Caher (Kerry)

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Carhan House © NIAH Buildings of Ireland
Carhan House © NIAH Buildings of Ireland

Tigh Chárthann aka Carhan House the birthplace of the Liberator Daniel O' Connell (1775-1847) was built circa 1770 by his parents, Morgan O’Connell and Catherine O’Mullane. This five-bay two-storey stone-built house, situated about a mile east of Cahersiveen, has long been in ruins.


In Tralee, on 30 October 1805, the daughter of Morgan Connell Esq of Carken (sic) married Humphrey Moynahan Esq. 

Morgan O’Connell and Catherine O’Mullane are believed to have died at Carhan in the late 1820s. [Dublin Weekly Nation - Saturday 22 January 1887]

Morgan O'Connell of Carhan was the uncle of John McCarthy (m.1714) of Lisnamohill aka Lisballymichil who was a descendant of Daniel McTeige McCarthy of Lisballyconnelly fl. 1637. [Kerry Evening Post. - Saturday 02 May 1914]

In 1814 Leet refers to one property in Carhan as the residence of James O'Connell and to a second as the address of Miles McSweeney.

In the 1830s, the Ordnance Survey Name Books describe Carhan House as "a rectangular building, having a kitchen built up to the rear, all two stories high. The walls of its ruins are standing but in a state of dilapidation". [OSI Ref: V485799 Discovery map #83. OS Sheet #79]. 

In 1834 Carhan House is named on the 1st edition OS map as "in ruins". Lewis notes "Cashen" as the old mansion of the O'Connell family in 1837.

In 1844, Maurice Connell of Carhan made a donation to the O’Connell Tribute. John Connell of Carhan was a Cess Payer in the 1870s.

In 1875, to mark the Centenary of Daniel O’Connell’s birth, his native town of Cahersiveen put on a grand celebration.

The band followed a large number of the respectable inhabitants, marched to Carhan House, the birthplace of O’Connell the courtyard of that ancient bouse an immense bonfire was kindled, which brilliantly lighted up the ivy-covered ruin. 

[Kerry Evening Post - 18 August 1875]

At this time a penny collection for the erection of a memorial to mark out O’Connell’s birthplace began in this district until it was interrupted by "the great distress of 1879 and 1880". As part of relief work for the distressed working men of Cahirciveen (sic) fenced walls were built around the old ruins grounds. 

In 1887, T. Canon Baron, the fundraiser, reported his observations that “the house was left in a disgraceful condition”. [Dublin Weekly Nation - Saturday 22 January 1887]


The remains of Carhan’s detached five-bay two-storey rubble stone-built house are still extant.  The Irish Tourist Association Survey in 1943 described the original house as "in the shape of the letter T with the kitchen apartments nearest the river". 

A public park was created in front of the property, and a bust of O'Connell now gazes at the old family homestead.

In 2001, much to public dismay, it was reported that O'Connell's descendants, a local family, were about to put the site of Caher House on the market.  In 2013 some €20,000 was granted to its refurbishment by the Irish government and works began later this year. 



Landed Estates: Carhan House Ireland VIEW SOURCE
O'Connell's Birth Place | TripAdvisor Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Birthplace of Daniel O'Connell for sale | IT 2001 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Refurbishment of Carhan House | IT 2015 Ireland VIEW SOURCE
VISIT Carhan House & Memorial Park Ireland VIEW SOURCE

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