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Kanturk (Irish: Ceann Toirc, meaning "Boar's Head" - also the town's emblem) is a town in the north west of County Cork, Ireland. Kanturk is situated at the confluence of the rivers Allow and Dallow (also Dalua), streaming further on as tributaries into the Blackwater. It is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Cork, Blarney and Limerick, and lies just north of the main N72 road, 15 km (9 miles) from Mallow and about 40 km (25 miles) from Killarney.


Ceann Toirc
Kanturk Castle
Kanturk Castle
Kanturk is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°10′30″N 8°54′0″W / 52.17500°N 8.90000°W / 52.17500; -8.90000
CountyCounty Cork
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))

Apart from its creamery which produced casein from milk, a raw material for early plastics, its former knitwear facility now produces concrete flooring products. The town's schools include Coláiste Treasa and Scoil Mhuire.



A historic site close to the town is Kanturk Castle, known locally as the Old Court,[2] a fortified house built in 1601 for MacDonagh McCarthy as a defence against English settlers.[3] It was a limestone rubble Tudor mansion four storeys high, 28 metres in length and 11 metres wide, with four towers of five storeys high and a height of 29 metres. According to legend, the castle was never completed as word of its construction reached the Privy Council in England. They ordered MacDonagh to stop building works, as they feared it would be used as a base to attack English settlers. Macdonogh was allegedly so furious at this news that he smashed all the blue ceramic tiles for the roof and threw them into a nearby stream. The stream then became known as the Bluepool Stream because of the reflection of the tiles in the water. Due to its architectural and historic importance, it is owned by An Taisce (National Trust for Ireland), and is a designated National Monument.

Heritage tourists from the McAuliffe, O'Keeffe, O'Callaghan, Hartnett, Fitzpatrick, Sullivan, Walsh, O'Riordan, and McCarthy families visit Kanturk to investigate familial roots in the area.[4] As families moved during wars and the plantations, some O'Neills, O'Donnells, and other families date their roots in Kanturk from the time of the Siege of Kinsale.[4]


The Kanturk Library[5] on the Main Street offers lending facilities, including books on tape, newspapers, and general reference books. Internet access is available and the library also organises cultural events.

Kanturk Unity Park

The Unity Stone
The heart beat is the river
Sky is imagination's face
We bridge all forever
Stars in universal space

Inscription on the lower plaque:
This park was opened by President Mary McAleese
on 7 July 1998

Kanturk Town Park is a short distance from the town shopping centre, crossing the Kanturk Bridge and left into the O'Brien Street, then entering the park at the Unity Stone monument. The park has oak, beech, chestnut and ash trees, a children's playground, some cultural exhibits, and a walkway by the banks of the Dalua.


Kanturk GAA club has a hurling team and a football team, both men's and women's from underage to Intermediate level. The local pitch is located in Kilroe, just outside the town. Kanturk RFC is a rugby union club which is also located just outside the town, at Knocknacolan. Founded in 1927, the club play in the All-Ireland League. An eighteen-hole golf course is located on the Mill Road, where milling used to take place. A soccer pitch and facilities accommodates 6 teams from under 11s up to Junior level. Kanturk also has a cycling club with its own outdoor 250m velodrome, one of only two in the Republic of Ireland.

Kanturk has a trout fishing club which maintains the rivers that flow through the town. The Dalua from Newmarket flows into the Allow (Freemount River) in the centre of the town. A further 2 km (1 mile) south of the town the river Brogeen flows into the Allow. The Allow joins the River Blackwater; known for its salmon fishing, a further 3 km (2 mi) downstream at Leaders Bridge on the N72 Mallow to Killarney road. In recent years[when?] the club installed a salmon pass in Kanturk Park and repaired the damage done in previous decades aimed at flood prevention.[citation needed] The club is frequently represented on the international stage, with Kanturk Trout Anglers Association entering senior, ladies and juvenile members on the 2007 TAFI (Trout Anglers Federation of Ireland) world championship teams.[6][not in citation given]


  • Rail: Kanturk is served by the nearby Banteer railway station, which is 6 km (4 mi) from Kanturk. The town's one-time railway station opened on 1 April 1889, closed for passenger traffic on 27 January 1947 and finally closed altogether on 4 February 1963.[7]
  • Bus: Kanturk is served weekdays by four buses a day to Mallow, one of which continues to Cork. On Saturdays, there is a single bus service to Cork via Mallow. Kanturk is not served by bus on Sundays.
  • Air: Kanturk is 51 km (32 mi) from Kerry Airport. A wider range of air services is available from Cork Airport, which is 61 km (38 mi) away.

Kerry Airport is accessed by rail from Banteer railway station. Cork Airport is accessed by taking the bus to Cork or the train from Banteer to Cork and switching to the city bus service at either Parnell Place Bus Station or Kent Station respectively. Otherwise both airports may be accessed by private car.


Thady Kelleher, International Champion Ploughman from Duhallow

People of note from the area include:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Census 2016 Sapmap Area - Settlements - Kanturk". CSO. 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  2. ^ The Old Court: The Story of Kanturk Castle
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b O'Carroll, John (25 November 2017). "Step Back in Time to Kanturk". Quinn's Quill - News from across Munster. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  5. ^ Kanturk Library Homepage
  6. ^ "I.R.D. Duhallow Annual Report 06/07" (PDF). IRD Duhallow CLG. 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Kanturk station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 16 October 2007.
  8. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "Pre-famine". 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.
  12. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review. Volume. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x.[dead link]

External linksEdit