BACKGROUND TO COUNTY CARLOW
Carlow is one of Ireland’s smallest and most beautiful counties. Centrally located, Carlow acts as a gateway to the South East providing a base to visit neighbouring counties Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Kildare and Laois and is just an hour drive from Dublin. Located on the banks of the River Barrow, Carlow town is a modern shopping and industrial centre serving a large region of mostly rural areas and surrounding counties. Smaller towns such as the historic Tullow, the riverside town of Bagenalstown and the picturesque Leighlinbridge provide further attractions in a county often described as the best-kept secret in Ireland.
Carlow has a growing young population with 43% under the age of 24. According to the 2002 census, County Carlow had a population of 46,014 and this number has continued to grow. Carlow town with its rich history and cultural heritage now boasts two third level colleges, top class recreational facilities and acts as a retail hub for the surrounding area. The presence of fine architecture such as Carlow Courthouse, Cathedral and Railway Station compliment the more historical landmarks like Carlow Castle and the prehistoric Brownshill Dolmen.