Clonakilty (Cloich na Coillte, Clanna Chaoilte), often referred to by locals simply as Clon, is a small town 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 primarily to dairy farming, the region having an impressive dairy yield.. Population 4,154 (3745+409)
The centre of the town is considered particularly attractive, with the store fronts of the shops and restaurants painted in bright colours. Many tourists, particularly from the United Kingdom and the United States, are attracted to Clonakilty during the summer months, and the population of the town can swell by as many as 3,000 visitors at this time, with many staying in nearby Inchydoney. Visitors go to several nearby beaches, visit the pubs, walk in the local countryside, or visit local attractions such as The West Cork Model Railway Village and Lios-na-gCon Ringfort
The town was given an award as "Ireland's tidiest town" in 1999. The cleanliness is the result in part of the voluntary efforts of local shopkeepers and staff. In 2003 Clonakilty also became Ireland’s first ever official Fair Trade Town.
, who was leader of the IRA
and later Minister for Finance of the fledgling Irish Free State
, , was born at Sam's Cross, near Clonakilty. He is widely regarded as one of Ireland's leading historical figures. He was killed by republicans during the Civil War
. He gave many an oration from O'Donovan's Hotel
on the Main Street of Clonakilty. - A monumental statue of Michael Collins by local artist Kevin Holland was erected in the centre of Clonakilty and dedicated in 2002
Kennedy Gardens at Emmett square in the centre of town are named after John F. Kennedy who was a descendant of a Clonakilty emigrant to the USA
Clonakilty's position as a centre of music, both traditional and contemporary, has helped this small town to become a thriving melting pot of musicians. Clonakilty's bars host live music nights throughout the year and it is possible to find quality live music on most nights. Many famous musicians have found a welcome and a home here, and have contributed much to the energy and vibrancy of this small town. The late Noel Redding
made Clonakilty his home and was always regarded as an adopted son. Roy Harper
, singer-songwriter, is another of those famous people who finds a home here amongst some great local and national stars such as John O' Mahony , Gideon Cullum after his world famous tour of Ireland which failed miserably in Macroom Christy Moore
, Bill Shanley, Pete Best, Pat Horgan and bands such as Chucklehead, The Legendary Acoustic Blues Club
, Anto, The Smokin' Blues Band
, John Cullinane, Gavin Moore, Setmaker
and De Barras. Monday Night Trad Sessions, O'Donovans Tuesday Trad and Shanley's Famous Music Bar a mainstay of Clonakilty's love affair with music. De Barras Folk Club is the most famous pub in the town. Famous acts like folk legend Christy Moore
play here regularly.
Clonakilty is also known for its world famous Clonakilty Black Pudding, which is fried or grilled pig's offal in intestines. There is a butcher's shop (Twomey's) in Pearse Street where the product originated.The puddings are now mass produced at a factory in Little Island (Cork City). "Irish Yogurts" is a well-known brand produced in the town from local milk.
Clonakilty is twinned with: