The cats of Kilkenny

By | Category: Travel destinations

For about two hundred years in the Irish city and county of Kilkenny, there have been stories about two cats.

21cats make up the trail

They fought each other so agressively that only their tales survived the scarp. Since then an argumentative or stroppy person is often linked to the pair.

Now though, there is a different cat or cats to be seen on the streets of the city.

Like we have seen in London, Bristol and some other cities, Kilkenny has created an art trail which consists of 21 cat sculptures which lurk around the city centre.

Each is by a different artist and is sited in public spaces so that all can be easily seen with some being attached to heritage buildings.

A subsidiary purpose is to raise awareness of the heritage sites in Kilkenny for tourists and visitors.

One such building is St Mary’s Almshouses which were built in the early 19th century in Kilkenny City for the relief of distressed widows. By preserving and restoring the St Mary’s Almshouses, Kilkenny County Council and Kilkenny Civic Trust seek to maintain the environment and cultural heritage of the city as part of its identity. Restoration will give a new lease of life to these historic buildings, and should create a valuable economic and tourism resource for Kilkenny.

Mary de Blacam’s Catfish inspired by W B Yeats

The aim of this project is to bring the building back into use, to give it a new purpose whilst telling the story of Almshouses in Kilkenny City.

The Kilkenny Catwalk 2021 art trail opened last weekend and lasts until Easter 2022 when they will be auctioned to raise funds for the St Mary’s Alms House renovation project.

For Britons, Kilkenny is about a ninety minute drive from Rosslare which is where the ferry from Fishguard docks and about the same from Dun Laoghaire which is where the Holyhead ferry docks.

If you are taking a city or weekend break in Dublin, then a trip to Kilkenny by trains takes just under ninety minutes from Dublin Heuston and there is also an express bus service

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