Video of Graiguenamana, County Kilkenny, Republic of Ireland
Graiguenamanagh or Graignamanagh (Irish: Gráig na Manach, meaning "village of the
monks") is a town in County Kilkenny, Ireland. It is located on the R705 regional
road by the border with County Carlow on the River Barrow at the foot of Brandon
Hill. It is home to Duiske Abbey, the largest and perhaps the finest of the thirty-four
medieval Cistercian abbeys in Ireland.
The River Barrow, historically a significant highway, was developed as a commercial
navigation in the mid seventeen hundreds and Graiguenamanagh served as the main base
for commercial barges operating on the river until barge traffic ceased in 1959.
The barges that at one time lined the quaysides are now replaced by some one hundred
Near to the town are the ruined remains of the early Christian church of Ullard,
founded by Saint Fiachra in the sixth century. St Fiachra subsequently moved to France,
where he is known as St Fiacre, and founded the celebrated monastery at Meaux. He
is the patron saint of gardeners and taxi drivers; French cabs are often known as
fiacres in his honour. Some few miles downstream from Graiguenamanagh the ruins of
the ancient monastic establishment at St. Mullins are situated in an area of great
beauty and historic interest.
Walking and hillclimbing are among the more popular pursuits of Graiguenamanagh area
and with the South Leinster Way meandering through the lovely Barrrow Valley and
traversing nearby Brandon Hill, scope is provided for the a gentle stroll or a vigorous,day-long
hike. The Barrow's aquatic facilities include fishing, swimming and kayaking (canoedling).
Graigue, as th town is popularly known, is home to a rowing club and the two poular
sporting clubs, the G.A.A and the soccer club, Highview Athletic.
In the centre of the town, its handsome modern library features a comprehensive Local
History Section. It provides an Internet Service to the public and, in addition to
its other functions, hosts periodic art exhibitions. The very active Graiguenamanagh
Historical Society also sponsor a series of talks and lectures at this venue during
the winter season. Adjacent to the library is The Abbey Centre,the home of a Christian
Art Gallery and small museum. Here also for the genealogically inclined may be perused
the Graiguenamanagh Parish Birth and Marriage Registers.
The Duiske Abbey, which takes its name from the little river Duiske (Blackwater)
which joins the Barrow here, was founded by William Marshall in 1204 and was suppressed
by Henry VIII in 1536.