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The castle sits on a rocky island in the River Suir, and is comprised three sections, surrounded by a thick fortifying wall, with the main structural towers and halls around the innermost section.
Entry to the castle is along the sloping tower that defends the entrance running parallel to the inner-section wall.
Cahir castle is one of the largest, best preserved castles in Ireland.
It represents the pinnacle of mediaeval skill.
Superbly presented, it has one of very few working portcullises in Ireland.
The origins of the castle are traced back to the third century when a Dun (earthen fort) was built upon the rocky Island and gave the town its original name “Dun Iascaigh” or “town of the fish fort”.
The subsequent building of a stone fort (Cathair) is recorded in the town name as Cathair Dun 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 there 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.