Coordinates: 51°56′53″N 10°13′26″W / 51.948°N 10.224°W / 51.948; -10.224
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Cathair Saidhbhín
Main Street
Main Street
Cahersiveen is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°56′53″N 10°13′26″W / 51.948°N 10.224°W / 51.948; -10.224
CountyCounty Kerry
79 m (259 ft)
Irish Grid ReferenceV469795

Cahersiveen[8][9] (Irish: Cathair Saidhbhín, meaning "Little Sadhbh's stone ringfort"), sometimes Cahirciveen, is a town in the far south-west of Ireland, in County Kerry. As at 2022 it had a population of 1,297.[1]

Geography and access[edit]

Cahersiveen is on the slopes of 376-metre-high Bentee, and on the lower course of the River Ferta. It is the principal settlement of the Iveragh Peninsula, near Valentia Island. The town is 50 km east of Killarney, and is connected to the Irish road network by the N70 national secondary road.

Cahersiveen was served from 1893 to 1960 by the Cahersiveen railway station on the Great Southern and Western Railway.[10]

As at 2024 there are many Local Link buses every day to various local towns and villages, with some going to Killorglin, Killarney and Tralee.[11]


Cahersiveen was where the first shots of the Fenian Rising were fired in 1867.

Cahersiveen was the site of the murder of five local men taken in the early hours of the morning from Bahaghs Workhouse where they were held prisoner, shot in the legs then blown up with a landmine on 12 March 1923 during the Civil War.[12]

Mentions in literature[edit]

Patrick O'Brian's novel Post Captain gives Cahersiveen as the location of the character Stephen Maturin's childhood home in Ireland.

At present two Highlanders were talking slowly to an Irishman in Gaelic ... as he lay there on his stomach to ease his flayed back. 'I follow them best when I do not attend at all,' observed Stephen, 'it is the child in long clothes that understands, myself in Cahirciveen."[13]

Cahirciveen is the central city in Brian Moore's futuristic novel Catholics

Places of interest[edit]

Royal Irish Constabulary barracks in Cahersiveen

The Catholic church in the town is the only one in Ireland named after a layperson, Daniel O'Connell.[9]

The decommissioned Royal Irish Constabulary barracks, dating to the 1870s and now a heritage centre, was built in the distinctive "Schloss" style favoured by its architect, Enoch Trevor Owen. Because of this, it is often claimed to have been mistakingly built from the plans for a British barracks in India – a common myth heard in many Irish garrison towns.

The stone forts of Cahergall and Leacanabuaile stand close to each other a short distance from the town.

The ruins of Ballycarbery Castle are near to Cahergall and Leacanabuaile.

The town falls within the Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve, the first Gold Tier Reserve in the northern hemisphere and one of only four Gold Tier Dark-Sky Reserves on earth.

Gaeltacht Service Town[edit]

Cahersiveen is the eighth Gaeltacht Service Town, on the 15th of June 2023 the Minister of State Patrick O'Donovan launched the "Cathair Saidhbhín Language Plan" alongside Kerry County Council.[14]


The town's primary school, Scoil Saidhbhín, opened in September 2015. This is an amalgamation of Scoil Mhuire, a boys' primary school and St Joseph's Convent, a girls' primary school. There are four primaries in the parish of Cahersiveen, including those in the town's hinterland: Aghatubrid National School, Coars National School, and Foilmore National School. Aghatubrid was established in 1964 and as of 2019 had about 75 students.[15]

Coláiste na Sceilge is the town's co-educational secondary school. Over 530 pupils attend from all around the Iveragh Peninsula.

An tAonad Lán-Ghaeilge is the local Gaelscoil - an all Irish-speaking class for 1st to 3rd-year students, where students do all their learning through Irish.[16]

Notable people[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Interactive Data Visualisations: Towns: Cahirciveen". Census 2022. Central Statistics Office. Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  2. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  3. ^ "Histpop - The Online Historical Population Reports Website". Archived from the original on 7 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency - Census Home Page". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  5. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  6. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic History Review. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. hdl:10197/1406.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Census 2016 - SAPMAP Area - Settlements - Cahersiveen". Census 2016. CSO. 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  8. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  9. ^ a b "Ordnance Survey Ireland - Online map viewer". Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
  10. ^ "Cahersiveen station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Timetables: Cahersiveen". Local Link Kerry. Retrieved 27 March 2024.
  12. ^ Prisoners of conscience: when silence spoke loud Irish Independent 7 Jan 2009
  13. ^ O'Brian, Patrick (1996). Post Captain. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0006499163. OCLC 43221921.
  14. ^ "Cathair Saidhbhín Language Plan officially launched by Minister of State O'Donovan". 15 June 2023.
  15. ^ "Aghatubrid National School, Kerry on". Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  16. ^ "Coláiste na Sceilge | Welcome | We Respect, we care, we learn, we develop, we belong".
  17. ^ "Derrynane House". Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  18. ^ "Hugh O Flaherty Memorial Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty Biography". Retrieved 11 March 2023.* Donie O'Sullivan, journalist working for CNN