GENUKI Home page
County Kerry Kerry   Contents Contents


"CAHIR, a parish, in the barony of IVERAGH, county of KERRY, and province of MUNSTER; containing, with the market and post-town of Cahirciveen, 5653 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the harbour of Valencia, on the south-western coast; and is intersected by the high road from Tralee to Valencia.
It comprises 20,452 statute acres, of which about 7000 are arable, 6500 mountain pasture, 6932 waste land and bog, and about 20 acres woodland. The soil is in general light; and the system of agriculture, though still in a backward state, has improved considerably since the construction of the new line of road through this and the neighbouring parishes, and along the coast of Castlemaine bay, as projected by the late Mr. Nimmo about 20 years since, by the completion of which great benefit has been conferred upon a diatrict depending upon sea-weed and sea sand chiefly for manure.
The prevailing rocks are of the slate formation, and slates of good quality have been quarried on Cahirciveen mountain, and used for roofing the houses in the town."
[From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (1837)]

"The parish of Cahir lies to the east of Valentia, and its church is the only one in repair in the whole barony; near which are the ruins of several small houses, built formerly by the neighbouring inhabitants, as places of sanctuary in times of war, which the privateers never plundered.
Opposite to Cahir stands the ruins of the castle of Ballycarbery, by whom erected is not known. In this parish is a second castle called Littur, erected formerly by the O'Sullivans, and in later times possessed by a branch of that family called MacCrehan. "
[From The Ancient and Present State of the County of Kerry by Charles Smith (1756)]


The old parish burial ground lies on the west side of the modern town of Caherciveen, adjacent to a modern car park.


Note: The Civil Parish of Caher ceased to be used for census purposes in the mid nineteenth century when District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) were introduced.

Caher is now contained in two DEDs:

Return to top of page

Church History

The Church of Ireland built a new church adjacent to the old parish church - known as Holy Cross Abbey. This 19th century church is now itself a ruin.

The Roman Catholic parish of Caherciveen which includes the Civil Parishes of Caher and Killinane has been in existence since the early nineteenth century. By 1890 there were two churches in the parish - Holy Cross, Caherciveen (now the O'Connell Memorial Church) and Our Lady of the Assumption at Filemore. A modern church has been added at Aghatubrid (St. Joseph's).
The Website of the Parish of Caherciveen

Church Records

The Church of Ireland parish registers for baptisms date from 1878 and marriages from 1847

The Caherciveen Catholic Registers start in 1846 for both marriages and baptisms, but with pages for 1846 - 1863 baptisms mutilated.
The registers remain in the custody of the parish priest, although microfilm copies are at the National Archives of Ireland. Written permission from the Bishop of Kerry is required to view these records.

Return to top of page

Civil Registration

From 1863 Caher was part of the Caherciveen Registration District, and the Caher Registrar's District. See the Registration Districts page.
The District Electoral Divisions listed above are used for civil registration.

Return to top of page


A Map showing the Townlands of Caher from Rootsweb
Return to top of page

Poor Law

The Parish was part of the Cahirciveen poor Law Union, with the workhouse at Bahaghs.
A description and pictures of Cahirciveen Poor Law Union and Workhouse by Peter Higginbotham.
Return to top of page

[Last updated: 12-Jul-2004 08:18 PM - Laurence Jones]