Smithwicks Brewery closing in Kilkenny

Rose Inn Street (from Google Streetview)

Kilkenny is well known for its narrow, medieval streets. Planners despair at how to manage the modern day traffic. There have been quite a few failed attempts at a one way system in Kilkenny -simply put, Kilkenny was built for horse-drawn carriages and people on horseback. As anyone who has watched a bus mount the pavement on Rose Inn Street perilously close to pedestrians and buggies will tell you, the streets just aren’t wide enough for today’s vehicles.

Bearing this in mind, the impact of the Brewery closing down is potentially huge. Suddenly there is an area at the heart of Kilkenny city that is open for development. And even with today’s financial uncertainty, there is little to no doubt that it will be developed.  But the Brewery has been here since the early 1700′s and the city has grown around it.

Kilkenny Borough Council have their work cut out for them – it is critical that this site is zoned carefully as how this proceeds could affect the fabric of the city for the next 500 years and more.

Rocque's Map of Kilkenny, 1758

1 Comment

  • July 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm //

    Kilkenny international cycle velodrome. Could this be part of the Smithwicks site redevelopment, sounds far fetched, however cycling is becoming an ever increasing past time and sport for many people. consider that eight thousand people took part in the Sean Kelly sportive last year also Ireland has two riders in this years Tour De France and cyclists competing internationaly in track and other events. Manchester uk has an international Veladrome that attracts many cyclists from Ireland that travel over to train on the track there.
    I’m thinking that the bottling hall in Smithwicks would be big enough to facilitate a 250 meter Olympic standard track. Developed to the highest standards with private and state finance as part of a varied use development for the brewary site.Kilkenny could become the centre for cycling in Ireland attracting people from from home and abroad on a regular basis also have international events with all the benefits to the local community. People say Kilkenny has a unique opportunity to build something the will help define the city maybe this idea is not so far fetched as It first seems, to bring sport to the heart of the city.