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Castledermot (Irish: Diseart Diarmad, meaning "Dermot's Hermitage") is an inland village in the south-east of Ireland in County Kildare, about 75 km (47 mi) from Dublin, and 10 km (6.2 mi) from the town of Carlow. The N9 road from Dublin to Waterford previously passed through the village but upon completion of a motorway bypass in 2010, it was redesignated the R448.
The main bus route serving Castledermot is J.J. Kavanagh & Sons route 736 providing a very limited number of daily services to Carlow, Waterford, Dublin and Dublin Airport inter alia. This service was drastically reduced in 2015 which has badly affected local commuters and community members seeking to visit hospitals in Kildare and Dublin. Visitors who wish to visit Castledermot outside of the small number of services that pass through the town must alight at slip road off the M9 for Carlow and avail of a taxi service into Castledermot. If you are elderly it is advised to stand in the long grass off the road to avoid traffic which can pass at speeds up to 140km P/H. South Kildare Community Transport operate a route from Castledermot to Athy twice a day each way Mondays to Fridays inclusive. Bus Éireann used to serve Castledermot frequently but the solitary route 7 Sunday evening journey at 19.15hrs to Dublin was withdrawn in 2015. Castledermot is also served by bus route 880 operated by Kildare Local Link on behalf of the National Transport Authority. There are several buses each day including Sunday linking the town to Carlow and Naas as well as villages such as Moone in the area.
The River Lerr (a tributary of the larger River Barrow, the second longest river in Ireland) flows through the town.
Places of interest
In the town there are various remains including Castledermot Round Tower, Saint John's Tower and two well-preserved granite high crosses and the ruins of Castledermot Abbey, a Franciscan friary. 5 km (3.1 mi) away is Kilkea Castle, once the residence of the Duke of Leinster, but now a hotel and health farm. The castle was built by the English Norman Hugh de Lacy in 1180, and later passed to the Fitzgeralds. Gerald FitzGerald, 11th Earl of Kildare, is said to have practised magic in Kilkea Castle which earned him the nickname "the Wizard Earl".
The earliest known Irish Parliament met at Castledermot on 18 June 1264. Also, the oldest intact window in Western Europe can be found in the town, being part of the ruins of a Franciscan Monastery. The window, although large, is only stone work. The glass, if ever there, is long gone. St. Laurence O'Toole, (1128 - 1180) or Lorcán Ua Tuathail, was born at Castledermot.
In July 1903 the Gordon Bennett Cup passed through Castledermot.
There are two schools in the town. The national school, Scoil Diarmada, is newly built on the Athy road out of Castledermot and opened January 2009. It has two floors, and an elevator for easier access for disabled people. The secondary school, Colaiste Lorcain, is located on the main street.
In terms of sports, Castledermot has achieved plenty of success: Gaelic football, through Castledermot GAA, (men's and women's), hurling, Gaelic handball, basketball, soccer and cricket all experience success from under-age to senior level. Castle Villa, whose grounds are at Mullarney Park, are one of the most successful and well-known soccer teams in Leinster. Two of the club's most successful teams of the past were the 1979 team which won the Counties Cup and the Sheeran Cup winners of 1984. Most recently they have been crowned Lumsden League Cup Champions in 2016 and have been Kildare Senior League champions on several occasions. They have competed with the elite clubs of both Leinster and Kildare since 1969 when they were founded by Walter Brookes.
Media related to Castledermot at Wikimedia Commons