Past & Present


Gathabawn has a strong Historic, Heritage and Healing Culture: The Coshel is an Archaeological site thought to be a Stone Age fort.

Balleen Castle.


Coolcashin (said to be of Norman origin) and Rathlogan Graveyards.

Tubbernasuil (citing cures from the well of the eyes).

Raths, Ring Forts, Lime Kilms and Fulica Fia.

Spa well (Ballyspellin) known for its healing properties, recorded in Rhyme by Jonathan Swift the customs of the cures are widely used today by local residents and patrons from all parts of Ireland and overseas.

Extract From The POMES of Jonathan Swift:

All you wou’d refine your Blood
As pure as fam’d Llewellyn
By Waters clear, come ev’ry Year
To drink at Ballyspellan

Leisure and Sport: Gathabawn is known for the Annual St Stephens Day Sponsored Walk in its 12th year and 2011 saw the Launch and walk on Easter Sunday 2011 of the McGoillaPhadraig Way (17Km Walk from Durrow to Gathabawn) an Annual Event joint initiative with South Laois Tourism.

An Annual Bikers Rally from Mackey’s Bar is held every January.

Millennium Park Native Natural Woodland Park

Spahill Viewing Point

Balleen Castle.

Gathabawn is also the home of the great racehorse Limestone Lad trained by the Bowe family getting his name from countryside where he trained.

Local Business: Gathabawn village is the home of Mackey’s Bar, Sheehy’s Post Office,

Creenkill National School

Gathabawn Church

Renee’s Flowers

Community Activities: Gathabawn host many tangible and intangible resources which have been the focus of the community’s actives over the years. Gathabawn Rural Development Group a community, environment and heritage group recently evolved into a Muintir Council. The group is an active member of The North West Kilkenny Development Group which is affiliated to and has representatives on the Kilkenny County Community and Voluntary Forum, SPC’s (Social Strategic Policy Committee’s) and EAC (Expanded Area Committee) Kilkenny Transport Working Group, Ring A Link and The Board of Ring A Link  and Muintir Na Tire

The Group is part of the recent formed South Laois-North Kilkenny Tourism Development Group. The group are strong advocates of networking and working in local partnership with other local communities. This allows Gathabawn work jointly on projects not only to benefit Gathabawn but wider communities.

Walks: Community Walks are presently under construction from Gathabawn Village to the top of Cullohill Mountain, Gurteen-na-hilla, Binn-na-Nė whilst witnessing scenic views of Laois and Kilkenny. This work is sponsored by the Community, County Kilkenny Leader Partnership  and Failte Ireland.

Graveyards: Gathabawn steeped in heritage, history offers access to Historic Graveyards  Coolcashin, Tifeaghna and Rathlogan within the Civil Parishes of Coolcashin, Balleen, Sheffin and Roman Catholic Parish of Lisdowney.