Castleisland

Castleisland

CastleislandCastleisland is situated in the valley of the River Maine, only six miles from Kerry International Airport (Farranfore).This busy shopping town has only in recent years began to establish itself as a major tourist attraction.

This is largely due to the discovery of the "Crag Caves" in 1983. These caves which were opened to the public in 1991, were actually only found by accident when problems with water pollution led to a search for the local river. The Caves, which were formed of limestone, display a colourful wonderland of Stalactites and Stalacmites. Over a million years old, there are about four km of caves although only 350 metres of these are open to the public. Open from March to November with tours available daily during this time.

Another historical site found in the vicinity are the ruins of "Desmond Castle". This castle was the Kerry Headquarters of the Earls of Desmond who ruled Kerry between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries.

A different kind of sport is readily available to the visitor at the "Visitor Farm and Shooting Ground" which is proving extremely popular. And for the more active tourist, a new athletic track has recently been built in the town which is unique to the county and boasts a landscaped walk along the River Maine for the less active individual!

Like all Kerry Towns, entertainment is very much to the front in Castleisland with the town really coming to life during its two annual festivals. The first of these festivals is "The Kerry Drama Festival" which is held annually during March. Later in the year during the month of September, the "Padraig O'Keefe festival" is held. This is a traditional Music festival attracting traditional Music Players from far and wide all honouring Padraig O'Keefe, a fiddle player who came from the Sliabh Luachra region.

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