The Viaduct

One of Lord and Lady Cahir's major projects in the early 1800s was to ensure that the proposed Shannon-Suir canal waterway came through Cahir. By the 1820s the canal idea was still on paper, and shelved further with the advent of steam. In 1820, Emily, Dowager Countess of Glengall, arranged substantial funding for the building of a railway through Cahir. However, she never saw it completed, as it was more than thirty years before the line from Limerick to Waterford was completed, and opened in 1852. The viaduct was designed by William Dargan, in 1849, in careful consultation with Earl Glengall. Its turrets and castellations imitate similar styles on the main public buildings of the town, and reflect the centrality of the castle to the town. It is widely acknowledged as one of the most spectacular in Ireland. As early as 1856, it was noted "the very handsome metal bridge over the Suir River adds considerably to the beauty of the place, and the station house, a handsome building, is situated at the upper end of Church Street".
During the Civil War (1922-23) the viaduct was wired for destruction by the Irregular (anti-Government) Troops, but thankfully was not blown up. However, major structural damage did occur on December 21st 1955, following the crash of a freight train through the siding buffers. Both the driver and fireman were killed as the engine and twenty-two of the thirty-two laden beet wagons crashed into the river below. Evidence of the crash can still be seen in a few displaced pieces of limestone, at the point where the engine entered the river.