1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Athy
ATHY (pronounced Athý), a market-town of Co. Kildare, Ireland, in the south parliamentary division, 45 m. S.W. of Dublin on a branch of the Great Southern & Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 3599. It is intersected by the river Barrow, which is here crossed by a bridge of five arches. The crossing of the river here was guarded and disputed from the earliest times, and the name of the town is derived from a king of Munster killed here in the 2nd century. There are picturesque remains of Woodstock Castle of the 12th or 13th century, and White Castle built in 1506, and rebuilt in 1575 by a member of the family whose name it bears, and still occupied. Both were erected to defend the ford of the Barrow. There are also an old town gate, and an ancient cemetery with slight monastic remains. Previous to the Union Athy returned two members to the Irish parliament. The trade, chiefly in grain, is aided by excellent water communication, by a branch of the Grand Canal to Dublin, and by the river Barrow, navigable from here to Waterford harbour.