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Cill Garbháin
Kilgarvan is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Country Republic of Ireland
Province Munster
County County Kerry
Population (2006)
 • Urban 164
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference W007733
Website .info.kilgarvanwww
Ruins of Ardtully House outside Kilgarvan
Mural painting of Ardtully House on Kilgaravan Main Street

Kilgarvan (Irish: Cill Garbháin, meaning "church of St. Garbhan"[1] is a small village in County Kerry, Republic of 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 Callan in 1261 which reduced Norman power in Ireland for almost 300 years. The battle site is located in the townland of Callan (pronounced Collon).

Nearby the town are the ruins of "Ardtully House". This house, built in 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 Kilgaravan Main Street.

Housing development

Kilgarvan has seen property development during recent years, probably to meet housing demand from those seeking an alternative to higher prices in nearby towns.[2] Four new housing estates were built around the village in recent times.

  • Healy-Rae Park, located adjacent to the Mace supermarket
  • Amelio Mews, located to the east of the village
  • Lime Woods, located to the rear of the Mace supermarket & Post office
  • Suiomh Alainn, located on Railway Road to the north of the village adjacent to the National School.

The population of Kilgarvan decreased from 175 in 1996 to 156 in 2002. 2006 saw an increase to 164.[3]

Kilgarvan has no local industry.[3]

Kilgarvan's sewage treatment plant was constructed in 1936, near the Roughty River.[4]

According to the Kerry County Council, the lack of sufficient sewage treatment will be "a constraint on development in the village" until a new plant is completed.[3] A new Sewerage treatment plant is currently planned for Kilgarvan, with phase one expected to begin in late 2008.[5]


Kilgarvan is home to a Coillte Millennium Forest[6] at Rossacroo-na-loo.

Kilgarvan is home to a Motor Museum with a collection of vintage and classic cars.[7]

Kilgarvan is centrally located between Kenmare and Killarney. Kilgarvan expects to see the introduction of broadband access in 2009 at the earliest.[8] Kilgarvan does not have a public car park or public toilets.[3][9] 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 considerable 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 Train 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

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 characterized the motion as legalizing drunk driving.[30]

See also


  1. ^ Kilgarvan, Ireland. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  2. ^ South East Kerry Settlements Draft Local Area Plan – 2.0 DEVELOPMENT ANALYSIS – Growth and Residential Development
  3. ^ a b c d South East Kerry Settlements Draft Local Area Plan – Kilgarvan
  4. ^ Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Kerry Co. Council 4 July Pg 58 "Extension of the Sewerage Treatment Plant in Kilgarvan"
  5. ^ Kilgarvan Sewerage Scheme Kerry Co. Council
  7. ^ Kilgarvan Motor Museum. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  8. ^ August 2007 NBS Mapping Approach
  9. ^ Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Kerry Co. Council 2 April Pg 23 "Public toilets for Kilgarvan"
  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. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  15. ^ Kilgarvan in pursuit of history. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  16. ^ Gulf in class shows as Kilgarvan's odyssey ends. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  17. ^ Pitch Renovations. Kilgarvan GAA. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  18. ^ Ill wind blows for turbines as hundreds join protest. (9 November 2011). Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  19. ^ Wind: Clean, Safe, The Future
  20. ^ Senator has bypass surgery. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  21. ^ Royal Dublin Society (RDS) - Past Members - Richard John Theodore Orpen
  22. ^ NUI Galway - Landed Estates Database - Estate: Orpen
  23. ^ Geni - Charles Edward Herbert Millerd Orpen
  24. ^ Kilgarvan Co. Kerry
  25. ^ Councillor Danny Healy-Rae Killarney Electoral Area
  26. ^ Councillor Michael Healy-Rae Killorglin Electoral Area
  27. ^ Local/Rural/Commuter 270 Sneem-Kenmare-Killarney
  28. ^ Local/Rural/Commuter 252 Cork-Skibbereen-Glengarriff-Killarney-Tralee
  29. ^
  30. ^
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