Mitchelstown Cave

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Mitchelstown Cave
Location Between Mitchelstown, County Cork and Cahir, County Tipperary
Discovery 1833
Geology Limestone
Access Show cave access only

Mitchelstown Cave is a limestone cave near Burncourt, County Tipperary, Ireland. Situated 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from Mitchelstown, County Cork, it became the first cave in Ireland to be developed for the public in 1972.[1]

The cave is located in the townland of Coolagarranroe,[2] off the R639 between Mitchelstown and Cahir. It is a privately owned local landmark and tourist destination, with a number of caverns open to the public through a guided tour. Noteworthy speleothems include the Tower of Babel column. The largest cavern, known as the Concert Hall, has hosted musical events including a performance by the Celtic Tenors.[1]


While the presence a cave has been known in the area for at least as far back as 1777,[3] Mitchelstown Cave was discovered accidentally by Michael Condon, a farm worker on 3 May 1833.[4] It was first explored and mapped in 1834 by James Apjohn,[5] and subsequently visited by a large number of eminent naturalists and speleologists including Édouard-Alfred Martel in 1895 and H. Lyster Jameson, who first described the fauna found within the cave.[3] In 1908 the cave was thoroughly explored and resurveyed by Dr. C. A. Hill, Dr. A. Rule, Harold Brodrick of the Yorkshire Ramblers' Club and Robert Lloyd Praeger.[3] Jackie English decided to make the cave more accessible to the public by putting in electricity and steps, this work was completed in 1972. Prior to this work all visitors had to enter the cave using lamps and a rope ladder.


  1. ^ a b Hayes Curtin, Brian (2011-01-26). "Going underground". Cork Independent. Retrieved 2011-04-30. 
  2. ^ Coleman, J. C. (1965). The Caves of Ireland. Tralee, Co. Kerry: Anvil Press. pp. 18–22. 
  3. ^ a b c Hill, C. A. (1908). "Mitchelstown Cave (abstract)". Irish Naturalist. Dublin: Eason & Son. 25: 239. Retrieved 2011-04-30. 
  4. ^ Foot, Arthur Wynne (1878). "An account of a visit to the cave of Dunmore, Co. Kilkenny, with some remarks on human remains found therein". Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. 4. Dublin. I: 67. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  5. ^ Apjohn, Dr. (1834–1835). "On the Mitchelstown Cave". Dublin Penny Journal. 3–4: 203–208. Retrieved 2011-04-30. 

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Coordinates: 52°19′N 8°05′W / 52.31°N 8.08°W / 52.31; -8.08