Tralee (/træˈliː/; Irish: Trá Lí (formerly Tráigh Lí), meaning "strand of the Lee (river)") is the county town of County Kerry in the south-west of Ireland. The town is on the northern side of the neck of the Dingle Peninsula, and is the largest town in County Kerry. The town's population including suburbs was 23,691 as of the 2016 census making it the 8th largest town, and 14th largest urban settlement in Ireland. Tralee is well known for the Rose of Tralee International Festival which has been held annually in August since 1959.
Roses in Tralee's town park
Coat of arms
Vis Unita Fortior (Latin)
"United Strength is Stronger"
Location in Ireland
|Council||Kerry County Council|
|Elevation||37 m (121 ft)|
|• Density||739.2/km2 (1,915/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC±0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (IST)|
|Eircode routing key|
|Telephone area code||+353(0)66|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Situated at the confluence of some small rivers and adjacent to marshy ground at the head of Tralee Bay, Tralee is located at the base of a very ancient roadway that heads south over the Slieve Mish Mountains. On this old track is located a large boulder sometimes called Scotia's Grave, reputedly the burial place of an Egyptian Pharaoh's daughter.
Anglo-Normans founded the town in the 13th century, which became a stronghold of the Earls of Desmond, who built a castle. John Fitz-Thomas FitzGerald founded the monastery of the Dominican order and was buried there in 1260. The medieval town was burnt in 1580 in retribution for the Desmond Rebellions against Elizabeth I.
Elizabeth I in 1587 granted Tralee to Edward Denny and it was recognised in 1613 by Royal Charter. Sir Edward was the first of the Dennys to settle in Tralee; the Dennys did not occupy the castle of the Earls of Desmond until 1627. Sir Edward's son was Arthur Denny, in whose lifetime the town's charter was granted by King James, containing the right to elect two members of parliament. The third English settler, another Sir Edward, married Ruth Roper, whose father Thomas Roper was the lease holder of the Herbert estate centred on Castleisland. This Sir Edward was a royalist. He fought for the King in the wars of 1641. He died in 1646, before the triumph of Oliver Cromwell over affairs in England and Ireland.
He granted "the circuit of the Abbey" to the corporation set up under the charter, in return for the fees of the town clerk. His son Arthur Denny married Ellen Barry, granddaughter of Richard Boyle. The latter held many land titles in West Kerry and also claimed property in Tralee. Sir Edward Denny, 4th Baronet was a notable landlord in his day: during the time of the Great Famine, he maintained rents to suit his tenants, when other landowners increased them. He was a notable Plymouth Brother.
The modern layout of Tralee was created in the 19th century. Denny Street, a wide Georgian street, was completed in 1826 on the site of the old castle. A monument commemorating the 1798 rebellion plus the rebellions of 1803, 1848 and 1867 – a statue of a Pikeman – stands in Denny Street. First unveiled in 1905, the original Pikeman stood until the Irish War of Independence. In 1921 the Black and Tans dragged it from its pedestal and destroyed it. In June 1939 a replacement Pikeman was installed, created by renowned Dublin sculptor Albert Power and unveiled by Maud Gonne.
Tralee Courthouse was designed by Sir Richard Morrison and built in 1835. It has a monument of two cannons commemorating those Kerrymen who died in the Crimean War (1854–56) and the Indian Rebellion (1857). Ballymullen Barracks was the depot of the Royal Munster Fusiliers.
The Tralee Ship Canal was built to accommodate larger ships sailing into Tralee, as the existing quay in Blennerville was becoming blocked due to silting. The House of Commons authorised an Act of Parliament in June 1829 for the canal, with work beginning in 1832. Issues with funding meant that the canal was not completed until 1846 when it was opened. The canal was 2 miles long with a new canal basin built in Tralee, and lock gates and a wooden swing bridge constructed in Blennerville. However, not long after the canal opened, it too began to suffer from silting.
