Coordinates: 53°21′51″N 6°29′17″W / 53.36427°N 6.48807°W / 53.36427; -6.48807
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Irish: Léim an Bhradáin
The Wonderful Barn, Leixlip
The Wonderful Barn, Leixlip
Coat of arms of Leixlip
Léim ar Aghaidh
"Leap Ahead"
Leixlip is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°21′51″N 6°29′17″W / 53.36427°N 6.48807°W / 53.36427; -6.48807
Local authorityKildare County Council
Dáil constituencyKildare North
European ParliamentDublin
46 m (151 ft)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC±0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (IST)
Telephone area code01
Irish Grid ReferenceO003360
Map of Leixlip (from OpenStreetMap)

Leixlip (/ˈlkslɪp/ or /ˈlslɪp/; Irish: Léim an Bhradáin, [ˌl̠ʲeːmʲ ə ˈwɾˠad̪ˠaːnʲ]) is a town in north-east County Kildare, Ireland. Its location on the confluence of the River Liffey and the Rye Water has marked it as a frontier town historically: on the border between the ancient kingdoms of Leinster and Brega, as an outpost of The Pale, and on Kildare's border with County Dublin. Leixlip was also a civil parish in the ancient barony of Salt North.

As of 2022, the population of the town was 16,773.[1] It is the fifth largest town in Kildare, and the 30th largest in Ireland.


The placename comes from the Old Norse lax hlaup (Younger Futhark: ᛚᛅᚼᛋ ᚼᛚᛅᚢᛒ; pronounced [laks l̥ɔup]) which means "salmon leap". The name in the Irish language (Léim an Bhradáin) is a direct translation of this, and was first adopted in the 1890s.[3] In Latin, it is Saltus salmonis, from which comes the names of the baronies of North Salt and South Salt.[4]


Leixlip was a possible site of the Battle of Confey, in which the Viking King Sigtrygg Caech of Dublin defeated the Irish King of Leinster around the year 917. The first settlement at Leixlip was an outpost of Early Scandinavian Dublin, built at the furthest point where longships could be rowed up the Liffey. Its status as an outpost of Dublin continued for centuries, marking a border of The Pale.[citation needed]

The town was home to Arthur Guinness's first brewery in 1756, where he brewed ales until he moved on to St. James's Gate Brewery, Dublin in 1759.[5]

The first history of the town was published in 2005.[6]


Leixlip is part of the Kildare North constituency, which elects four members to Dáil Éireann.

Leixlip, with Celbridge, comprises the Celbridge-Leixlip electoral area, which elects seven members to Kildare County Council. Two of those members are based in Leixlip.[12]

Between 1988 and 2014 Leixlip had a nine-member Town Council (formerly Leixlip Town Commissioners), headed by a Cathaoirleach (chairperson). In 1990, the town's coat of arms was presented by minister Pádraig Flynn. The Local Government Reform Act 2014 abolished town councils, including Leixlip's, in 2014.



Dublin Bus, and JJ Kavanagh and Sons, provide bus service. Dublin Bus run the spinal city bound C3 service, along with the non spinal city bound 52. Additionally, Leixlip is served at peak time by the X25, X31 and X32. Dublin Bus also provide the local L54, L58 and L59 bus services, which link Leixlip's housing estates together and also provide links to Celbridge and Clondalkin. JJ Kavanagh provide the regional 139 service, which links Leixlip with Naas and Blanchardstown.


Leixlip is connected to the Irish railway network on the Dublin-Sligo railway line, running from Dublin Connolly to Sligo, with two stations, Leixlip (Louisa Bridge), opened on 1 September 1848, and Leixlip (Confey), opened on 2 July 1990,[13] located at either end of the town. While InterCity services to Sligo do not serve the town, the Maynooth/Longford Commuter services do, the frequency of the trains peaking in the mornings and evenings. Some of these services continue outbound to Mullingar and Longford. Leixlip has the distinction of being the only town in the Republic of Ireland with two operational train stations.[14]

Main Street in Leixlip


Weston Airport is a publicly licensed airport.[15] Its traffic is primarily private and commercial training. Dublin Airport is 20 minutes away from Leixlip via the M50 motorway.

