Killarney is located in the south west of Ireland in County Kerry.
As with other parts of south west Ireland, there has possibly been a continuous human presence in Killarney for the past 9,000 years. Although well known for historic monuments such as Ross Castle and Muckross Friary, the visibility of prehistoric archaeology in the Killarney area is poor. There are several reasons for this, beginning with high rates of destruction of archaeological sites during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the Kenmare and Muckross estates established extensive parkland around the lakes. These two estates established under English rule are now owned by the Irish State. For many people in Killarney today, heritage protection is synonymous with the national park as these two large estates spread across 26,000 acres. It is the natural beauty of Killarney’s parkland and lakes that has attracted tourists to the region for over 250 years.
Today Killarney is a vibrant cosmopolitan bustling town with a population of approximately 12,000. Tourism is the main industry with wide range of restaurants, bars, and hotels to suit every taste and budget.
Part of Killarney’s destination experience is the fact that nearly all the hotels, restaurants, bars and shops are owned and managed by local families whose business have passed on from generation to generation.
Killarney’s main industry is tourism however heavy manufacturing is a very significant employer. Liebherr Container Cranes Ltd. employs over 600 people manufacturing marine container cranes which are exported all over the world.
The currency used in Ireland is the Euro.
Killarney enjoys a maritime climate with highs of average summer temperatures of 17-20 °C and winter average 5-10 °C; the weather can be very changeable from day to day but tends to be mild with generally no extremes.
Killarney enjoys long daylight hours throughout the spring and summer months. Visiting tourists tend to use Killarney as a base and go touring around the surrounding area during the day so the town can often be quiet in the afternoon. Because of this most of the local shops and cafes remain open till 10pm from May-September. The streets of Killarney are a hive of activity in the evening where you come across visitors from every corner of the world.
Mountains and Excursions
Killarney is every outdoor-lover’s paradise. The McGillicuddy’s Reeks, the highest and most extensive mountain range in Ireland are located in Killarney. Killarney is the starting point for the famed “Kerry Way” mountain walking tour. It is also the starting point for visitors who want to experience the iconic Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula and the most convenient hub for touring Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
Getting Around Killarney
Tourists tend to walk or avail of the many bicycle hire outlets situated on the outskirts of the town. There is also a number of privately operated shuttle buses that collect from the train and bus stations as well as operating tours to local attractions. Tourist transport options for scenic Killarney excursions include open-top bus tour, tourist train and jaunting car (pony and trap) adventures.
Car hire is widely available, please note in Ireland people drive on the left. All the main access routes to Kerry are primary roads. Though roads in scenic areas of Killarney are generally narrow.
The primary sport in Kerry is Ireland’s indigenous Gaelic football. The Kerry County team are the most successful county team in the country. Fitzgerald Stadium is a 45,000 capacity football stadium situated in the town.
Killarney has two 18-hole Championship Golf parkland golf courses but keen golfers also like to use Killarney as a base while they play some of Ireland’s best links courses in Waterville and Ballybunion.
Killarney living is a little bit more relaxed than city living. For starters there is no rush hour! The only time you get any real traffic is in the summer months of July and August between 4.30-6.30pm as tourists come back to Killarney town after a day out exploring. Most businesses work 9-6pm and many shops don’t open till 10am. Taking a 1-2pm lunch-break is a tradition most still adhere to. As the population is only 12,000 everyone knows each other on some level and native Killarney people will keep digging until they can find a connection. The saying “I have you now” is used on a daily basis as a way of explaining to the person you are talking to that you have worked out who they are, where they come from and who they are related to. If you hear this while talking to locals in Killarney you can take that it means they understand you and chances are there is Irish blood in your family somewhere along the line!