Cahir - Book of County Tipperary, 1889

About “The Book of County Tipperary,” 1889

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. The Book of County Tipperary is the first of these to be made available on, with its own search page. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

To enjoy the rich variety of advertisements, confirm accuracy of the entries, or have a printed record of a family member, obtain an original or facsimile copy of The Book of County Tipperary.

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Population 2,469 in 1881.—Fishing, salmon and trout.

Cahir, in the parish of same name, barony of Iffa and Offa, west, is on the Waterford and Limerick Railway, 11 miles, English, west by north from Clonmel. It is 16½ miles south-east from Limerick Junction, and 13½ miles from Tipperary. The town is charmingly situated in the Suir valley, occupying both banks of the river, without rising at either side to inconvenient heights. A substantial stone bridge joins the divisions at a point, nearly central. The railway crosses the river at a short distance higher up, adding to the picturesque effects by its handsome castellated viaduct. In the building of Cahir much has been done, in good taste, to emphasize the idea that the ancient castle is the greatest feature of interest. Hence there are numerous castellations which otherwise would have no significance. The Galtees come into prominence at the north-western side giving considerable shelter from that quarter. In the surroundings there are many wooded spots which give a most pleasing variety to the mountain and river scenery.

The houses of Cahir devoted to business as well as residential purposes, are superior to those found in most country towns in Ireland, of like population. A market for fowl, lump-butter, and eggs is held every Friday, and is usually well attended. On the last Thursday of every month a pig fair is held. The fairs for cattle, sheep and sucking pigs are noted in the list of fairs at the back of the book. It may be said of the land of the district that it is good for almost any farming purpose. The pastures are excellent for dairying. In 1886 a limited liability company was started so that the butter shipped from the locality might be of uniform quality. As the intention of the promoters was to benefit the farmers, it was decided that the stock-owners should never receive a higher dividend than five per cent. In furtherance of this object, those who supply milk to the factory, at the end of each season, share in the surplus profits. After paying five per cent. to the stock-owners in 1887, a sum of £500 was divided among the farmers. The enterprise is registered as the Suirvale Creamery and Butter Factory Company, Limited. At first the capital was £1,000, in shares of £5 each. Now it is £1,300. The directors are Messrs. Samuel Burke, chairman, Thomas C. Prendergast, Edmond Kennedy, P. J. Brodrick, William O’Loughnan, and Daniel Heffernan. Mr. T. J. Carey is secretary and manager. Cahir has to depend for prosperity entirely on the farmers; hence the policy of making the interests of the merchants identical with theirs. Flour-milling is the only industry remaining. Thirty-five years ago this was in the flood tide of prosperity. Only one firm continues to do battle with the horde of outside competitors.

Cahir is a regimental head-quarters. The barracks are situated at a distance of about a mile, Irish, from the centre of the town, and are occupied at present, 1889, by the 15th Hussars.

For some years the people of the town have permitted themselves to be governed by the county authorities. The Grand Jury attends to the repairs of the streets, and has provided a good sewerage system. Sanitary matters are left to the care of the Board of Guardians of the Clogheen Union, of which Cahir forms part. A limited liability company provides a good supply of gas to private consumers, but there are only a few street-lamps, and these are maintained at the expense of Lady Margaret Charteris, owner of Cahir. She has also given a first-rate water service for culinary uses, in memory of her late husband, the Hon. Richard Charteris, 1876. The water was piped at a cost of over £3,000 from Scorrough, in the Galtees, a distance of two miles, Irish, to a fountain in the centre of the public square.