Kinsale is a town in County Cork
County Cork
County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and is also part of the province of Munster. It is named after the city of Cork . Cork County Council is the local authority for the county...

, Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. Located some 25 km south of Cork City
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

 on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale
Old Head of Kinsale
The Old Head of Kinsale, is a headland near Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland. An early lighthouse was established here in the 17th century by Robert Reading...

, it sits at the mouth of the River Bandon
River Bandon
The River Bandon is a river in County Cork in Ireland. It rises at Nowen Hill , to the north of Drimoleague.The river then flows to Dunmanway, before turning eastward towards the twin villages of Ballineen and Enniskean...

 and has a population of 2,257 which increases substantially during the summer months when the tourist season is at its peak and when the boating fraternity arrive in large numbers. The April 2006 census recorded that British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 nationals made up 9% of the town's population.

Kinsale is a popular holiday resort for Irish and foreign tourists which is known for its many gourmet
Gourmet is a cultural ideal associated with the culinary arts of fine food and drink, or haute cuisine, which is characterised by elaborate preparations and presentations of large meals of small, often quite rich courses...

 restaurants and leisure activities - including yachting, sea angling
Angling is a method of fishing by means of an "angle" . The hook is usually attached to a fishing line and the line is often attached to a fishing rod. Fishing rods are usually fitted with a fishing reel that functions as a mechanism for storing, retrieving and paying out the line. The hook itself...

, and golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

. The town also has several art galleries and a noted school of English. The town is compact with a quaint air of antiquity in the narrow intersecting streets. There is a large yachting marina close to the town centre which attracts sailing enthusiasts. A number of hotels cater for the tourists. The town is noted for its eating establishments, and holds a "Gourmet Festival" annually. The celebrity chef Keith Floyd
Keith Floyd
Keith Floyd was a British celebrity chef, television personality and restaurateur, who hosted cooking shows for the BBC and published many books combining cookery and travel...

 was previously a resident of Kinsale.

Prominent buildings in the town include St. Multose's church (Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

), St. John the Baptist (Catholic), the Market House and the so-called French Prison (or Desmond Castle).

On October 8, 2005, Kinsale became Ireland's second Fair Trade
Fair trade
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards...

 Town, with Clonakilty
Clonakilty , often referred to by locals simply as Clon, is a small town on the N71 national secondary road in West County Cork, Ireland, approximately 45 minutes away by road to the west of Cork City. The town is on the southern coast of the island, and is surrounded by hilly country devoted...

 being the first.


In 1601, Kinsale was the site of a battle
Siege of Kinsale
The Siege or Battle of Kinsale was the ultimate battle in England's conquest of Gaelic Ireland. It took place during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, at the climax of the Nine Years War - a campaign by Aodh Mór Ó Néill, Aodh Rua Ó Dónaill and other Irish clan leaders against English rule...

 in which English forces defeated an Irish/Spanish force, led by the princes Hugh Roe O'Donnell
Hugh Roe O'Donnell
Aodh Rua Ó Dónaill, anglicised as either Hugh Roe O'Donnell or Red Hugh O'Donnell , was An Ó Domhnaill and Rí of Tir Chonaill . He led the Irish forces against the English conquest of Ireland from 1593 and helped to lead the Nine Years' War from 1595 to 1603...

 and Hugh O'Neill. Following this battle the Flight of the Earls
Flight of the Earls
The Flight of the Earls took place on 14 September 1607, when Hugh Ó Neill of Tír Eóghain, Rory Ó Donnell of Tír Chonaill and about ninety followers left Ireland for mainland Europe.-Background to the exile:...

 occurred in which a number of the native Irish aristocrats, including the Earls of Tyrone and Tir Conaill abandoned their lands and fled to mainland Europe.

In 1690, James II of England
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

 and Ireland, following his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne
Battle of the Boyne
The Battle of the Boyne was fought in 1690 between two rival claimants of the English, Scottish and Irish thronesthe Catholic King James and the Protestant King William across the River Boyne near Drogheda on the east coast of Ireland...

, departed to France.

Charles Fort, located at Summer Cove
Summer Cove
Summer Cove part of Kinsale town on the Kinsale harbour, on the south coast of Ireland; it faces westwards across the entrance of the harbour to the Castlepark peninsula. Charles's Fort is located on the southern edge Summercove, at the water's edge...

 and dating from 1677, is a fortification that guards the entrance to Kinsale harbour. It was built to protect the area and specifically the harbour from use by the French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 in the event of a landing in Ireland. James's Fort
James's Fort
James Fort is located on Castlepark peninsula in Kinsale harbour, downstream on the River Bandon from Kinsale and overlooking the town. Charles Fort is located on the opposite side of the harbour.-History:...

 is located on the other side of the cove, on the Castlepark
The Castlepark peninsula in Kinsale harbour on the coast of County Cork, on the south coast of Ireland is really more a presque-isle than a peninsula, being joined to the mainland only by an extremely narrow neck at its north-western corner....

 peninsula. An underwater chain used to be strung between the two forts across the harbour mouth during times of war to scuttle enemy shipping by ripping the bottom out of incoming vessels.