By the 1880s, Fenit Harbour was built as a deepwater harbour; it did not suffer from silting. A railway line was constructed between the harbour and Tralee to carry cargo and freight from ships moored there. The canal fell into disuse and neglect, and was finally closed by the mid-20th century. Following the restoration of Blennerville Windmill in the early 1990s, local authorities planned restoration of the canal for use as a tourist attraction. In 1999 the Office of Public Works (OPW) started a restoration project of the canal at a cost of IR£650,000. The basin area of the canal was subsequently redeveloped with apartments blocks built as part of a proposed marina. The towpath along the canal was upgraded and is now used by people as an enjoyable amenity as part of the Dingle Way.
The Dominican church of the Holy Cross was designed by the Irish Gothic Revival architect George Ashlin in 1866 and built by 1871.
Tralee saw much violence during the Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War in 1919–1923. In November 1920, the Black and Tans besieged Tralee in revenge for the Irish Republican Army (IRA) abduction and killing of two Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) men. The Tans closed all the businesses in the town and did not let any food in for a week. They burned several houses and all businesses connected with IRA activists. In the course of the week, they shot dead three local people. The events caused a major international outcry as the press reported that near-famine conditions were prevailing in Tralee by the end of the week.
In August 1922 during the Irish Civil War, Irish Free State troops landed at nearby Fenit and took Tralee from its Anti-Treaty garrison. Nine pro-Treaty and three anti-Treaty soldiers were killed in fighting in the town before the anti-Treaty forces withdrew. The Republicans continued a guerrilla campaign in the surrounding area. In March 1923 Free State troops took nine anti-treaty IRA prisoners from the prison in Tralee and blew them up with a land mine at nearby Ballyseedy.
The Ashe Memorial Hall was built in 1928 at the end of Denny Street; it is dedicated to the memory of Thomas Ashe, an Irish Volunteers officer in the Easter Rising of 1916. The building is built of local sandstone. It housed the headquarters of Kerry County Council and Tralee Urban District Council; both now have moved to other premises. Since 1992 it has housed the Kerry County Museum, which includes a reconstruction of Tralee as of 1450, prior to colonisation.
The climate of Tralee is, like the rest of Ireland, classified as a maritime temperate climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system. Met Éireann maintains a climatological weather station at Valentia Island, 50 km south-west of the town. It is mild and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. The hottest months of the year are July, August and September with temperatures of around 17 – 18 degrees Celsius. Tralee gets rainfall all year round and the wettest months are October, November, December and January.
Tralee had a town council with twelve members until the 2014 local elections were held on 23 May 2014. These elections were held following the changes effected by the Local Government Reform Act 2014. The act abolished town councils and introduced municipal districts. County Kerry was divided into six municipal districts, which are identical with the local electoral areas (LEA) used for election of Councillors. The Municipal District of Tralee has seven seats on Kerry County Council with the following councillors returned after the Local Elections in 2019.
|Council members from 2019 election|
|Local electoral area||Name||Party|
|Tralee||Norma Foley||Fianna Fáil|
|Toiréasa Ferris||Sinn Féin|
|Terry O’Brien||Labour Party|
|Jim Finucane||Fine Gael|
|Mikey Sheehy||Fianna Fáil|
|Pa Daly||Sinn Féin|
Tralee is a tourism destination and has seen some €55 million of tourism investment over the past several years.
The town has developed a range of visitor attractions.
The Rose of Tralee festival is an international competition which is celebrated among Irish communities all over the world. The festival, held annually in August since 1959, takes its inspiration from a nineteenth-century ballad of the same name about a woman called Mary, who because of her beauty was called The Rose of Tralee. The contest, which is broadcast over two nights by RTÉ is one of the highest viewed shows on Irish television with over a million people watching.
To commemorate the Rose of Tralee tradition, the Rose Garden in the Tralee Town Park is a home to a life size bronze statue depicting the original Rose of Tralee Mary O'Connor and the author of the Rose of Tralee ballad William Pembroke Mulchinock sculpted by an Irish sculptor Jeanne Rynhart (unveiled in 2009), as well as the Rose Wall of Honour – a series of glass panels that will contain the name of every Rose who has participated in the Festival since 1959 (unveiled in 2013 on the 55th anniversary of the Rose of Tralee International Festival). Both statues were commissioned by Tralee Town Council.
In addition to the above, a considerable number of archaeological sites around Tralee and throughout the County of Kerry, especially ring-forts, are listed for preservation in the Kerry County Development Plan 2009–15.
