This small but historical market town forms the western entrance to the Ring of Kerry, perhaps the most popular tourist route in all of Ireland today. The Ring travels around the Ivernaugh Peninsula, giving visitors the opportunity to see some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Cahirciveen (alternatively spelled with an 's' -- Cahirsiveen) is a town full of brightly coloured but humble homes and is the central market area for the south of County Kerry.
Cahirciveen Heritage Centre
A popular attraction located at the bottom of Bentee Mountain, is the Cahirciveen Heritage Centre. The structure once served as the barracks of the royal Irish Constabulary. It was erected to stifle further revolt after the 1867 Fenian Rising. The building itself can best be described as intimidating and very fortress-like. Today it serves as a centre for learning, featuring displays on topics such as
- the effects of the famine on the area
- the achievements of Cahirciveen's most renowned son, Daniel O'Connell
- and the restoration of the building that houses the centre itself, after it was destroyed by fire.
O'Connell Memorial Church
Also outstanding on the main street of Cahirciveen is the O'Connell Memorial Church, the only church in all of Ireland named in honour of a lay person. It is an imposing structure in the neo- Gothic style and built in 1888. The church's design is very elaborate, and the building is made from mostly black limestone and Newry Granite.