Local attractions[edit]

Leixlip Castle[edit]

Built on a rock at the confluence of the River Liffey and the Rye Water, the central part of the castle dates from 1172,[16] just after the Norman Invasion of 1171 and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited buildings in Ireland, pre-dating Dublin Castle by 30 years. It was used as a hunting base by King John when Lord of Ireland in 1185.[citation needed] It was not of major military importance but withstood a 4-day siege by the army of Edward Bruce in 1316.

Leixlip and 809 acres around it (excluding the castle) were bought by William Conolly of nearby Castletown House for approximately £12,000 in 1728. The castle was bought by Conolly's nephew and heir, William James Conolly, in 1731.[17] His family sold it in 1914. Various famous tenants of the Conollys in the castle included Archbishop Stone, the Protestant Primate (1750s), the Viceroy Lord Townshend (1770s), Lord Waterpark, and Baron de Robeck (who drowned at the Salmon Leap).[citation needed] In the 1920s it was the residence of the first French ambassador to the Irish Free State.[citation needed] In 1945 the castle was sold to William Kavanagh,[citation needed] prior to the purchase in 1958 by The Hon. Desmond Guinness.[18][19] The castle features in the 1825 Gothic short story Leixlip Castle by Charles Maturin.[20]

Castletown House & The Wonderful Barn[edit]

Located off the main street of nearby Celbridge, Castletown House is the first grand Palladian House in Ireland – the design of the building led to the construction of Leinster House and from thence to the White House in Washington, D.C.[citation needed] Begun in 1722 for Speaker William Conolly (1662–1729), Speaker of the Irish House of Commons,[21] the lands and the house itself lie in Celbridge, however, there is also an entrance from Leixlip, hence there are two modern housing estates bearing the Castletown name, one in each town. To mark the eastern vista of Castletown a conical shaped building – The Wonderful Barn – was constructed in 1743 with the stairs ascending around the exterior of the building.[22]

St. Catherine's Priory[edit]

St. Catherine's Priory was acquired by judge Nicholas White.[23]

Waterfall in Leixlip Spa

Confey Castle[edit]

British publisher and cartographer Samuel Lewis mentions Confey Castle in the first volume of his 1837 work A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. In it, he comments that Confey's (or Confoy as he spells it) population was 165, had formerly had a town and a castle of some importance, which were noticed by Camden. Of the tower's remains were a massive five-storey structure with turrets at the north and west angles; that at the north angle containing a winding staircase opening through pointed arches into each storey. The principal entrance was under a semicircular archway. In the war of 1688 the castle is said to have been strongly garrisoned, and to have sustained an attack.[24]

Leixlip Spa[edit]

Leixlip Spa was found in 1793 by workmen working on the construction of the Royal Canal, which runs through Leixlip.[25]

Salmon Leap[edit]

Salmon Leap is a 5-metre waterfall on the Liffey just upstream from the then village. A hydroelectric dam was completed in 1945,[19] and its lake flooded the waterfall. The dam generates 4 Megawatts.[26]


Leixlip is divided into two Roman Catholic Church parishes, Leixlip (Our Lady's Nativity) and Confey (St. Charles Borromeo), each with its own parish church. The Church of Ireland parish of St Mary's also has a church in Leixlip, located in Main Street. This medieval church was restyled in the 1750s with Gothic windows, and its belltower clock dates from 1720. People from Our Lady's Nativity parish also have their own identity separate from people in the Confey parish. The Confey parish members are known as 'Hillers' and people from the Our Lady's Nativity parish are known as 'Farenders'.

