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Kilcock geograph-3186148-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Kilcock GAA
Cill Choca
Kilcock is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°24′01″N 6°40′05″W / 53.40041°N 6.66807°W / 53.40041; -6.66807Coordinates: 53°24′01″N 6°40′05″W / 53.40041°N 6.66807°W / 53.40041; -6.66807
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Kildare
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 5'533
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference O003360

Kilcock or Killcock (from Irish Cill Choca, meaning 'Coca's Church')[2] is a town and townland in the north of County Kildare, Ireland, on the border with County Meath. Its population of 5,533[1] makes it the ninth largest town in Kildare and 87th largest in Ireland.

Local industries include a large distribution centre( Musgraves[3]) which supplies SuperValu and Centra stores across the country. The town lies on the Royal Canal. The town also has a Lidl store which opened on 28 February 2013 and a SuperValu Store which opened on 30 June 2016.[1]


Kilcock takes its name from the 6th century Saint Coca who founded a church beside the Rye River, and who is traditionally said to have been a sister of St. Kevin of Glendalough; by occupation she was an embroiderer of church vestments, including those for St. Colmcille. A holy well dedicated to Coca, formerly thought to be lost in the back-yards of Kilcock, is known locally to be in the area behind the Ulster Bank, and her feast is remembered on 6 June. However, this commemoration is a modern revival as when the Ordnance Survey of the area was being made in 1837 it was recorded that "there is no old church in ruins in this parish nor is any patron saint or day remembered ... the meaning of the name Cille Choc is not remembered." When the present parish church was dedicated in 1867 it was named for St. Coca, and it had cost £10,000 to build to the design of architect J.J. McCarthy.

In the 8th century there was a battle between rival kings near the church of St. Coca, then in the territory of Carbury and close to the border between Leinster and Meath. There is a gap of several hundred years until the next reference to Kilcock when, in 1303, it belonged to the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem at Kilmainham.

St Coca's Church is erected in her honour in the centre of town.[4]

In the 17th century, markets and fairs were held regularly in Kilcock. The tolls and duties of Kilcock Fairs were shared between the Wogans of Rathcoffey and the Eustaces of Castlemartin, Kilcullen, county Kildare. Kilcock had 70 acres of common land to which several inhabitants had a common right. There was also a Commons at Courtown (Bawnogue & Duncreevan) and Laragh Commons. [5]

The markets in Kilcock were probably the largest in North Kildare. A measure of oats in those times was referred to as a "Kilcock Measure"[5]


The railway arrived in Kilcock on 28 June 1847, but the station closed on 1 July 1848,[11] as it was sited on a 1 in 100 gradient, which the locomotives of the day found difficult to start off from. This site was slightly east of the current Kilcock station. A replacement station opened in 1850 west of the town, where the old N4 crosses the canal and railway, but closed in 1963. The current Kilcock railway station, under Shaw Bridge, opened in 1998. The M4 motorway opened in 1994 and bypasses Kilcock to the south of the town. The motorway connects Dublin to the west of the country. There is an NRA plan to create an outer orbital motorway, which would extend 80 km from Naas to Drogheda, via Kilcock.[12]

It is also the only place in Europe where a road, a canal (royal canal) and a railway and a river (the Rye river also known as The Rye water) run side-by-side. Bus Éireann has route 115 and 115A (summerhill)running from Dublin to Mullingar passing through Kilcock.

As of November 2016 there is construction underway by the county council to pave a pedestrian path along the riverbank giving cyclists and avid walkers a safer route to traverse into surroundings areas such as Maynooth without having to venture onto the main road. The implementation of the path was motivated by the recent collision between a truck and cyclist on the Kilcock-Maynooth road.


Kilcock at present has three primary schools: Scoil Choca Naofa, St. Joseph's BNS (which since September 2016 recently changed from single sex schools to a mixed schools and both schools are linked with each other)[2][3], and Gaelscoil Uí Riada (an all-Irish school). The latter recently was given a brand new location beside the Bánóg on the outskirts of the village.

Kilcock is also home to secondary school Scoil Dara, located on Church Street it accommodates over 800 students from Kilcock and surrounding areas including Donadea, Summerhill, Enfield, Moynalvey and Mulhussey.[4]

Places of interest[edit]

The town's library features mementos of the poet Teresa Brayton who was born in Kilbrook. The Old Bog Road, 4.5 km west of the town, was the subject of her most successful verse. It was set to music by Madeline King O'Farrelly and recorded by Eileen Donaghy, Josef Locke, Johnny McEvoy, Hank Locklin, Finbar Furey, Anthony Kearns, Daniel O'Donnell, Finbar Wright and many other artists up to the present day.[13]

There is also the old manor where Lady Catherine McCormack was born in the 1800s.[14]

Also found locally in Mulhussey, Co Meath are "Bridestream" (an 18th-century house with rare-breed farm open to the public), and "Larchill, an 18th-century Ferme Ornée (Ornamental Farm) which is the only surviving complete garden of its type in Europe."[citation needed] Larchill was restored from the mid-1990s, and scenic walks through beech avenues link several classical and gothic follies. There is also a 8-acre (32,000 m2) lake with two island follies, a formal walled garden with shell-lined tower and a model gothic farmyard.

Kilcock Art Gallery was established in 1978 by Breda Smyth and opened by George Campbell, R.H.A..

