of some famous people, namely:

Recent developments[edit]

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.

In 2007, Callan celebrated its 800th year. President Mary McAleese launched the 800th celebrations of the town being granted a charter. Full details of the celebrations can be found at Callan 800th website.

On April 19, 2013, the discount superstore Aldi opened its 100th Irish store in Callan.

Places of interest[edit]

  • The Moat, located at the top of Moat Lane just off Bridge Street, The Moat as it is locally known is one of Ireland's best preserved Motte-and-bailey's.
  • Saint Marys, located on Green Street.
  • The Workhouse, located in Prologue, Callan
  • Callan Augustinian Friary, known locally as the "Abbey Meadow" can be found at the North East end of Callan and can be accessed via Bridge Street.
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[edit]

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.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  2. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ 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. 
  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. 
  7. ^ Local History of Callan
  8. ^
  9. ^ Act of the Oireachtas: County of Kilkenny Local Electoral Areas Order 2008

External links[edit]