Education and library[edit]

As with religion and sports, education in Leixlip is divided by the two Catholic parishes of Leixlip (Our Lady's Nativity) and Confey (St. Charles Borromeo).[citation needed]

The respective schools in the Confey district are Confey Community College (a community school), Scoil San Carlo (Junior), and Scoil San Carlo Senior School (both national schools). The community school of Confey College has approximately 750 pupils in total,[27] and similarly to Coláiste Chiaráin is mixed gender and non-denominational. The name "San Carlo", while used as the Irish names of the national schools in the St Charles Borromeo parish, is actually the Italian rather than actual Irish translation (which would be "Naomh Cathal").

Leixlip also has one of the few Primary Montessori Schools in Ireland, Weston Primary Montessori School. Established in 2016 by the parents and teachers of the former Glebe School, this school provides Montessori education to children from 3–12 years and is located on the grounds of Barnhall Rugby Club.[28]

A public library opened in Leixlip in May 2006. It is situated in Confey beside the Town Council Office. It is also near both Scoil San Carlo and Confey Train Station. Leixlip Library hosts a variety of events and activities as well as free Internet access to library members.[29]


The Leixlip Festival (previously known as the Salmon Festival) has taken place every year since 1990 on the June bank holiday weekend. It offers live entertainment in pubs, a number of open-air concerts, street carnival and fireworks display.

Leixlip Salmon Festival Limited also provides a youth training scheme in association with Foras Áiseanna Saothair.

The festival has played host to bands such as The Coronas,[citation needed] Aslan in 2011,[30] The Blizzards in 2017,[31] The Hothouse Flowers,[citation needed] Republic of Loose,[citation needed] Delorentos in 2015[32] and The Riptide Movement in 2011, 2015 and 2019.[30][32][33] Solo artists have also performed including Damien Dempsey and Niall Breslin.[citation needed]


Local Leixlip employers include Intel, who own a complex consisting of Fabs (fabrication plant) 10 & 14 (IFO), 24, and 24-2 of Intel's manufacturing operations. Hewlett Packard Enterprise was also a local employer, from 1995 until the closure of the facility in 2017.[34]


The town has four supermarkets – a SuperValu, Eurospar, Aldi, and Lidl. As well as Eurospar, there are also three Spar convenience stores, Mace and a Tuthill's in Leixlip. The Liffey Valley Shopping Centre is a short drive down the N4, and Leixlip is also within reach of Dublin's shopping areas, including Blanchardstown Shopping Centre.

Notable people[edit]



Le Chéile Athletic Club was founded in 2003 to offer the youth of Leixlip, and trains at their facility at the Leixlip Amenities Centre.[59]


Salmon Leap Canoe Club founded in 1961 is located on the banks of Leixlip Lake.[60] The club won the Ribadesella trophy in 2017.[61] One inspiration for the club was the international Liffey Descent canoe race from Straffan to Dublin, which passes through Leixlip and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009.[citation needed]

Gaelic games[edit]

Leixlip has two Gaelic Athletic Association clubs, Leixlip GAA founded in 1887 and Confey GAA founded recently in 1989.


There are currently three amateur football clubs, Confey FC, St. Catherine's Park, Leixlip United F.C. Leixlip Amenities Centre, Liffeybank FC St.Catherine's Park. Confey FC play in the Leinster Senior League (men) and the Amateur League (over 35's). Leixlip United FC participate in Leinster Senior League (men), Amateur League (over 35's), Leinster Football League (men Under 20), Dublin & District Schoolboys/girls League (boys & girls), Eastern Women's Football League (women), Metropolitan Girls League (girls). Liffeybank FC (called Leixlip Town 1995–2017) on the other hand participate in the Athletic Union League (men), Eastern Women's Football League (women), Metropolitan Girls League (girls) and the North Dublin Football League (boys). Defunct football clubs in the town include Ormeau FC, Liffey Athletic, Barnhall Rovers, Liffey Park Hibernians (amalgamated with Leixlip Town 1999), Confey Celtic.


Barnhall Rugby Football Club, a rugby union club, which competes in the All-Ireland League is also located on the outskirts of the town in Parsonstown.


