In the last couple of years the town of Kilkenny, MN has begun to forge links with the city it was named after: Kilkenny, Ireland. On 20 March 2013, the mayor of Kilkenny, MN, Kevin Taaffe Jr., visted Kilkenny in an official capacity and agreements were signed to twin the two places. The links between the two go back to the 1850s when some of the first settlers in that area of Le Sueur County, MN came from county Kilkenny.
One of those first settlers, Dennis Doyle was baptized in the Catholic parish of Danesfort, county Kilkenny, in 1822. He was an early leader in the community, holding important positions, such as state senator, and being the first to marry there. He married a French woman, Catherine Raway (various spellings) , and the community of Kilkenny took off. The Catholic church was even named St. Canice, after the famous Cathedral in Kilkenny, Ireland.
Probable Dennis Doyle and Family in the 1865 Minnesota State Census
Many other Kilkenny people came to this part of Minnesota, including Patrick Shortall and Daniel Walsh, from Paulstown. Pictures of the town are available at this link and you can find more information about this, and other Minnesotan Irish settlements, in The Irish in Minnesota by Ann Regan (2003).
 Minnesota Historical Society, 2009. Minnesota Place Names http://mnplaces.mnhs.org/upham/OtherLanguage.cfm?PlaceNameID=1562&OPNameID=5957&County=40&SendingPage=Results.cfm: accessed 1 August 2013
 Minnesota Historical Society, 2009
 Familysearch.org, 1865 Minnesota State Census, Le Sueur County, Minnesota, population schedule, Kilkenny, John and Catherine Doyle and Family; digital image, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-9834-14198-43?cc=1503054&wc=12815447: accessed 1 August 2013; LDS microfilm number 565715