Towns of South Tipperary
Cahir —County South Tipperary
Cahir is a charming and picturesque town on the banks of the River Suir in the south of County Tipperary. The surrounding lands are rich and fertile and the town nestles beneath the protection of the Galtee Mountains. The name in Irish, Chathair, means 'Stone Fort'. Conor O'Brien, the Lord of Thomond, built a strong and imposing castle on a stony outcrop island in the River Suir in the 12th century. It was around this focal point that the town of Cahir developed. Some of this original castle has been incorporated in the later Anglo Norman Castle, built in the 15/16th century.
The 19th century saw the growth of a major corn milling industry and in Cahir, as elsewhere, this was controlled by the Quaker community. Indeed Cahir was known as the 'Quaker Town'.
The present appearance of the town dates from the 1840's when the 2nd Earl of Glengall (Butler) redesigned the town around the Square, often cited as one of Ireland's most successful examples of the 19th century town planning. For this project, Butler engaged the famous Regency architect, John Nash, who also designed Swiss Cottage.
In recent years Cahir, with its pleasant location and appearance and its wealth of interesting, historical buildings has become a unique visitor attraction.
Cahir has recently twinned with Scarborough in the North East of England.