History of Kilcullen

History of Kilcullen

Kilcullen is approximately 50km from Dublin City Centre, 12km from Naas and 8km from Newbridge..  It is a very picturesque town, which makes full use of the River Liffey that flows through it.  It is generally agreed that it owes its origin to the building of the first bridge over the Liffey in 1319.  Previously to that the name was applied solely to the monastic settlement in what we now call Old Kilcullen

The earliest settlers made a living by serving the needs of travellers using the bridge on their journeys northwards and southwards.  Later a market was established hence the name Market Square

The population of Kilcullen Town in 1841 was 1056 (Newbridge was just 792).  The population dropped to a low of 441 in 1936 and has been rising since.  The population of the Town in the 2011 census was 3052.  The population of the wider community is 6,005.

Kilcullen is still the kind of place where people are still on first name terms with their neighbours and where friendship and neighbourliness makes for a very strong community base.  Some businesses and hostelries are still family-run with some moving onto their third generation.

Sport is never far from the thoughts of the locals. Near by is the Curragh Racecourse, while all around the local area are some of the finest stud farms in the world.   The GAA Club, Pitch and Putt Club, Boxing Club, Soccer Club, All Weather Pitch and Scouts Den are all based at our Community Centre, which was officially opened in May 1982.

The local boxing club traces its origin back half a century.  Here they still talk of the deeds of the late Colm McCoy, who won a silver medal in the European Championships in 1958 and lost in the first round of the Rome Olympics in 1960 to a tall young man from Louisville, Kentucky; his name Cassius Marcellus Clay – later to become the great Muhammad Ali.

The Liffey and surrounds too has provided its sporting heroes, with another Olympian in canoeist Brendan O’Connell, who competed in the Munich Olympics in 1972 and the Montreal Olympics in 1976.  He managed the Irish Canoe Team in Los Angelas in 1984 and Soeul in 1988.  He became a member of the Olympic Council of Ireland and was Transport Manager for the Irish Olympic team in Barcelona 1992.  Another Olympian was Noel Lynch, who competed in Archery in the Barcelona 1992 Olympics.

The state of the art little theatre which is know as The Town Hall & Heritage Centre on the corner of Lower Main Street – is a fitting memorial to the vision of local business, the late Pat Dunlea – it is the real jewel in the crown, providing a beautiful facility for a wide variety of stage production in the perfect seating comfort of Volvo S60 leather seats.

Educationally Kilcullen provides an excellent primary school and a really superb secondary school all centrally based.