Cahir Castle is one of the oldest medieval castles in Ireland. Standing majestically on a promontory overlooking the rest of the town of Cahir, the castle rises to its full height with a charm straight out of the Middle Ages. Its visit is possible, and it would be really terrible to miss it!
The castle was built in 1142 by Conor O’Brien, Prince of Thomond on a lurking island in the Suir, in the center of the present town of Cahir. In 1375 it was given by Edward III of England to James Butler, Earl of Ormond and Baron of Cahir.
Cahir Castle remained in the hands of the Butler family for many centuries, and in 1599 was the site of a first three-day siege by the Earl of Essex’s army.
In 1640, during the Irish Confederate Wars, the castle underwent two new sieges that were terribly difficult for the population of the village and the castle. Numerous damages were then caused, then repaired in 1840, including the great entrance hall.
Cahir Castle remained under the ownership of the Butlers until 1961, when the last owner of the castle died. In the absence of an heir, the State took possession of the building and decided to open it to visitors in 1970.
After paying a reasonable entrance fee (3€ per adult), you will discover during a guided tour the different rooms of the castle, starting with the great white banqueting room, with the throne of the former lords Butlers. You will be able to admire a fabulous wooden ceiling, as well as the various windows overlooking Cahir and its surroundings.
You will then visit the impressive tower of the castle, with its never-ending staircase, and discover a panorama at the top which is really worth the detour!
Don’t miss the mini audio-visual room, where you will be presented with a short show about the history of the castle and the life of the time. The presentation is multilingual, and also available in French.
Finally, don’t forget the miniature model of the castle!