Kilkenny Pastimes: Religious Plays

Written and read by Paddy Neary (2018) These religious or mystery plays originated in the wish of the clergy to substitute for the profane games with which the people were amused. The plays whilst giving entertainment they would also inculcate a moral lesson to the people. They were at first performed in churches and by […]

Kilkenny Pastimes: Playing Cards and Dice

Written and read by Paddy Neary Card playing was not known on the Continent until the 14th Century, or in England until the 15th Century. It is not known for certain when card playing or dice which were in ancient times used for gambling were introduced into Kilkenny. The first mention of them is the […]

Kilkenny Pastimes: Archery, Tennis, Bowling

Written and read by Paddy Neary Archery, Tennis, Bowling It would appear from Corporation records the afore mentioned trio were excluded from the category of unlawful games. The place in which the butts or targets for the practise of archery were usually set up in Kilkenny is still known as the Butts’ Green. On the […]

Kilkenny Pastimes: Bull Baiting

Written and read by Paddy Neary Bull Baiting Before speaking about bull baiting and Kilkenny, I am sure you the listener would like to know something about the pastime. It was practised widely in England and quickly spread to Ireland. Before the event started the bull’s nose was blown full of pepper to enrage the […]

Kilkenny Pastimes: Cock Fighting

Written and read by Paddy Neary A cockfight was a blood sport between two cocks or gamecocks held in a ring called a cockpit. The history of the sport goes back 6000 years, having been practised by the Greeks and Romans. It acquired the name a blood sport due in part to the trauma the […]