JJ Kavanagh and Sons

JJ Kavanagh and Sons
Parent James Joseph Kavanagh
Founded 1919
Headquarters Urlingford, County Kilkenny, Ireland
Service area Ireland
United Kingdom
Alliance CTTC
Destinations Dublin
Dublin Airport
Hubs Urlingford
Website jjkavanagh.ie
Setra coach in Salisbury, Wiltshire

JJ Kavanagh and Sons is Ireland's largest private coach operator. It was founded in 1919 by J.J. Kavanagh with the operation of a service connecting Urlingford with Kilkenny City.

The company has expanded greatly since the 1990s with the take-over of Kenneally's coach operators in Waterford. Its head office is in Urlingford, County Kilkenny. There are also offices in Naas, Dublin, Clonmel, Nenagh, Waterford and Carlow. JJ Kavanagh and Sons is a member of the CTTC.


Beginnings (1919-1980)

JJ Kavanagh and Sons was founded in 1919 by JJ Kavanagh with the running of a daily coach service between Urlingford and Kilkenny. Over the following years, the company gradually expanded with in an increase in fleet size and number of routes with the introduction of an Urlingford - Clonmel route. At the time, the company had a lucrative delivery contract with some of Ireland's largest newspaper companies.

Change in Market and Rapid Expansion (1980-2010)

With the decline in the prominence of the newspaper in Ireland JJ Kavanagh and Sons lost their lucrative delivery deal and were forced to find new sources of finance. Under management of current managers, JJ and Paul the business has seen rapid expansion over the past three decades as they have launched many intercity routes as well as becoming prominent transporters in the private travel area in Ireland. The expansion of intercity routes has been made possible for the company as a result of their acquisition of a number of coach companies across the south-east of Ireland in Naas, Nenagh, Waterford and Clonmel as well as the opening of sub-offices in Carlow and Dublin.

International Expansion and Beyond (2011- )

To further boost profits the company sought international expansion. Expansion occurred with the purchase of Mullany's coaches in Watford, England. The deal is believed to have been in the region of €1million.[1]

Services Operated

The company also currently operates a number of local bus services, including those in Waterford and Tramore.


The company's coach fleet, which operates on intercity services, is made up of over 100 modern Setra 400 series and Neoplan coaches which feature air conditioning, reclining seats, on-board toilets, seatbelts and audio/visual facilities. The number plate of each bus is made up entirely of number ones.

It was the first coach company in Ireland to introduce free wi-fi onto some of its coaches in 2009.

The bus fleet operated by the company on the town and city routes is made up of Mercedes-Benz Citaros.

Other works

JJ Kavanagh and Sons plays a very active role in the Kilkenny and Carlow G.A.A. scene, sponsoring numerous of the hurling and gaelic football competitions in the counties. They currently sponsor the Kilkenny camogie team.


  1. Crosbie, Thomas (24 July 2011). "This is a Cinderella business and an invisible export. It is very hard to touch, and to quantify, and to feel". The Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
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