KELLS (not the one in Meath!)

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Kells, situated on the Kings river,approximately 8 miles from Callan.This picturesque little village has a lot more history behind it as you would imagine..

Kells in Irish translates to Ceannanus meaning head residance; just proving the well known fact that it comes up tops when it comes to history.The fortress-like appearance of the monastery in Kells is not known locally as the Priory but as "the Castles".This nickname itself tells its own story of the great Kings and Queens that used to occupy this magical late medival Priory, some 700 years ago.

The King's river itself( which the Priory is situated on ) got its name from the High King of Ireland himself; Niall Caille, who drowned in 844 after plunging into it. He was said to have been trying to save a servant.

Like all rural parts of Ireland,Kells suffered imensely from the Famine.Unlike today the crime in 1846, during the famine extended to the odd sheep-stealer or windowbreaker.Although,out of desperation things got very desolate for the villagers that some even purposely broke the law(i.e. raids of flour carts) just to escape the Famine and disease. Prison for these people was preferable to starving in the streets or even entering the workhouses. In fact, many of the law breakers pleaded for longer sentences than were given to them. Also in some cases, immediately on their release, they would resort to smashing another window or raiding another flour cart in the hope of being hauled back to prison

As we all know, there is great rivalery between Tipperary and Kilkenny(i.e. Hurling!). But what you do not know is that this competition dates further back than the primitive hurling games. Did you know that William Smith O'Brien, an M.P. planned to seize Kilkenny including the region of Kells. He was advised to seek rebel reinforcements in Tipperary. But it was no surprise, strong rebel leaders(some from the region of Kells/Callan), with pride in their step confronted this band of holigans and they fled for fear of their lives. Eventually, Kilkenny got the upper hand and proved to be the better county.

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