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2009- A memorable year..

Thanks to everyone who visited Kilkenny in 2009 and helped us to celebrate our 400th year of civic history. We had a great time and we hope you did too… the 400 celebrations are now over but the party hasn’t stopped in Kilkenny, the festival capital of Ireland.

Check out all of the latest news on upcoming festivals and events on the Kilkenny Tourism Website.

Next up is Kilkenny’s famous Rhythm and Roots festival on Friday April 30th - Monday May 3rd 2010

There are no plans to continue to update this site at the moment, however it will remain online as a memento of our year of celebration.

Don’t be a stranger to Kilkenny in 2010, come help us celebrate our 401st ….

PRESS RELEASE:Date: 9th Feb 2009.

Kilkenny 400 to banish 2009 doom and gloom!

Kilkenny 400 is the official name given to 2009 if you are a resident in Kilkenny city or county. For this is the year  that we are celebrating 400 years a city. Kilkenny is realistically one of the only places to head to this year to avoid talks of recession, doom and gloom. Set to keep spirits high, the medieval city is about to put its biggest smile on yet to celebrate its 400 birthday!

Conscious of the current economic situation, it was felt that 2009 is the one year that Kilkenny really needs to celebrate and this year the city hopes to become a haven for home holiday makers in Ireland. Aiming  to cheer its citizens while also benefitting the retail and tourism industry in Kilkenny city, festivities are chosen with family interaction, safety and good fun in mind. Most, if not all, activities scheduled for Kilkenny 400 are free to the public.

“April  11th is the official date that the City received its City charter and that coincidentally is Easter Saturday this year so we really want to launch the year of action with colour, hope and good humour” said Councillor Paul Cuddihy, Chair of Kilkenny 400. Street Theatre, music, dance and all kinds of family fun will hit the streets of Kilkenny and all are invited to Kilkenny Castle later that evening for a fireworks display, subject to licences being granted.However thats only a taste of things to come” said Cllr. Cuddihy.

Amidst all the doom and gloom, Kilkenny city is going to pull out all the stops this year. According to the Mayor,Pat Crotty. “We have to invest if we want to retain our reputation as the leading cultural and festival destination in the South East. We can’t just give up …we have to fight harder than ever for people to choose Kilkenny as a place to visit and spend time here. If we want to hold onto jobs and our economy we must put everything into making Kilkenny looking good and offer incredible value and quality service to those who visit us. Word travels fast. If we excel, which we hope to, people will come.”

To mark the celebtrations, a calendar of events for the year are being finalised and all will be available from next week both in the Kilkenny People and on www.kilkenny400.ie

However according  to Brid O’Connell, Welcome Marketing, who are co-ordinating the event. “We are working with a mix of all artistic and cultural groups that wish to be associated with Kilkenny 400 since our involvement. We aim to make Kilkenny 400 a party for the people with a view to helping the city improve its economy, considering the year that is in it. We have tried to keep our business local and we hope that this is seen as a positive contribution in these tough economic times. We want to put the buzz back in Kilkenny, we want to create colour, fun and atmosphere. We want to offer Kilkenny 400 as a platform for business, residents, entrepreneurs, up and coming musicians, craft makers and artists, tourism providers and a whole lot more to trade their way out of the current recession and assist Kilkenny to scale new heights in terms of Business Innovation.”

Brian Tyrrell, Kilkenny Borough Council, said “Kilkenny is one of the top five visited destinations in Ireland. 2009 aims to raise this game even further with the presence of street theatre, busking competitions, Opera for the people, free entry Art exhibitions, classical music, parades and craftsmanship. Other forms of entertainment being presented during Kilkenny 400 include Public lecture series on history, Heritage and archaeology; movies in the castle, marching bands and classical music”.

Venues such as Kilkenny Castle , The Butler Gallery, Rothe House, NUI Maynooth ( @ St. Kierans College) and Kikenny Education centre have been innovative and most  helpful with their willingness to host  and manage events for the year long celebration .

Further Info: Brid O’Connell 087 8395330


The Kilkenny 400 logo is available for download and use by partners of Kilkenny 400 and those organisations that are running events and promotions as part of the Kilkenny 400 celebrations.

Kilkenny 400 EPS (main version)

Kilkenny 400 EPS (variation)

Selection of Jpegs of the Kilkenny 400 crest (.zip file)