10 FACTS about KILLARNEY on the Ring of Kerry

Killarney is a famous spot along the Ring of Kerry, and here are some fun facts about the town you may not have known.

10 facts about Killarney on the Ring of Kerry.

Killarney is a town that attracts tourists and local visitors yearly since it is the main gateway to Killarney National Park – Ireland’s first official national park.

Located on the glorious shores of Lough Leane, Killarney is ideally situated close to waterfalls, historical sites, quaint seaside towns, and Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil.

If you have visited, you may have taken a liking to the town for its charm, live music opportunities, warm and welcoming atmosphere, and, of course, its excellent selection of eateries.

However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Killarney, and we have a list of facts about Killarney on the Ring of Kerry that may surprise you.

10 facts about Killarney on the Ring of Kerry.
Credit: Flickr / Fredseigenkijksewereld

If you are into hiking, you’ll want to know that Killarney marks the beginning and end of the famous Kerry Way trail, a long-distance hike undertaken by many.

The 214 km (133 mi) trail is a designated National Waymarked Trail, which makes it accessible and easy to follow once you are prepared for the challenge.

9. It’s home to the Shire Bar – a Hobbit-themed bar

It’s home to the Shire Bar – a Hobbit-themed bar.
Credit: Facebook / The Shire Café & Bar

Lord of the Rings fans rejoice because Killarney is home to its own Hobbit-themed pub, the Shire. If you have not noticed this popular spot, you will need to return to Killarney to check it out. Better still, you can even stay here while in town.

Plus, did we mention they are super dog-friendly, too?

Address: Michael Collins Place, Lewis Rd, Killarney, Co. Kerry, V93 CP26, Ireland

8. It’s home to Ireland’s tallest mountain range – the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks

It’s home to Ireland’s tallest mountain range.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool/ Fionn McCann

One of the top facts about Killarney on the Ring of Kerry is that it is the gateway to Ireland’s tallest mountain range, the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.

These Irish peaks reach over 3,281 ft (1,000 m). The tallest mountain is Carrauntoohil, at 3,406 ft (1,038 m) high, a mountain popular with international and local hikers.

Address: Meallis, Co. Kerry, Ireland

7. Its name is significant – church of the sloe tree

10 facts about Killarney on the Ring of Kerry.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Many of Ireland’s villages, towns, and cities have names from the Irish language (find out the 10 best places to learn the Irish language), giving them a deeper and sometimes hidden meaning. Killarney, for instance, is Cill Airne in Irish, which translates as ‘church of the sloe tree’.

Many Irish place names derive from the place’s surroundings. As such, you can surely guess that the sloe tree was prominent around these parts.

6. It was heavily involved in the Irish War of Independence – a pivotal role

It was heavily involved in the Irish War of Independence.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

One of the top facts about Killarney on the Ring of Kerry is that the town was involved in the Irish War of Independence. In fact, the town played a significant role in this pivotal part of Irish history. There are some incredible films on the War of Independence and Irish history to bolster your knowledge.

The town has significant republican ties but also experienced the strong arm of the British forces. The British took control of the Great Southern Hotel in the town during the War of Independence.

5. It’s a sporty town – a choice of hobbies

10 facts about Killarney on the Ring of Kerry.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool / SPORTSFILE

Most Irish towns have a passion for sport, but not many are quite like Killarney. The town has six rowing clubs, lots of GAA clubs, rugby, golf, football, and horse racing, so the locals have plenty to keep them occupied all year round.

4. Some notable people hail from Killarney – the hometown of a few famous faces

Some notable people hail from Killarney.
Credit: Flickr / aka Francois aka Mister Pink

Killarney is the hometown of many Hollywood stars, including Jessie Buckley and Michael Fassbender. Late musician Mark Lanegan also called it home before his untimely death in 2022. Some sports stars from Killarney include Eoin Brosnan and Tadgh Lyne.

3. Its tourism industry generates millions – the most significant industry

10 facts about Killarney on the Ring of Kerry.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool / Fáilte Ireland

With Killarney being one of the most visited places in Ireland, you might have guessed that tourism is quite prominent in the town. But to what extent?

Tourism is the largest industry in Killarney and generates around €410 million annually. Around 1.1 million tourists visit the town each year, with foreign tourists making up over 60% of visitors.

2. Bing Crosby sang about it – Christmas in Killarney

One surprising fact about Killarney is that it has been featured in many songs and poems over the years. The most famous example is perhaps Bing Crosby’s ‘Christmas in Killarney’, which featured on his 1951 album Merry Christmas.

1. It’s home to Killarney National Park – an ideal location

10 facts about Killarney on the Ring of Kerry.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool / Hu O’Reilly

Killarney is the gateway to the famous national park. It was declared a national park in 1932 and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981. A short stroll or bike ride from Killarney will bring you to the park.

This entire region dates back to the Ice Age when its incredible landscape was carved out. It is one of the most popular regions to visit in Ireland.

These are just some of the many unique facts about Killarney on the Ring of Kerry, which we make easy to visit with our map, stops and things to know. It really is a place that needs to be explored to be appreciated, though. So get booking!

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