Kilcock is currently constructing a greenway cycle/walkway which will run from Maynooth through Kilcock for 38 km towards the Westmeath border and will be open by the end of 2016/beginning of 2017.

Kilcock Canoe Polo Club (KCPC) occupies a site in the harbour at Kilcock on the Royal Canal with regular training sessions for boys and girls for canoe polo. This site is the only place in Ireland where there are two international sized pitches available for the sport, The European Canoe Polo Open Championship was held there in 2005 and the Irish Open in 2013


  • Ciarán Kilduff, footballer currently playing with Dundalk
  • Brian Murray, an Donegal man who won an All-Ireland medal with the Donegal senior football team in 1992. Currently lives in Kilcock.
  • Paul Robinson, Irish Athlete and Olympic hopeful for 2016. Cousins also with Ciaran Kilduff
  • Davy Dalton, former Kildare Gaelic footballer, All Star in 1997.
  • Mick O'Brien, former Irish International footballer. Capped 14 times between the years 1921-27.

Community sport & Business[edit]

Kilcock Musical & Dramatic Society[edit]

K.M.D.S is an amateur musical society[15] affiliated to the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS), in existence since 1970.

The society has produced many successful productions, both musical and non-musical over the past 40 years. They include Grease, The King and I, Oliver!, Finian's Rainbow, Godspell, My Fair Lady, Jesus Christ Superstar, Man of La Mancha, a multi award-winning Sweeney Todd, The Pirates of Penzance, Carousel, The Witches of Eastwick, Billy, Sweet Charity, Guys and Dolls and Zorba. They also have recently presented pantomime productions of Treasure Island, Aladdin, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sinbad, Robin Hood, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Plays include Da, Juno and the Paycock, The Memory of Water, The Plough and the Stars, Allo, Allo, Dancing at Lughnasa, and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. The Society will present the musical Oklahoma! in April 2012.


GAA Kilcock GAA is situated in Branganstown Kilcock and plays an integral role in the town, and boasts a proud tradition. Kilcock GAA has won 5 Senior Championships.It was one of the first GAA clubs in Kildare and promotes the Gaelic culture in the community. It has had many distinguished members such as Larry McCormack, Davy Dalton Jnr. & Snr., and Fred and Paddy Gibbons who have all represented club and county with distinction. The club now boasts some of the finest facilities in the county and caters for over 60 different teams. Underage football has thrived in recent years with the u16 A championship being won in 2010 and the county Féile A being won in 2012. Kilcock also won the u17 A championship in 2016 which is promising for the club in the years ahead.[5]

Hurling Kilcock Hurling Club is very involved with the GAA. Kilcock GAA has won 3 Intermediate Championships and 3 Junior Championships. There most recent succession was in 2012 when they won the Intermediate Championship. The future for Kilcock hurling looks promising as for the first time ever there is a team competing in every age group from u8 up to minor which is a great boost to the club. [6]

Rugby North Kildare RFC is situated about 1.5 km from Kilcock on the Maynooth road, recently renovated and a regular host to major area finals (2006 Towns Cup Wicklow vs Tullamore attracted 3500+) and schools cup matches. North Kildare RFC boasts youth teams from Under 8's to under 18's, and field 3 men's senior teams. The 1st XV were promoted in 2006 to the Leinster League Div 2, after an extended period in division 3. Also in 2006, the 2nd XV won the Div 3 league undefeated and reached the semi finals of the 2nds towns cup. 2007-8 saw the 2nd XV reach the provincial towns cup final.

Kilcock's proximity to the canal makes it a prominent spot for canoeing. Kilcock Canoe Polo Club is a leading canoe polo club in Ireland.[citation needed] It recently celebrated 10 years of canoe polo in Kilcock.

Basketball Kilcock Tigers Basketball Club. Currently situated in Scoil Dara. Underage basketball has thieved in kilcock for many years with over 100 members currently. Teams start from U11 to U18 boys and girls. Annual summer camps are run for primary school children. Kilcock Tigers is based in the Dublin Leagues and is a member of the Dublin Ladies Basketball Board and the Dublin Men's Basketball Board. [7]


With easy access to the N4, Kilcock is emerging a business hub for north Kildare. The The Kilcock Business Association now has in excess of 50 members. The committee works on behalf of the businesses in the area to promote Kilcock as the place to shop locally and encourage people to employ local trades people. They also try to promote all businesses that are in the area.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Kilcock Settlement Results". Central Statistics Office. 2011. 
  2. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  3. ^ "Musgrave Group". Retrieved 2016-11-21. 
  4. ^ "Welcome to Kilcock and Newton Parish Online". Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Rochfort, James (2012). The Rochforts. Cardinal House, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland: Maynooth University Press. p. 110. ISBN 978 1897922 18 7. 
  6. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  7. ^ "Home". Histpop.Org. 2 April 2007. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  8. ^ NISRA. "Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency – Census Home Page". Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review. Volume. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. 
  11. ^ "Kilcock station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 4 September 2007. 
  12. ^ Life saver (12 March 2008). "M50 and outer orbital lands are in demand – Commercial Property, Business". Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  13. ^ McDonagh, Michael J; O'Donnell, Daniel (2007), Daniel O'Donnell's Ireland, London: Virgin Books, ISBN 978-1-905264-08-7 
  14. ^ "Lyrics – Old Bog Road, The". Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "Kilcock Musical Society". Retrieved 14 November 2010. 

External links[edit]