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Kildare

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Kildare is a town in County Kildare, Ireland. Its population of 8,412 (2011 Census) makes it the eighth largest town in County Kildare and the 55th largest in the state, with a growth rate of 8% since the 2006 census. Although Kildare gives its name to the county, Naas is the county town. The town lies on the R445, some 50 km (31 mi) west of Dublin – near enough for it to have become, despite being a regional centre in its own right, a commuter town for the capital.HistoryFounding by Saint BrigidRich in heritage and history, Kildare Town dates from the 5th Century, when it was the site of the original 'Church of the Oak' and monastery founded by Saint Brigid. This became one of the three most important Christian foundations in Celtic Ireland.It was said that Brigid's mother was a Christian and that Brigid was reared in her father's family, that is with the children of his lawful wife. From her mother, Brigid learned dairying and the care of the cattle, and these were her occupations after she made a vow to live a life of holy chastity. Both Saint Mel of Ardagh and Bishop Mac Caille have been credited with the consecration of Brigid and some companions, after which the woman established a community beneath an oak tree, on a hill on the edge of the Curragh. Hence the name Cill Dara, the church of the oak.Not too far away, on Dún Ailinne, lived the King of Leinster who had donated the site to the holy woman. A story told was that the King had offered Brigid as much land as her cloak would cover. When she spread her garment it miraculously stretched out to embrace the entire Curragh. True to his promise, the King gave her the fertile plain, and there the new community grazed their sheep and cows.
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