Irish: An Chathair
Castle Street, as viewed from the walls of Cahir Castle.
|Elevation||50 m (160 ft)|
|Dialing code||052 744, +000 353 (0)52 744|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Cahir (; Irish: an Chathair / Cathair Dún Iascaigh) is a town in County Tipperary in Ireland. The town is best known for its castle and the Swiss Cottage. It is also a civil parish in the barony of Iffa and Offa West.
For much of the twentieth century, Cahir stood at an intersection of two busy national roadways: the Dublin to Cork N8, and the Limerick to Waterford N24. The N8 was realigned in 1991 to run west of the town, while the old road through it was renumbered the R670. Traffic from the N24 still left the town badly congested, however, until October 2007 when this road was also realigned to bypass Cahir to the north and east. The same road improvement scheme saw major changes to the N8 corridor: a new motorway, the M8, was constructed west of the town between 2006 and 2008. Access to Cahir from this motorway is gained at Junctions 10 and 11.
Cahir is on the Limerick-Waterford regional railway line. The town's railway station opened on 1 May 1852. There are two trains a day to Tipperary and Limerick Junction and two to Clonmel, Carrick on Suir and Waterford. There is no Sunday service.
Bus Éireann runs regular services to Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford through the town.
The name Cathair or an Chathair translates as "stone ringfort", while the name Cathair Dún Iascaigh means "town of the fort of the fishery". In older accounts, it was often spelled "Caher". Cahir Abbey was established in the late 12th century.
For much of its history, the town has been influenced by the Butler family. It was from this family that the first Barons of Cahir were created. It was known for much of its history as being a defence town.
Cahir, together with Clonmel, were the centres in South Tipperary of the Quaker population, which culminated in the construction of a meeting house in Abbey Street in 1833. The principal Quaker family names, largely engaged in milling, were Grubb, Going and Walpole. It was one of the first towns to be linked by stagecoach in the nineteenth century when Charles Bianconi commenced services between Clonmel, Cahir and Cashel. The building at The Square, where The Galtee Inn is now sited, was the stopping point in the town for Bianconi's coaches.
Cahir Castle, which is situated on a small island in the River Suir, is the town's main tourist attraction. Cahir has a fine Church of Ireland parish church, still in use, designed by John Nash, one of only three ecclesiastical buildings he designed in Ireland. Another major attraction is the Swiss Cottage along with numerous specialty heritage walks. The nearby Galtee Mountains form the largest inland range in Ireland and are home to Glengarra Wood, which is a popular walking area. The Knockmealdown Mountains stand south of the town, while to the southwest lie the Mitchelstown Caves. The salmon weir, on the opposite side of the bridge from the castle, is a popular location to fish.
Cahir is a small heritage town. A shopping precinct is centred on the town square adjacent to Castle Street. The town has a leisure centre (Duneske), an all-weather soccer pitch, all weather tennis courts, a Downhill and Enduro mountain-biking track and a GAA pitch. An 18-hole Golf course lies outside the town.
Cahir has a number of teams in various sports, Cahir GAA are the local gaelic team and play in the GAA pitch located on the Ardfinnan road. They were Tipperary Senior Football Champions in 2003. Cahir Park AFC are the local junior soccer team. Formed in 1912 they are one of the oldest junior soccer teams in the country. Their ground is also located in Cahir Park on the Ardfinnan road.