Tralee is served by National Primary and Secondary roads as well as local routes. A 13.5 km bypass of Tralee consisting of dual and single carriageway sections was opened on 16 August 2013. The bypass connects four of the five national routes — the N21, N22, N69 and N70 — which terminate in Tralee.
National primary routes:
National secondary routes:
Several local routes radiate from Tralee and a number of these have had their frequency increased in recent years. Local routes include: 13 (Limerick via Listowel), 40 (Cork via Killarney), 272 (Tarbert via Ballybunion), 274 (Ballyduff via Ballyheigue), 275 (Dingle), 279 (Killorglin) and 285 (Kerry Airport via Castleisland).
A train service to Killarney railway station, and via Mallow to Cork and Dublin is provided by the national railway operator Iarnród Éireann. From the Dublin-Cork line, there are connecting trains at Limerick Junction for Limerick, Clonmel and Waterford. Further links are available at Limerick to Ennis, Athenry, Oranmore and Galway.
The current Tralee railway station, Casement station named after Roger Casement, was opened on 18 July 1859. There were also two other adjacent stations, now closed and demolished, in the North Circular Road area. One was the terminus of the "North Kerry" line which ran to Limerick via Listowel and Newcastle West, and the other was the terminus of the narrow gauge Tralee and Dingle Light Railway.
The Tralee and Dingle Light Railway was once one of Europe's most western railways. It opened on 31 March 1891, connecting Tralee and Dingle by rail along the Dingle Peninsula, and was closed in June 1953. In 1993 a 3 km section was reopened as a preserved line between the Aquadome in Tralee and Blennerville Windmill. Currently this railway is no longer in operation.
A standard gauge railway used to operate to Fenit Harbour from Tralee, diverging from the North Kerry line to the north west of the town, before closing in June 1978. Currently a section of this railway has been restored as a walk/cycle way in the Tralee urban area and it is hoped in the future that this will be extended to Fenit, similar along the lines of the Great Southern Trail which has been created on the closed North Kerry line route in western County Limerick.
Kerry Airport, located 20 km from Tralee in Farranfore, provides air services to Dublin, London Luton, London Stansted, Frankfurt-Hahn and seasonally, Alicante and Faro. Ryanair now operates seasonal services to Berlin International Airport. Connecting trains run from Farranfore railway station to Tralee and Killarney Railway Station in Killarney.
The local port for Tralee is Fenit, about 10 km west of the town on the north side of the estuary. Catering for ships of up to 17,000 tonnes, the port is a picturesque mixed-use harbour with fishing boats and a thriving marina (136 berths). The 2 mile long Tralee Ship Canal provides a navigable connection between Tralee itself and the sea.
In common with all parts of Ireland, most schools at all levels in Tralee are managed and owned by the churches. Tralee Educate Together School is multidenominational, and is neither owned nor managed by any church. At secondary level most schools are explicitly Roman Catholic in ethos, except Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí.
Notable Tralee people include:
Tralee is twinned with the following places:
Tralee is a sister city of Holyoke, MA in the United States.
The 2018–19 Irish Super League season was the 46th running of Basketball Ireland's premier men's basketball competition. The season began featuring 12 teams from across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, before dropping to 11 mid-season following Swords Thunder disbanding in February 2019. The regular season began on 29 September 2018 and ended on 24 March 2019 with Tralee Warriors claiming their maiden championship. Killester were victorious in the National Cup, while Templeogue won the Champions Trophy for the first time after finishing as runners-up in three out of the previous four seasons.Austin Stack Park
Austin Stack Park is a GAA stadium in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. It is one of the stadiums used by Kerry GAA's gaelic football team and the stadium of the hurling team.
