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Cill Gharbháin
Kilgarvan (2) - - 650600.jpg
Kilgarvan is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°54′15″N 9°26′12″W / 51.904036°N 9.436569°W / 51.904036; -9.436569Coordinates: 51°54′15″N 9°26′12″W / 51.904036°N 9.436569°W / 51.904036; -9.436569
CountryRepublic of Ireland
CountyCounty Kerry
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceW007733
Ruins of Ardtully House outside Kilgarvan
Mural painting of Ardtully House on Kilgaravan Main Street

Kilgarvan (Irish: Cill Gharbháin, meaning 'Garvan's church')[2] is a small village in County Kerry, Ireland. It is situated on the banks of the Roughty River which flows into Kenmare Bay. By car, the village is a ten-minute trip from Kenmare, and thirty minutes from Killarney.


Kilgarvan is a village in southeast County Kerry near the Cork boundary. Kilgarvan was the site of the Battle of Callann in 1261 which reduced Norman power in Ireland for almost 300 years.[citation needed] The battle site is located in the townland of Callann (pronounced Collon).

Nearby the town are the ruins of "Ardtully House". This house was built in a castle style by the wealthy landowner Sir Richard John Theodore Orpen (1788-1876), Knight of Ardtully, in 1847. It replaced a number of earlier structures, dating as far back as 1215. It was associated with a number of families including Carew, McCarthy, Dillon, Babbington and Conway. Only ruins remain as it was burned down in 1921 during the Irish War of Independence. Directions on how to find the Castle are painted on the wall of a house on Main Street in Kilgarvan.

Housing development[edit]

Kilgarvan has seen property development during recent years, probably to meet housing demand from those seeking an alternative to higher prices in nearby towns.[3] A number of new housing estates were built around the village in recent times.[when?]

The population of Kilgarvan decreased from 175 in 1996 to 156 in 2002. 2006 saw an increase to 164.[4] As of the 2016 census, the population was 172.[1]

Kilgarvan has no local industry.[4]

Kilgarvan's sewage treatment plant was constructed in 1936, near the Roughty River.[5] According to the Kerry County Council, the lack of sufficient sewage treatment may represent "a constraint on development in the village" until a new plant is completed.[4] A new sewerage treatment plant was planned for Kilgarvan, with phase one planned to begin in late 2008.[6][needs update]


Kilgarvan is home to a Coillte Millennium Forest at Rossacroo-na-loo.[7] It is also home to a motor museum with a collection of vintage and classic cars.[8]

Kilgarvan is located between Kenmare and Killarney, and was expected to see the introduction of broadband access during 2009.[9][needs update] The roadway through the village forms part of the R569 regional road from Kenmare to Poulgorm Bridge.


Gaelic games, including Hurling and Gaelic football, are played in Kilgarvan; with Kilgarvan GAA fielding several teams in a season.[10][11][12][13] Kilgarvan retained its intermediate title in 2007 and made history by becoming the first Kerry hurling team to win a Munster Club hurling game at any level in over forty years.[14] Kilgarvan continued in the Munster Junior Club Hurling Championship in 2008 and reached the Munster final becoming the first Kerry hurling team ever to do so.[15][16] Kilgarvan has its own GAA pitch and facilities including an all weather training track and dressing rooms, extensive drainage work was carried out on the pitch in 2008.[17]


The Annual Kilgarvan Show is held on the Sunday of the August Bank Holiday Weekend. The show has been held in the Fussa Townland since 2007, having previously been held in the local GAA grounds. Recent wet summers in Ireland have seen many shows cancelled and Kilgarvan Show had to be rescheduled in 2007 as a result of the wet weather.


A number of wind turbines have been built in the Parish of Kilgarvan, all concentrated in the Incheese/top of Coom area close to the County bounds with Cork. Some claim that the turbines have caused disruption to television reception in Kilgarvan.[18] When these turbines are fully completed, Kilgarvan will be home to the largest onshore wind turbine project in Ireland.[19]



Kilgarvan was featured in The Wind That Shakes the Barley which was shot primarily in Cork but featured a part filmed in Muing Mhór (Meeng Voor,) near the top of Borlin in Kilgarvan.


Bus Éireann operates bus services through Kilgarvan as part of its varied routes.[27][28] Killarney railway station is the closest rail link to Kilgarvan. The closest airports to Kilgarvan are Kerry Airport which is 30 miles (48 km) away and Cork Airport which is 54 miles (87 km) away. Further away are Shannon Airport which is 104 miles (168 km) away and Dublin Airport which is 204 miles (328 km) away.

Kilgarvan railway station opened on 4 September 1893 and closed on 1 February 1960.[29]

Drunk driving controversy[edit]

A motion passed by the Kerry County Council during the winter of 2012-2013 requested that the minister for justice allow the police to "issue permits to people living in rural isolated areas to allow them to drive home from their nearest pub after having two or three drinks on little-used roads driving at very low speeds."

The motion was made by Danny Healy-Rae, a local politician and pub owner. He stated the measure was intended to reverse the decline of rural pub culture and address older residents' isolation.

Wide comment in the media characterised the motion as legalising drunk driving.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sapmap Area: Settlements Kilgarvan". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Cill Gharbháin/Kilgarvan". Placenames Database of Ireland ( Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  3. ^ South East Kerry Settlements Draft Local Area Plan – 2.0 DEVELOPMENT ANALYSIS – Growth and Residential Development Archived 21 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c South East Kerry Settlements Draft Local Area Plan – Kilgarvan Archived 21 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Kerry Co. Council 4 July Pg 58 "Extension of the Sewerage Treatment Plant in Kilgarvan" Archived 16 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Kilgarvan Sewerage Scheme Kerry Co. Council[dead link]
  7. ^ THE PEOPLE'S MILLENNIUM FORESTS : FACTS Archived 14 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Kilgarvan Motor Museum. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  9. ^ August 2007 NBS Mapping Approach
  10. ^ Senior Hurling. Kilgarvan GAA. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  11. ^ Intermediate Hurling. Kilgarvan GAA. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  12. ^ Junior Hurling. Kilgarvan GAA. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  13. ^ Senior Football. Kilgarvan GAA. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  14. ^ Kilgarvan rewrite the history books with win over Caherline Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  15. ^ Kilgarvan in pursuit of history[permanent dead link]. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  16. ^ Gulf in class shows as Kilgarvan's odyssey ends Archived 3 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  17. ^ "Pitch Renovations". Kilgarvan GAA. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009.
  18. ^ Ill wind blows for turbines as hundreds join protest. (9 November 2011). Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  19. ^ Wind: Clean, Safe, The Future Archived 10 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Senator has bypass surgery. The Irish Independent Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  21. ^ Royal Dublin Society (RDS) - Past Members - Richard John Theodore Orpen Archived 13 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ NUI Galway - Landed Estates Database - Estate: Orpen
  23. ^ Geni - Charles Edward Herbert Millerd Orpen
  24. ^ Kilgarvan Co. Kerry Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Councillor Danny Healy-Rae Killarney Electoral Area Archived 18 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Councillor Michael Healy-Rae Killorglin Electoral Area Archived 18 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Local/Rural/Commuter 270 Sneem-Kenmare-Killarney[dead link]
  28. ^ Local/Rural/Commuter 252 Cork-Skibbereen-Glengarriff-Killarney-Tralee[dead link]
  29. ^ "Kilgarvan station" (PDF). Railscot — Irish Railways. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
  30. ^ Douglas Dalby (24 March 2013). "Permit Allowing a Few Pints Tests a Tolerance for Drunken Driving". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 March 2013.