Athy, County Kildare

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Athy is a heritage town located in the south of County Kildare. Situated at the convergence of the River Barrow and Grand Canal, Athy is just 72 kilometres south-west of Dublin. Inhabited by 7,943 people, it is the sixth largest town in Kildare. In Irish, Athy is called Baile Átha Í, which means town of the ford of Ae. The town owes its name to the 2nd century chieftain, Ae, a leader who was killed at the intersection of the river in the town.

The town was founded in 12th century, when Anglo-Norman settled on the borders of Pale. Historical events of 16th century can be seen in Athy’s first town charter. Athy has always been an important commercial centre, which is evident from the completion of the Grand Canal in 1791 and arrival of the railway in 1846. The first town hall of Athy was also constructed in the early 18th century.

St. Michael's Church, the most ancient church of the town, is believed to be built in the 14th century. Another historical landmark of the town is the White Castle that dates back to the 15th century. Currently, it serves as a private residence and no public visits are allowed. At present, Athy is a busy and bustling town and in spite of being a crowded it attracts tourists who can witness the essence of real Irish county town. Other main attractions of the town are Crom-a-Boo Bridge, Kilkea Castle and White's Castle.

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All Imagery Courtesy of Panoramio
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