Cahir Castle

Cahir Castle is one of the largest, best preserved castles in Ireland and is situated on a rocky island outcrop in the middle of the River Suir. It represents the pinnacle of mediaeval skill. Superbly presented, it has one of the very few working portcullises in Ireland. The origins of the castle are traced back to the third century when a Dún (earthen fort) was built upon the rocky island and gave the town its original name "Dún Iascaigh" or "town of the fishing fort". The subsequent building of a stone fort (Cathair) is recorded in the town name as Cathair Dún Iascaigh.
The O’Briens of Thomond fortified the site, in the century prior to the Norman invasion of 1169. The present structure is Norman and dates to the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, with significant nineteenth century restoration of a sympathetic nature. The Butlers were granted the Castle in 1375 and it remained almost continuously in their possession until 1961. Upon the death of the last owner it passed into the hands of the state and was designated a National Monument. The Castle has many attractions including an excellent audiovisual show. A guided tour is essential to fully understand the history of Cahir and District.