Callan, County Kilkenny

Callan (Irish: Callainn) is a market town in County Kilkenny in Ireland. Situated 16 km (10 mi) south of Kilkenny on the N76 road to Clonmel, it is near the border between County Tipperary. It is the second largest town in the county, with a recorded population of 2,330 (census 2011). Callan is the chief town of the barony of the same name.


Junction of Mill Street and Green Street in Callan
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52.55°N 7.383333°W / 52.55; -7.383333
CountyCounty Kilkenny
  Town5 km2 (2 sq mi)
65 m (213 ft)
Irish Grid ReferenceS410440

History of the name

Callan was founded by William the Marshal in 1207 and reputedly gets its name from the High King of Ireland, Niall Caille. It is reported that while at war with the Norsemen the High King arrived in Callan to find that its river was in flood. The King witnessed his servant trying to cross the river and being swept away by the fast flowing current.

The King, recorded in history as a man of action, seeing the impending disaster, impetuously urged his horse into the fast flowing river in a vain bid to save his servant, only to be also overcome and drowned by the torrent. The river in question is now named the "Kings River".


Callan is the birthplace of some famous people, namely:

Recent developments

Neil Jordan's film Breakfast on Pluto with Cillian Murphy and Liam Neeson was filmed in Callan during August–September 2005. During the two weeks of filming in Callan, the main streets of the town were transformed for use in the film.

In 2007, Callan celebrated its 800th year. President Mary McAleese launched the 800th celebrations of the town being granted a charter.

On April 19, 2013, the discount superstore Aldi opened its 100th Irish store in Callan.

In order to commemorate those who died in the Callan area during world war one, a statue was erected outside the church of the assumption on green street. A ceremony was held in order to pray for those who fought in the war and also for the families of those who died during the great war.

Places of interest

  • Callan Motte (The Moat), located at the top of Moat Lane just off Bridge Street, The Moat as it is locally known is one of Ireland's best preserved Motte-and-bailey's.
  • Saint Marys, located on Green Street.
  • The Workhouse, located in Prologue, Callan
  • Callan Augustinian Friary, known locally as the "Abbey Meadow" can be found at the North East end of Callan and can be accessed via Bridge Street.


Callan had two primary schools, Scoil Mhuire and Scoil Iognáid Rís. the two schools amalgamated in 2007 to form Bunscoil McAuley Rice. Callan also has two secondary schools; the boys' school, Coláiste Éamann Rís, and the girls' St. Brigid's College.

Callan Local Electoral Area

The Callan Local Electoral Area of County Kilkenny includes the electoral divisions of Aghaviller, Ballinamara, Ballybeagh, Ballycallan, Boolyglass, Burnchurch, Callan Rural, Callan Urban, Coolaghmore, Danesfort, Dunamaggan, Earlstown, Ennisnag, Grange, Kells, Killamery, Kilmaganny, Kilmanagh, Knocktopher, Mallardstown, Outrath, Scotsborough, Stonyford, Tullaghanbrogue, Tullahought and Tullaroan.[9]

See also


  1. "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2011-05-07.
  2. Census for post 1821 figures.
  3. Archived 2016-05-07 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Local History of Callan Archived 2007-11-18 at the Wayback Machine
  9. Act of the Oireachtas: County of Kilkenny Local Electoral Areas Order 2008
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