Ciarán Kilkenny (born 7 July 1993) is a dual player for Castleknock and Dublin. He
was previously on the playing list of Australian rules football club Hawthorn, as a rookie.
•Ciarán has represented Dublin at underage at several levels. Despite being previously offered a place on the Dublin senior hurling panel, he chose to dedicate his time solely to football.
• Ciarán still plays hurling for his club, Castleknock GAA.
Kilkenny won the Dublin Minor Football Championship with Castleknock in 2011. He won the Dublin Junior Football Championship with Castleknock, his last medal before switching codes to Aussie rules.
Kilkenny won the 2011 Leinster Minor Football Championship and the Leinster Minor Hurling Championship with Dublin in 2011. He was on the losing side for both teams in the All-Ireland finals in 2011 at Croke Park.
Kilkenny was called up to the Dublin under 21 team in 2012. He won the Leinster Under 21 Football Championship with Dublin in March 2012. Ciaran scored a total of 1-07 in the Leinster final against Louth at Páirc Tailteann in Navan. The game finished on 1-16 to 0-08 with Dublin winning the game by a comfortable 11 point margin to become Leinster champions for the tenth time. Ciaran Kilkenny scored a total of 2-25 (0-7f) for Dublin in the Leinster Championship. Dublin went on to meet Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final at Portlaoise. Kilkenny scored just one point in a game in which Dublin won against the Munster champions. The game finished on a scoreline of 3-11 to 0-14. Ciarán won the all-Ireland under 21 championship with Dublin against Connacht champions Roscommon in Tullamore. Kilkenny scored a total of four points in a close game against Roscommon which ended with heavy scoring from Dublin. The game finished on a scoreline of 2-12 to 1-11.
Kilkenny was named the Cadbury's Hero of the Future for his performances with Dublin in 2012.
Kilkenny made his debut for the Dublin senior football team against Laois in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship when he came on as a substitute for Diarmuid Connolly. He made his first start for the Dublin senior football team against Mayo in the 2012 All-Ireland football semi-final defeat. He scored three points in the game.
Move to AFL
Kilkenny was linked to a possible move to Australia as a rookie in the Australian AFL. Dublin football legend Dessie Farrell described the potential departure of Kilkenny to Australian football as "a huge loss".
Hawthorn confirmed the signing on 29 September 2011, after Carlton had also tried to secure the 19-year-old's services. Kilkenny flew to Melbourne to visit Hawthorn officials at Waverley, and was scheduled to become the first Irishman to play at the club. Recent changes to rookie list rules had made the recruitment of Irish players more appealing, with clubs now able to count one Irish player as an international rookie, meaning the player does not take up a main rookie spot.
After just four months and a return to Ireland for the Christmas, Kilkenny decided for personal reasons to remain in Ireland where he wished to pursue a career with Castleknock and Dublin.
Return to Ireland
Upon his return to the native soil, Kilkenny collected both the 2013 NFL title and 2013 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship title with Dublin. In March 2014, he tore his anterior cruciate ligament while fulfilling a Dublin football fixture at Croke Park against Kildare in a 2014 NFL, causing him to miss the rest of the season.
Kilkenny played twice for Ireland against Australia in the 2013 International Rules Series, and scored a goal in the second Test at Croke Park.