The ground was named after Austin Stack, an Irish revolutionary and captain of the All-Ireland winning Kerry Gaelic football team of 1904. It is located in the centre of Tralee. It hosts many Kerry GAA home games, mostly football league games and both league and championship hurling. The County Championship football and hurling finals are normally held here.County Kerry
County Kerry (Irish: Contae Chiarraí) is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and forms part of the province of Munster. It is named after the Ciarraige who lived in part of the present county. The population of the county was 147,707 at the 2016 census.Fenit
Fenit (Irish: An Fhianait, meaning "The Wild Place") is a small village in County Kerry, Ireland, located on north side of Tralee Bay about 10 km (6 mi) west of Tralee town, just south of the Shannon Estuary. The bay is enclosed from the Atlantic by the Maharee spit which extends northwards from the Dingle peninsula. Fenit harbour is a mixed function sea port, where fishing, freight import and export, and a 136 berth marina are the main forms of business. The population was 527 in the 2011 CSO census compared to 427 in 2006.Juvenile Classic
This page is about the Irish Greyhound Race. For the British race, see Juvenile (greyhounds).
The Juvenile Classic is a greyhound racing competition held annually at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. It was inaugurated in 2007 and therefore is a relatively new event but due to the significant winners prize money on offer (€15,000 in 2016) it stands as a feature event in the Irish racing calendar. The competition is only open to juveniles.Kerry District League
The Kerry District League (known as the Denny Kerry District League for sponsorship reasons) is an association football league featuring amateur and junior clubs from County Kerry.The KDL is a winter league running from September to May. Its top division, the Premier A, is a seventh level division in the Republic of Ireland football league system. The league is regularly featured in the local newspapers – The Kerryman and the Kerry's Eye.Kerry Senior Football Championship
The Kerry Senior Football Championship (known for sponsorship reasons as Garvey’s SuperValu Senior Football Championship) is an annual Gaelic football competition organised by the Kerry County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association since 1889 for the top Gaelic football teams in the county of Kerry in Ireland.
The series of games are played during the summer and autumn months, with the county final currently being played in FitzGerald Stadium in October. Initially played a knock-out competition, the championship currently uses a double elimination format whereby each team is guaranteed at least two games.
The Kerry County Championship is an integral part of the wider Munster Senior Club Football Championship. The winners of the Kerry county final join the champion clubs of the other five counties to contest the provincial championship. The winning team of the county championship also has the honour of naming the captain of the Kerry senior team for the following year.
The title has been won at least once by 22 different teams. The all-time record-holders are Dr. Crokes who have won a total of 13 titles.
Dr. Crokes are the title-holders after defeating Dingle by 1-15 to 0-12 in the 2018 championship final.Kieran Donaghy
Kieran Donaghy (born 1 March 1983) is an Irish Gaelic footballer and basketball player. He plays for Austin Stacks in Tralee, and formerly the Kerry senior team. Donaghy won four All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals, eight Munster Championships and three National League titles with Kerry, and is the recipient of three All Stars Awards. He announced his retirement from inter-county football on 11 September 2018. Donaghy is also a long-time basketball player, currently playing for Tralee Warriors in the Irish Super League.List of townlands of County Kerry
This is a sortable table of the approximately 2,756 townlands in County Kerry, Ireland.Duplicate names occur where there is more than one townland with the same name in the county. Names marked in bold typeface are towns and villages, and the word Town appears for those entries in the Acres column.N22 road (Ireland)
The N22 road is a national primary road in Ireland which goes through counties Kerry and Cork, from Tralee in the west through Killarney, Macroom and Ballincollig to Cork City in the east.
