Conference Location

Carlow is located in the south east of Ireland, approximately 80km from Dublin. Carlow town is a thriving market and industrial centre located in the south east of Ireland. An ancient town with an impressive historical pedigree, Carlow boasts a celebrated arts and crafts community allied to a rich tradition of Irish language and culture. A youthful town, Carlow contains a large student population stemming from the local Institute of Technology. In addition to these important influences, Carlow offers an extensive and impressive range of shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars.


Pre-Historic Times

The name Carlow is an anglicisation of the Irish language name Ceatharlach. Historically, it was anglicised as Caherlagh, Caterlagh and Catherlagh, which are closer to the Irish spelling. According to, the first part of the name derives from the Old Irish word cethrae ("animals, cattle, herds, flocks"), which is related to ceathar ("four") and therefore signified "four-legged". The second part of the name is the ending -lach. Some, such as Deirdre Flanagan, believe that the name should be Ceatharloch (meaning "quadruple lake"), since ceathar means "four" and loch means "lake". It is directly translated as "Four lakes", although, there is seemingly no evidence to suggest that these lakes ever existed in this area. The Carlow county area has been settled for thousands of years, evidence of human occupation extends back thousands of years, the most notable and dramatic prehistoric site being the Browneshill Dolmen – a megalithic portal tomb just outside Carlow town.

Early Christian Era

Now part of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, several Early Christian settlements are still in evidence today around the county. St Mullin's monastery is believed to have been established around the 7th century, the ruins of which are still in evidence today. Old Leighlin was the site of one of the largest monastic settlements in Ireland and the location for a church synod in 630 AD which determined the date of Easter. St Comhgall built a monastery in the Carlow area in the 6th century, an old church building and burial ground survive today at Castle Hill known as Mary's Abbey. Carlow was an Irish stronghold for agriculture in the early 1800s which earned the county the nickname of the scallion eaters. Famine wiped out a lot of the population, cutting it in half.

Middle Ages

Carlow Castle was constructed by William Marshal, Earl of Striguil and Lord of Leinster, c1207-13, to guard the vital river crossing. It was also to serve as the capital of the Lordship of Ireland from 1361 until 1374. This imposing structure survived largely intact until 1814 when it was mostly destroyed in an attempt to turn the building into a lunatic asylum. The present remains now are the West Wall with two of its cylindrical towers. The bridge over the river Barrow – Graiguecullen Bridge, is agreed to date to 1569. The original structure was largely replaced and widened in 1815 when it was named Wellington Bridge in celebration of the defeat of Napoleon's army by the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo in June of that year. The bridge was built across a small island in the river and a 19th-century house was constructed on the bridge – this was for a time occupied by the Poor Clares, an enclosed religious order who still have a convent in Graiguecullen. Another convent belonging to the Presentation Order of nuns now houses the County Library and beautifully restored, newly opened Carlow County Museum.

17th and 18th Century

The town is recalled in the famous Irish folk song, Follow Me Up to Carlow, written in the 19th century about the Battle of Glenmalure, part of the Desmond Rebellions of the late 16th century. In 1650, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Carlow was besieged and taken by English Parliamentarian forces, hastening the end of the Siege of Waterford and the capitulation of that city. During the 1798 rebellion Carlow was the scene of a massacre of 600 rebels and civilians following an unsuccessful attack on the town by the United Irishmen, known as the Battle of Carlow. The Liberty Tree sculpture in Carlow, designed by John Behan, commemorates the events of 1798. The rebels slain in Carlow town are buried in the 'Croppies Grave', in '98 Street, Graiguecullen.

19th and 20th Century

The Cathedral, designed by Thomas Cobden, was the first Catholic cathedral to be built in Ireland after Catholic Emancipation in 1829. Its construction cost £9,000 and was completed in 1833. Beside the cathedral, Saint Patrick's College dates from 1793. The College, was established in 1782 to teach the humanities to both lay students and those studying for the priesthood. The Carlow Courthouse was constructed in the 19th century. There are still many old estates and houses in the surrounding areas, among them Ducketts Grove and Dunleckney Manor. St Mullin's today houses a heritage centre.

In 1703 the Irish House of Commons appointed a committee to bring in a bill to make the Barrow navigable, by 1800 the Barrow Track was completed between St. Mullin's and Athy, establishing a link to the Grand Canal which runs between Dublin and the Shannon. By 1845 88,000 tons of goods were being transported on the Barrow Navigation. Carlow was also one of the earliest towns to be connected by train, the Great Southern and Western Railway had opened its mainline as far as Carlow in 1846, this was extended further to reach Cork in 1849. The chief engineer, William Dargan, originally hailed from Killeshin, just outside Carlow. At the peak of railway transport Ireland, Carlow county was also served by a railway line to Tullow. Public supply of electricity in Carlow was first provided from Milford Mills, approximately 8 km south of Carlow, in 1891. Milford Mills still generates electricity feeding into the national grid. Following independence in the early 1920s the new government of the Irish Free State decided to establish a sugar-processing plant in Leinster, Carlow was settled on as the location due to its transport links and large agricultural hinterland, favourable for growing sugar beet.


Carlow is in a maritime temperate oceanic region according to Köppen climate classification. It experiences cool winters, mild humid summers, and a lack of temperature extremes. Met Éireann records climate data for Carlow from their station at Oak Park, situated at 61 m (200 ft) above sea level. The coldest month is February, with an average minimum temperature of 2.1 °C (36 °F), and the hottest month is July, with an average maximum temperature of 21.3 °C (70 °F). The driest months are April and May, with 45 mm (2 in) and 50 mm (2 in) of rain respectively. The wettest month is November, with 98 mm (4 in) of rain on average.[34] Humidity is high year-round and rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year.

Parts of this text and pictures were copied from

Conference Venue


SETU - South East Technological University

Kilkenny Rd, Moanacurragh
Carlow, Ireland
+353 59 917 5000

Getting to Carlow and SETU - South East Technological University

By Plane

When arriving in Ireland by plane, it can either be at Dublin, Shannon, Galway Airport or Cork Airport. Dublin Airport is the most convenient of them all.

Bus from Airport Several companies have bus services departing from the airport

By Sea

A variety of ferry services (Stena Line and Irish Ferries) are available from Britain and continental Europe to Ireland. Ports in Ireland include Dublin Port, Dún Laoghaire Harbour and Rosslare Harbour.

By Rail

When you have arrived in Dublin and you wish to take the train then go to Heuston station from where all Carlow trains depart. There are direct links between Carlow and Dublin, Waterford. The single journey between Carlow and Dublin takes approx. 1 hour. Carlow railway station is approx. 35 minutes (on foot) from the Institute. See the Irish Rail site for details.

Click on the above map for an enhanced view


By Coach and Bus

National coach services The National coach services linking Dublin Airport with Carlow Station are the commercial JJ Kavenagh and the public run Bus Eireann service.


Bus services to and from Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny (other towns) operate daily from Carlow.

By Taxi

Taxis can be taken at the train station to the University.

These are the companies operating in Carlow:
Carlow Cabs: + 353 59 9140000
Ace: +353 59 9133366

By Car

Carlow is on the main Dublin to Waterford N9 route, approximately one and a half hours drive from Dublin and an hour from Waterford. SETU is located on the Kilkenny Road, a few minutes drive from Carlow town. The campus has ample car-parking facilities close to the reception area.

On Foot

The SETU campus is just 10 minutes walk from Carlow Town. All chosen hotels are within easy walking distance of SETU (see hotel page)

SETU - South East Technological University

Carlow City Map

Click on the above map for a larger image

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