A LITTLE HISTORY
Nestled at the foot of the old Ballykeeffe Quarry, Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre brings the authentic atmosphere of an open-air Italian theatre to the quaint Kilkenny countryside. The once-bustling slate quarry had lain abandoned and in disarray for many years, with most indifferent to its very existence.
However, in the late 1990s, a team of dedicated volunteers recognised a unique potential which was brought to fruition through hard work and perseverance, and in the year 2000 the amphitheatre proudly played host to the first of many performances – the Irish Defence Forces band & the Dublin Male Welsh Voice Choir.
KBK (Kilmanagh, Ballycallan, and Killaloe) Enterprise which runs the Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre was founded in 1986 by a group of local people in order to develop and promote community development. The Enterprise Group is a company limited by guarantee; having charitable status. Under the organisation rules, no individual may make any profit from the organisation and there is no private gain.
In the event of the Enterprise being wound up, any remaining funds will be used for socially beneficial purposes. Currently our enterprise group has a board of 10 and membership of fifteen to twenty people. Expenditure to date amounts to €250,000 of which €200,000 Has been grant aided by various bodies such as the Department of the Arts, Culture & Heritage, B.N.S Leader and Kilkenny County Council.
Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre is maintained by volunteers who are members of the KBK Enterprise and who work tirelessly all year round to maintain the grounds. In addition to running Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre, KBK Enterprises has been involved in a number of community projects.
The enterprise prints a weekly Parish newsletter called the Acorn and has been involved with the Tidy Towns competition. We have also provided an interest free loan to facilitate the refurbishment of Ballycallan Community Centre and have been involved in the creation of local employment by supporting small local businesses including a small printing business and duck rearing enterprise.
The quarry itself is every rock-climber’s paradise with groups meeting regularly to scale its dizzying heights, while the surrounding woodland is popular with families, joggers and cyclists. The only amphitheatre in Ireland, this venue can seat 750 visitors on its tiered limestone benches, while the surrounding grass area can accommodate another 400 people.
- Ample parking
- Bar facilities for most evening events
- Toilets on site
- The venue is wheelchair accessible