Sections of the N22 have been substantially upgraded in recent years. During the 1980s and 1990s a 25 km (16 mi) section between Killarney and the border with County Cork was rebuilt and widened. An auxiliary climbing lane has been provided on the steep grade sections. The late 1980s saw a 3 km (1.9 mi) bypass of Killarney. In 2004, the Ballincollig bypass west of Cork city was completed. This is an 11 km (6.8 mi) dual carriageway road built to Motorway standards that connects with the N40 Cork South Ring Road. In 2005, 4 km (2.5 mi) of the road between Tralee and Farranfore was upgraded. This added to a 4 km (2.5 mi) section opened in 2002. In August 2013, a new 5.5 km (3.4 mi) section of road was added as part of the Tralee N22/N69 bypass project at Ballingrelagh replacing the section of road where the N22 originally ended at the N21 John Cronin Roundabout in Ballycarty. The N22 now terminates at Camp Roundabout outside Tralee on the N22/N69 Tralee Bypass.N23 road (Ireland)
The N23 road is a national primary road in Ireland, and is located entirely in County Kerry. The route is one of the shorter national primary routes, merely forming a link road between the N21 Limerick – Tralee route at Castleisland to the N22 Tralee – Killarney – Cork route at Farranfore. This facilitates traffic passing in the Limerick – Killarney direction or vice versa, allowing it to avoid detouring into Tralee.N69 road (Ireland)
The N69 road is a national secondary road in Ireland. It runs from Limerick to Tralee and passes through Mungret, Clarina, Kildimo, Askeaton (bypassed), Foynes, Loghill, Glin, Tarbert, and Listowel.N86 road (Ireland)
The N86 road is a national secondary road in County Kerry, Ireland. It runs from Tralee (Castlemaine Road Roundabout on the N22/N69 Tralee Bypass) to Dingle and passes through Annascaul and Lispole en route and passes by Gallaunmore. It is 50.235 kilometres (31.215 mi) in length. It has, in recent years, seen significant improvements to certain stretches of road.Rose of Tralee (festival)
The Rose of Tralee International Festival is an international event which is celebrated among Irish communities all over the world. The Festival, held annually in the town of Tralee in County Kerry, takes its inspiration from a 19th-century ballad of the same name about a woman called Mary, who because of her beauty was called "The Rose of Tralee". The words of the song are credited to C. (or E.) Mordaunt Spencer and the music to Charles William Glover, but a story circulated in connection with the festival claims that the song was written by William Pembroke Mulchinock, a wealthy Protestant, out of love for Mary O'Connor, a poor Catholic maid in service to his parents.St Mary's CBS
St Mary's CBS (also known as Tralee CBS or, more usually, "The Green") is a Christian Brothers secondary school in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. The school has 620 students on roll.Super League (Ireland)
The Super League (formerly known as SuperLeague and Premier League) is the top tier men's basketball league in Ireland. The league has 11 teams (10 in the Republic of Ireland and 1 in Northern Ireland), and is an active member of Basketball Ireland, which is recognised by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in Ireland. Neptune hold the record for most league titles, having won the competition 11 times.The Kerryman
The Kerryman is a weekly local newspaper published in County Kerry in Ireland by Independent News & Media. The newspaper was founded in 1904.
It has three different editions – North Kerry, South Kerry and Tralee. All three editions are tabloid format newspaper. The move of the Tralee edition to a tabloid format in 2006 meant that The Kerryman became Ireland's first dual format newspaper. The last broadsheet edition hit shops in 2009.
The main office is located on Denny Street in Tralee having moved from its previous base of over thirty years in the Clash Industrial Estate in 2007.
According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, it had an average weekly circulation of 19,886 during the first six months of 2011, a fall of 3.5% year on year and 21% since 2008. These are the last circulation figures available as Independent News and Media, owner of the paper, refused to allow publication of audited figures for the second half of 2011 results as they "did not resonate with local advertisers." INM deregistered its twelve regional titles from auditing in February 2012 and in future will provide "bespoke local surveys" of sales.Its current editor is Kevin Hughes. Paul Brennan is the newspaper's sports editor.Tralee, New South Wales
Tralee is a future planned suburb of Queanbeyan, New South Wales. It lies south of Jerrabomberra and the site once planned for the future city of Environa. It was named after Tralee in Ireland.
The residential site, which falls under the flight path of Canberra Airport was strongly opposed by airport authorities. However, despite the concerns, the New South Wales State Planning Minister Kristina Keneally initially approved Queanbeyan City Council's plan for the development of 5000 residential blocks in 2008. In November 2012 the New South Wales Government announced that it had approved the rezoning the land,. Protests have continued by the airport, federal labor politicians and the ACT Government.Tralee and Dingle Light Railway
The Tralee and Dingle Light Railway and Tramway was a 32 mi (51 km), 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railway running between Tralee and Dingle, with a 6.2 mi (10.0 km) branch from Castlegregory Junction to Castlegregory, in County Kerry on the west coast of Ireland. It operated between 1891 and 1953; the Castlegregory branch closed shortly prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. It was one of the most westerly railway lines in Europe, but the terminus of the Valentia Harbour branch at 10.277785° was further west.
Places in County Kerry
County town: Tralee
Largest urban areas in the Republic of Ireland by population
Italics denote settlements with administrative city status