iven just how close the two towns are positioned – just over 4 miles separating the two – there’s always been a strong connection between Kilcoole and Greystones.
Truth be told though, as with many a deep-rooted town, Kilcoole has a flavour and spirit all of its own.
You can see it in the face of Michael Kuntz. Of Elaine Cassidy. Of Bill Foley, Tom Fortune, Terry Meakin and James & Esther Gammell. The connection runs tribal deep in a town that has always lived somewhat by its own rules, surviving on the outskirts, happier doing their own thing in the shadows.
Which must be why JP Donleavy decided to call the place home during a particularly productive time for the writer of The Ginger Man and A Fairytale Of New York. You’ll find his home on the Ballydonarea Leap. Not that Donleavy’s now-fallen cottage delivered quite as many stories as the melting pot that was Kilcoole House.
And talking of writers, you can read through some 1930s Kilcoole schoolchildren’s local stories handed up to teacher Thomas Butler here.
It was also in Kilcoole, of course, that 600 rifles and ammunition were brought ashore for the Irish Volunteers back in August 1914, as Ireland braced itself for the somewhat inevitable Rising two years later. A monument down at the seafront railway station commemorates the event, and the town is clearly proud of its role in this significant moment in Irish history, with centenary celebrations both in 2014 and 2016. Heck, even the kids got involved.