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Gaelic: Cill Choca
County Kildare
Kilcock geograph-3186148-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Grid reference: O003360
Location: 53°24’1"N, 6°40’5"W
Population: 6,927  (2016[1])
Post town: Kilcock
Postcode: W23
Local Government
Council: Kildare

Kilcock or Killcock is a town and townland in the north of County Kildare, on the border with Meath. Its population of 6,927[1] makes it the ninth largest town in Kildare. Its name is from the Irish Cill Choca, meaning 'Coca's Church'.[2]

Local industries include a large distribution centre, Musgraves[3] which supplies SuperValu and Centra stores across the country. The town lies on the Royal Canal. The town also has a Lidl store which opened on 28 February 2013 and a SuperValu Store which opened on 30 June 2016.[1]


Kilcock takes its name from the 6th-century Saint Coca who founded a church beside the Rye River, and who is traditionally said to have been a sister of St Kevin of Glendalough; by occupation she was an embroiderer of church vestments, including those for St Colmcille. A holy well dedicated to Coca, formerly thought to be lost in the back-yards of Kilcock, is known locally to be in the area behind the Ulster Bank, and her feast is remembered on 6 June. However, this commemoration is a modern revival as when the Ordnance Survey of the area was being made in 1837 it was recorded that "there is no old church in ruins in this parish nor is any patron saint or day remembered ... the meaning of the name Cille Choc is not remembered." When the present parish church was dedicated in 1867 it was named for St Coca, and it had cost £10,000 to build to the design of architect J.J. McCarthy.

In the 8th century there was a battle between rival kings near the church of St Coca, then in the territory of Carbury and close to the border between Leinster and Meath. There is a gap of several hundred years until the next reference to Kilcock when, in 1303, it belonged to the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem at Kilmainham.

St Coca's Church is erected in her honour in the centre of town.[4]

In the 17th century, markets and fairs were held regularly in Kilcock. The tolls and duties of Kilcock Fairs were shared between the Wogans of Rathcoffey and the Eustaces of Castlemartin, Kilcullen, county Kildare. Kilcock had 70 acres of common land to which several inhabitants had a common right. There was also a Commons at Courtown (Bawnogue & Duncreevan) and Laragh Commons.[5]

The markets in Kilcock were probably the largest in North Kildare. A measure of oats in those times was referred to as a "Kilcock Measure"[5]


The railway arrived in Kilcock on 28 June 1847, but the station closed on 1 July 1848,[6] as it was sited on a 1 in 100 gradient, which the locomotives of the day found difficult to start off from. This site was slightly east of the current Kilcock station. A replacement station opened in 1850 west of the town, where the old N4 crosses the canal and railway, but closed in 1963. The current Kilcock railway station, under Shaw Bridge, opened in 1998. The M4 motorway opened in 1994 and bypasses Kilcock to the south of the town. The motorway connects Dublin to the west of the country. There is a plan to create an outer orbital motorway, which would extend 50 miles from Naas to Drogheda, via Kilcock.[7]

It is also the only place in Europe where a road, a canal (the Royal Canal), a railway and a river (the Rye river also known as The Rye water) run side-by-side.


Kilcock has three primary schools: Scoil Choca Naofa, St Joseph's BNS (which in September 2016 changed from single-sex schools to a mixed schools and both schools are linked with each other) and Gaelscoil Uí Riada (an all-Irish school). The latter recently was given a brand new location beside the Bánóg on the outskirts of the village.

Kilcock is also home to secondary school Scoil Dara, located on Church Street it accommodates over 800 pupils from Kilcock and surrounding areas including Donadea, Summerhill, Enfield, Moynalvey and Mulhussey.

Places of interest

The town's library features mementos of the poet Teresa Brayton who was born in Kilbrook. The Old Bog Road, three miles west of the town, was the subject of her most successful verse. It was set to music by Madeline King O'Farrelly and recorded by Eileen Donaghy, Josef Locke, Johnny McEvoy, Hank Locklin, Finbar Furey, Anthony Kearns, Daniel O'Donnell, Finbar Wright and many other artists up to the present day.[8]

There is also the old manor where Lady Catherine McCormack was born in the 1800s.[9]

Also found locally in Mulhussey across the border in Meath are "Bridestream" (an 18th-century house with rare-breed farm open to the public), and "Larchill, an 18th-century Ferme Ornée (Ornamental Farm) which is the only surviving complete garden of its type in Europe." Larchill was restored from the mid-1990s, and scenic walks through beech avenues link several classical and gothic follies. There is also an eight-acre lake with two island follies, a formal walled garden with shell-lined tower and a model gothic farmyard.

Kilcock Art Gallery was established in 1978 by Breda Smyth and opened by George Campbell, Royal Hibernian Academy.

Kilcock Canoe Polo Club (KCPC) occupies a site in the harbour at Kilcock on the Royal Canal with regular training sessions for boys and girls for canoe polo. This site is the only place in Ireland where there are two international sized pitches available for the sport, The European Canoe Polo Open Championship was held there in 2005 and the Irish Open in 2013


  • Ciarán Kilduff, footballer
  • Brian Murray, a Donegal man who won an All-Ireland medal with the Donegal senior football team in 1992.
  • Davy Dalton, former Kildare Gaelic footballer, All Star in 1997.
  • Mick O'Brien, former Irish International footballer. Capped 14 times between the years 1921-27.

Community sport & Business

Kilcock Musical & Dramatic Society

K.M.D.S is an amateur musical society[10] affiliated to the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS), in existence since 1970.


Kilcock GAA is situated in Branganstown Kilcock and plays an integral role in the town, and boasts a proud tradition. Kilcock GAA has won five Senior Championships.It was one of the first GAA clubs in Kildare and promotes the Gaelic culture in the community. It has had many distinguished members such as Larry McCormack, Davy Dalton Jnr. & Snr., and Fred and Paddy Gibbons who have all represented club and county with distinction. The club now boasts some of the finest facilities in the county and caters for over 60 different teams.

Kilcock Hurling Club is very involved with the GAA. Kilcock GAA has won three Intermediate Championships and three Junior Championships. There most recent succession was in 2012 when they won the Intermediate Championship.

Kilcock's proximity to the canal makes it a prominent spot for canoeing. Kilcock Canoe Polo Club is the local canoe polo club.

Kilcock Tigers Basketball Club is situated in Scoil Dara.They compete in the Dublin Leagues and is a member of the Dublin Ladies Basketball Board and the Dublin Men's Basketball Board.


With easy access to the N4, Kilcock is emerging a business hub for north Kildare. The Kilcock Business Association has in excess of 50 members. The committee works on behalf of the businesses in the area to promote Kilcock as the place to shop locally and encourage people to employ local trades people. They also try to promote all businesses that are in the area.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Kilcock Settlement Results". Central Statistics Office. 2011. 
  2. Placenames Database of Ireland
  3. "Musgrave Group". Retrieved 2016-11-21. 
  4. "Welcome to Kilcock and Newton Parish Online". Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Rochfort, James (2012). The Rochforts. Cardinal House, Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland: Maynooth University Press. pp. 110. ISBN 978 1897922 18 7. 
  6. "Kilcock station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 4 September 2007. 
  7. Life saver (12 March 2008). "M50 and outer orbital lands are in demand – Commercial Property, Business". Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  8. McDonagh, Michael J; O'Donnell, Daniel (2007), Daniel O'Donnell's Ireland, London: Virgin Books, ISBN 978-1-905264-08-7 
  9. "Lyrics – Old Bog Road, The". Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  10. "Kilcock Musical Society". Retrieved 14 November 2010. 

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Kilcock)