When the RMS Lusitania
RMS Lusitania
RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner designed by Leonard Peskett and built by John Brown and Company of Clydebank, Scotland. The ship entered passenger service with the Cunard Line on 26 August 1907 and continued on the line's heavily-traveled passenger service between Liverpool, England and New...

 was sunk by a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

 on May 7, 1915, some of the bodies and survivors were brought to Kinsale and the subsequent inquest on the bodies recovered was held in the town's courthouse. A statue in the harbour commemorates the effort.


Bus Éireann
Bus Éireann
Bus Éireann provides bus services in Ireland with the exception of those operated entirely within the Dublin Region, which are provided by Dublin Bus. Bus Éireann, established as a separate company in 1987, is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann. The logo of Bus Éireann incorporates a red Irish...

 provides Kinsale's primary means of public transport. Buses regularly operate from Kinsale to Cork City, with most of these going through Cork Airport on the way. Kinsale and Bandon are linked by public transport with a bus service provided by West Cork Rural Transport.

Transition towns

Kinsale is the first Transition Town
Transition Towns
Transition Towns is a grassroots network of communities that are working to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability...

 in Ireland. It is a community-based group, supported by Kinsale town council. It looks for sustainable solutions to the challenges of peak oil
Peak oil
Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. This concept is based on the observed production rates of individual oil wells, projected reserves and the combined production rate of a field...

 and climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

. Public meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month. It has taken much guidance from the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan 2021, which has spawned further Transition Towns worldwide.

Sports and community groups

Kinsale Rugby Football Club
Kinsale RFC
Kinsale RFC is a rugby union team located in the town of Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland - approximately 18 miles from Cork City. Founded in 1982, the club's 1st team competes in Division 2 of the Munster Junior League...

 recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. It has a strong underage system, a women's team and competitive squad of players in both the first and seconds junior men's team.

The Kinsale GAA club plays in the Carrigdhoun division
Carrigdhoun GAA
Carrigdhoun GAA is one of the eight baronies or Gaelic Athletic Association divisions that make up Cork. The division is made up of eleven Gaelic Athletic Association teams, making it one of the smaller divisions....

 of Cork GAA.

The Kinsale Branch of the Red Cross has been in existence since 1939 and is staffed by volunteers, who are present at local events and activities - including the annual Kinsale Sevens By The Sea
Kinsale Sevens
The Kinsale Sevens is Ireland and Europe's premier seven-a-side club rugby event...

 rugby event. The branch has 2 ambulances which are housed in a purpose built building in Church Lane and crewed by trained volunteers.

Kinsale won the Irish Tidy Towns Competition
Irish Tidy Towns Competition
Tidy Towns is an annual competition, first held in 1958, organised by the Irish Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in order to honour the tidiest and most attractive cities, towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland...

 in 1986.


Kinsale hosts an annual jazz festival, which takes place during the last weekend of October. Many pubs and hotels in the town host concerts by jazz and blues groups throughout the weekend, including Monday (which is a bank holiday
Bank Holiday
A bank holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom or a colloquialism for public holiday in Ireland. There is no automatic right to time off on these days, although the majority of the population is granted time off work or extra pay for working on these days, depending on their contract...

 in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...


Twin towns — Sister cities

Kinsale is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with:Newport, RI, USA Mumbles
Mumbles (community)
Mumbles is a local government community made up of the electoral wards of Mayals, Newton, Oystermouth and West Cross in Swansea, Wales. Mumbles has its own elected community council consisting of eighteen councillors...

, Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

Portofino is a small Italian fishing village, comune and tourist resort located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is crowded round its small harbour, is closely associated with Paraggi Beach, which is a few minutes up the coast...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It lies on the Mediterranean in the Côte d'Azur, located between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is within the commune of Antibes...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

See also

  • List of towns and villages in Ireland
  • List of RNLI stations
  • Market Houses in Ireland
    Market Houses in the Republic of Ireland
    Market houses are a notable feature of many Irish towns with varying styles of architecture, size and ornamentation making for a most interesting feature of the streetscape. Originally there were three, four or even five bays on the ground floor which were an open arcade. An upper floor was...

  • Kinsale (Parliament of Ireland constituency)
    Kinsale (Parliament of Ireland constituency)
    Kinsale was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons until 1800.-History:In the Patriot Parliament of 1689 summoned by King James II, Kinsale was represented with two members.-Members of Parliament, 1334–1801:...

  • Old Head of Kinsale
    Old Head of Kinsale
    The Old Head of Kinsale, is a headland near Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland. An early lighthouse was established here in the 17th century by Robert Reading...

External links

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