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Kilkenny aka Cill Chainnigh is a place name that dates back to the 6th century in Ireland (when St. Canice established a monastery here).

Inspired by this photo shared by Ireland's Ambassador to New Zealand, Peter Ryan, let's take a look at some of the places where Kilkenny can be found globally today...

Today Kilkenny lends its name to much more than a county and city in Ireland. As its people began to emigrate, their fondness for this place inspired them to leave us clues overseas as to where they went and what became of them.


The Kilkenny Lookout aka Kilkenny Point (pictured above) gives a spectacular view of Hawks Crag in New Zealand's South Island. The name probably dates back to 1869 when Hawks Crag was excavated to enable horse & carts to travel through this district during the gold rush. It can be reached along the Lower Buller Gorge near the north-western seaside town of Westport (named by J. C. Richmond in 1863, apparently because of its similarity to Westport in County Mayo, Ireland). SEE Buller Valley


Kilkenny in South Australia is an inner north-western suburb of Adelaide (in the City of Charles Sturt). It was first created in 1849 as the Township of Kilkenny. Here you will also find a Kilkenny Railway Station (b.1881) and a Kilkenny Road. SEE Placenames of SA


Kilkenny in Cheltenham England is a district thought to have taken its name from a nearby farm (that was named "Kilkenny" after the capture of its namesake in Ireland by Cromwell in 1650) in Andoversford. It also lends its name to a historic inn here and the Kilkenny Viewpoint on the Cotswold hills.


Kilkenny Minnesota is a city in Le Sueur County, Minnesota and even matches its namesake in Ireland with a Cathedral of St. Canice. In 1856, this place was first named Kilkenny Township by settlers from County Kilkenny Ireland, including a Dennis Doyle (1818-1902).  By 1883, it had become Kilkenny Village. Kilkenny City MN was twinned with Kilkenny City, Ireland in 2013.   READ MORE

Within Ireland itself, a townland of Kilkenny can be found in three counties:

  • In 1585, a "House of Friars of Kylkeny" was recorded in Co. Mayo in the parish of  Breaghwy;
  • Donegal's Kilkenny (parish of Inishkeel) can be found on Gweebarra Bay;
  • Roscommon's Kilkenny (parish of Taghmaconnell) named for a woodland where a meeting was held (coill an choinne) may have no connection to St. Canice aka Naomh Cainneach at all. 

Was your Ancestor connected to any of these places?

We'd love if you shared their story. Here's how... ADD Ancestor

Got more information to add to this list? Or another Irish place name worldwide that you'd like to see featured?

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We hope you have found the information we have shared helpful. While you are here, we have a small favour to ask. Ireland Reaching Out is a non-profit organisation that relies on public funding and donations to ensure a completely free family history advisory service to anyone of Irish heritage who needs help connecting with their Irish place of origin. If you would like to support our mission, please click on the donate button and make a contribution. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated and makes a difference. 

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