Cahir, County Tipperary is a small heritage town that falls under the barony of Iffa and Offa West, and famous for the Cahir Castle and Swiss Cottage. Its name is derived from Cathair or an Chathair, which literally means strong ringfort, though another name, Cathair Dhún Iascaigh meaning stone ringfort of the fishing, is also quite popular. The town was set up in the 13th century, and has been influenced by the Butler family, which is responsible for the genesis of Barons of Cahir, throughout its history.
Cahir Castle is one of the largest and grandest castles of Ireland, and located at an island in River Suir. It was constructed in the year 1142 and handed over to James Butler in 1375. The castle has been besieged thrice, once in 16th century and twice in the 17th century, during the times of Irish Confederate Wars. After being handed over to the influential Butler Family, it was reconstructed in the 15th and 17th century. This castle fell into disrepair the latter half of the 18th century and restored to quite an extent in the 1840s. The last Lord Cahir passed away in 1961 and the ownership of the castle final came under the Irish State. Nowadays, the reconstructed castle is a national monument and heavily visited by tourists, who enjoy the audio-visual show.
Another notable building in this town is the Swiss Cottage, which was established in the year 1810 to entertain the guests of Lord and Lady Cahir. It is an excellent example of cottage ornee, the Irish term for ornamental cottage. However, this cottage was neglected by the authorities, and restoration work started as late as 1985. It was opened to the public in 1989 and has received tremendous tourist traffic since then. Other noteworthy sites in Cahir are Mitchelstown Caves, Craft Granary and Glendarra Woods.
Historically speaking, this town was one of the first to be linked via stagecoach with other cities in the early 19th century. It is home to one of the three ecclesiastical buildings designed by John Nash, as well as several sites for heritage walks. This town is situated in the vicinity of Galtee Mountains and Knockmealdown Mountains, and twinned with the city of Scarborough, United Kingdom.
The town has a small shopping precinct that is located within the immediate vicinity of the town square, which lies adjacent to Castle Street. Its amenities include a library, several pubs, taverns, restaurants, cafes and cinemas, along with various thriving sporting centers. The main sports clubs and associations of this town include the 18 hole golf course of Cahir Park Golf Club, Gaelic Athletics Association and Duneske Leisure Limited. The love of horse riding of this town is displayed through three exclusive clubs, namely Cahir Equestrian Center, O’Gorman Equestrian Center, and Tipperary Hunt Pony Club. The Cahir Park All Weather sporting facility, all-weather soccer pitch, all-weather tennis courts, downhill mountain biking tracks have been set up to promote several sports. Being close to the salmon weir, which is located opposite of castle’s bridge, provides the residents of this town with ample fishing opportunities.
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All Imagery Courtesy of Panoramio
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