KILKENNY COLLEGE was founded in 1538 by Piers Butler, Earl of Ormond to replace the School of the Vicars Choral which was founded in 1234.
The College was located in the city centre and in 1690 for several months it served as a University of St. Canice under James II. Then in 1782, the Georgian building at County Hall was completed, a seven bay Georgian building, eight bays deep.
The large ornate Georgian entrance door is particularly notable. The building continued as an educational establishment until 1985, when it was purchased by Kilkenny County Council. It now serves as the Council’s headquarters.
Notable alumni include philosopher George Berkeley, the playwright William Congreve, satirist Jonathan Swift, admiral David Beatty and Young Ireland activist Edward Butler.
More recently the college has been renowned for producing leaders in business, science, agriculture and sport.
The software developer Dylan Collins, European Genome joint director, Eileen Furlong, rugby professional Robyn Copeland, hockey star Lisa Jacob, jockeys Jamie Spencer and Daryl Jacob (Aintree Grand National Winner 2012) and international show jumper Richard Moloney are among its alumni.
The school used moved to a 63-acre greenfield site on the out skirts in 1985. The school became co-educational when it was amalgamated with the Collegiate School in Celbridge in the 1980s.
The move enabled the development of excellent teaching, extra- curricular and boarding facilities for boys and girls from Kilkenny and the whole South-East of Ireland.
Compiled by Mary Cody
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