Kinsale is a historic port and fishing town in County Cork, Ireland, which also has significant military history. Located some 25 km south of Cork City on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale, it sits at the mouth of the River Bandon and had a population of 5,281 at the 2016 census, which increases substantially during the summer months when the tourist season is at its peak and when the boating fraternity and other tourist visitors arrive in large numbers. Kinsale is in the Cork South–West (Dáil Éireann) constituency, which has five seats.
Kinsale is a popular holiday resort for Irish and overseas tourists. Leisure activities include yachting, sea angling, and golf. The town also has several art galleries and a school of English. The town is compact with a quaint air of antiquity in the narrow streets. There is a large yachting marina close to the town centre.
The town is known for its restaurants, and holds an annual "Gourmet Festival". Chef Keith Floyd was previously a resident of Kinsale.
The town's Community School has been awarded the "Best School in the Republic of Ireland" twice, including at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition in 2014.
Prominent historical buildings in the town include St. Multose's church (Church of Ireland) of 1190, St. John the Baptist (Catholic) of 1839, the Market House of c. 1600 and the so-called French Prison (or Desmond Castle - see Earls of Desmond, prominent in the history of Munster) of c. 1500. Charles Fort, a partly restored star fort of 1677, is in nearby Summercove.
On 8 October 2005, Kinsale became Ireland's second Fair Trade Town, with Clonakilty being the first.