Liffey Celtics Basketball Club is the local basketball club for girls aged 7–18, and boys aged 7–18. Liffey Celtics' underage basketball teams compete in the Dublin Area Board League and Cup competitions.[citation needed] Training and home matches take place at the Leixlip Amenities Centre, Confey GAA hall, and Colaiste Cois Life (Lucan). The club has a senior women's team competing in the Basketball Ireland Superleague and won their first National Cup in 2019.


Leixlip has been host to coarse fishing competitions, using a permanently pegged stretch of the Royal Canal. The Leixlip stretch consists of 62 marked pegs and there is also the Confey stretch consisting of sixty pegs. The Rye River runs through Carton Demesne and through the Intel Ireland site. The Leixlip stretch is controlled by the Leixlip and District Angling Association.

Golf, Pitch & Putt[edit]

Golfing facilities are available at Elm Hall Golf Club on the Loughlinstown Road as well as two 18 hole pitch & putt courses.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Leixlip is twinned with the following towns:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Census 2022 - F1015 Population". Central Statistics Office Census 2022 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. August 2023. Retrieved 16 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Leixlip History: History of Leixip Archives". kildare.ie.
  3. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland (see archival records)
  4. ^ The Record Interpreter: A Collection of Abbreviations, Latin Words and Names Used in English Historical Manuscripts and Records. Genealogical Publishing Com. 22 September 2011. ISBN 9780806302362 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Diageo names Leixlip as site of new Guinness brewery". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Leixlip, County Kildare" – via Amazon.
  7. ^ "Server Error 404 – CSO – Central Statistics Office". cso.ie.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency - Census Home Page". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  10. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  11. ^ 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. hdl:10197/1406. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Members Details Celbridge-Leixlip Municipal District". kildare.ie. Kildare County Council. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Leixlip Confey station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 5 September 2007.
  14. ^ "Travel & Station Information". Archived from the original on 9 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Leixlip Castle, Leixlip Demesne". buildingsofireland.ie. National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  17. ^ Patrick Walsh (2010). The Making of the Irish Protestant Ascendancy: The Life of William Conolly, 1662-1729. Boydell & Brewer. pp. 65 & 75. ISBN 978-1-84383-584-4.
  18. ^ Hann, Christopher (26 November 2008). "A 50-Year Battle to Save Old Ireland". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  19. ^ a b "Leixlip & Guinness: The Brewing Legend Begins!" (PDF). intokildare.ie. Leixlip Town Council. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  20. ^ Adams, Constance Louisa. Castles of Ireland: Some Fortress Histories and Legends. E. Stock, 1904. p.278
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  26. ^ "Liffey Stations – Power Stations – About ESB – Electricity Supply Board". Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
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  28. ^ "Home". westonpm.com. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
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  31. ^ Peppard, Sarah (3 June 2017). "What's on: Leixlip Festival, Saturday 3 June". Leinster Leader. Retrieved 26 April 2020.(subscription required)
  32. ^ a b "The Riptide Movement for Court Yard headliner in Leixlip". Hot Press. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
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  35. ^ "Lily Allen: What's Up Tiger Lily?". stevecummins.com. 9 July 2011. He lives in Dunboyne, but I lived in Leixlip for about a year and a half," she explains. "My mom was doing a film in Ireland called Hear My Song. I was really young, like six or seven at the time. Weirdly enough, he was in the same school as me in Leixlip [...]
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  57. ^ Whelan, Nathan (4 May 2019). "Ireland under-21 star rewarded with new QPR contract after injury hell". Extra.ie.
  58. ^ "Stokes happy to be back in Ireland away from 'fake football' across the water". Independent News & Media. 2 March 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  59. ^ "History and who we are". lecheileac.com. Le Chéile Athletic Club. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  60. ^ "The Club". salmonleapcanoeclub.com. Salmon Leap Canoe Club. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  61. ^ "2017 Ranking Series Results". canoemarathonireland.com. Canoe Marathon Ireland. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  62. ^ "Les villes jumelées". ville-bressuire.fr (in French). Retrieved 12 February 2021.
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External links[edit]