Profile of Thomastown Parish

Thomastown is located in the sunny south east of Ireland in the Nore Valley 10 miles south of Kilkenny City, 80 miles from Dublin and on the N9 road from Waterford to Dublin. This old Norman town was founded by Thomas Fitzanthony whose walls date from 1374 and developed into an active market town famous for it’s many mills (12) and it’s superlative fishing. It’s beautiful views of the fast flowing Nore river and delightful streetscapes ensure that Thomastown is always appreciated by the many visitors to the region. It is linked by rail with the Dublin / Waterford line since May 1848 and counts George Berkeley /Philosopher (born in 1685 in Dysart ), Mildred Anne Butler of Kilmurry House/ famous watercolour artist and famous hurler/ GAA manager Ollie Walsh amongst it’s former citizens.

The population is 1837 (2006 census) and it is the largest county town outside Kilkenny. There are two schools in the town, St. Mary’s National (boys and girls) and Grennan College. The first national school dates from 1840 and the Sisters of Mercy commenced teaching in the early 1890’s and later moved to the Convent School beside our Parish Church in 1910. Religious services are provided in four churches in the Parish namely, the Church of the Assumption (built 1867) ,Chapel Hill, Mong and St. Columba’s Hospital.

Thomastown is also well known for Jerpoint Abbey (occupied by monks from 1158 and Cistercian from 1180), Kilfane Gardens, Grennan and Dysart Castles and Mount Juliet Golf Resort where the WGC- American Express Golf Championship was held in 2002 and 2004 for the world’s best golfers including Ernie Els, and Tiger Woods. Thomastown is also a leader in watersports (kayaking) on the River Nore and offers residents many sporting outlets for golf, athletics, fishing, tennis hurling, football and soccer. Indoor sports are held in the Community Hall. Grennan College of Art also promotes art within the locality.

Today Thomastown residents are mainly employed in farming , medical services (St. Columba’s Hospital) , horse breeding, and providing retail and other skilled services in the local area. Thomastown boasts of being a special place for local artists in glass , pottery, ceramics ,furniture and other creative skills.

In summary Thomastown has a long history and is an ideal location for people to enjoy a nice quality pace of living in beautiful surroundings, having all the services close to hand.