Nenagh ( ; Aonach
Urmhumhan in Irish) is the
county town of North Tipperary,
It is the administrative capital of North
Tipperary. It has a population in 2006 of 7,415.
Nenagh was originally a market town, and its name in Irish,
means "The Fair of Ormond", a reference
to the Ormond (East Munster
) Fair, of which
it was the site. Nenagh is today a busy commercial town and is
governed by Nenagh Town Council
town's historic attractions include Nenagh Castle
, the Heritage Centre, and the
ruined Franciscan abbey
Nenagh is located in the Barony of Ormond which was the traditional
territory of the O'Kennedy's in pre-Norman times. This land was included
in the grant made by King John to
Theobald, eldest son of Hervey Walter of Lancashire, England.
Theobald was subsequently appointed Chief
Butler of Ireland.
Castle was built c1216 and was the main castle of the Butler family
before they moved to Gowran, County Kilkenny in the later 14th century, and later still to the
castle in Kilkenny city.
The castle remained in Butler hands
for over 500 years. The town was one of the ancient manors of the
Butlers who received the grant of a fair from Henry VIII
. The Butlers also founded the medieval
priory of St John, just outside the town at Tyone. A small
settlement grew up around the castle, but it never seems to have
been of any great importance other than as a local market
throughout the medieval period. An important Franciscan friary was
founded in the town in 1252 in the reign of Henry III
which became the head of the
Irish custody of West Ireland and was one of the richest religious
houses in Ireland. The Abbey was in use for six hundred years, Fr.
Patrick Harty, who died in 1817, being its last inhabitant.
The town seems to have been refounded in the 16th century. In 1550
the town and friary were burned by O'Carroll. In 1641 the town was
captured by Owen Roe O'Neill
shortly afterwards it was recaptured by Lord Inchiquin. It
surrendered to Ireton
in 1651 during
period and was burned by
in 1688 during the
from the Castle and Friary most of the town's buildings date from
the mid-1700s onwards when its sale out of Butler ownership led to
the large-scale grant of leases and the subsequent growth of
industries and buildings. The town's growth and development was
accelerated in 1838 when the geographical county of Tipperary was
divided into two ridings and Nenagh became the administrative
capital of the North Riding. In this period Daniel O'Connell
held one of his Monster meetings
of the Act of Union
at Grange outside of
In the nineteenth century Nenagh was primarily a market town
providing services to the agricultural hinterland. Industries
included brewing, corn processing, coach building and iron works
with the addition of cottage industries
such as tailoring,
dressmaking, millinery, shoemaking, carpentry, wood-turning,
wheelwrighting, harnessmaking, printing, and monumental sculpting.
The Nenagh Co-operative Creamery was established in 1914 providing
employment in milk processing and butter-making.
the largest town in North Tipperary lies to the west of the Nenagh
River, which empties into Lough Derg at Dromineer, 9 km to the north-west, a popular centre for
sailing and other water sports.
Silvermines mountains lie to the south of the town, with the
highest peak being Keeper
Hill (Sliabh Ciamalta in Irish) at 694m.
The Silvermines Mountains have witnessed mining for silver
and base metals
and off over seven hundred years. Traces of 19th century mine
Nenagh has a mild climate, with the average daily maximum in July
of 19°C and the average daily minimum in January of 3°C.
This fine Norman Keep was built c1200 by Theobald Fitzwalter
first Butler, and completed by his son also Theobald
Butlers later became Earls of
Ormonde and Nenagh remained their principal seat until 1391
when the seat was moved to Kilkenny Castle where it remains to this day.
keep is over thirty metres high, and has a base of sixteen metres
and is one of the finest of itskind in Ireland.The crown of mock
crenellations and ring of clerestory windows were added at the
instigation of Rev. William Flannery in 1861. The intention was
that the keep would become the Bell tower
of a Pugin
-designed cathedral which was
Though not true to historic character these additions have ensured the iconic status of the keep which ensures that it features on the logos of many local clubs and businesses including Nenagh Town Council. A project is currently under way to develop the castle and its surrounds. This project will position the castle as the main tourist attraction in the area.
Other Historic Buildings
The old gaol, with its beautiful octagonal governor's residence,
has been happily reduced to the status of an historic monument.
Only one Gaol block remains intact. The Governor's Residence and
Gaol Gatehouse currently house Nenagh & District Heritage Centre
The town also contains the ruins of a Franciscan Friary and the
medieval priory of St John on the outskirts of the town at
St Mary's of the Rosary Catholic Church is a neo-gothic
church and was built
in 1895 to a design by architect Walter G Doolin.
It was constructed by John Sisk using Lahorna stone and Portroe slate with the Portland stone of the arches being the only imported material.
The adjacent St Marys Church of
Church was built in 1862 to a design by the architect
Joseph Welland. It is striking in its simplicity in contrast to its
larger and more ornate neighbour.
Nenagh Courthouse was built in 1843 to the design of Architect John
B Keane. The design was similar to his previous
courthouse in Tullamore which in turn followed William Morrison's designs
for Carlow and Tralee.
courthouse has recently been refurbished following the moving of
the County Council
offices to the new
Civic Offices. The grounds of the refurbished courthouse nearby
have recently become the site of bronze sculptures of three Olympic gold medallists
The Town Hall in Banba Square
Nenagh Town Hall is a distinctive building, which until 2005 housed
the offices of Nenagh Town Council and up until the 1980s Nenagh
, was built in 1895 and
designed by the then Town Engineer Robert Gill (grandfather of
Tomás Mac Giolla
Offices have recently opened on the Limerick Road housing both North
Tipperary County Council and Nenagh Town Council.
Designed by Ahrends Burton & Koralek, they have won
international recognition for their striking modern design.
situated on the R445 Regional Road, which links it to the N7 National Primary
Route (which bypasses the town to the south) between Limerick and Dublin, as well as
the N52 National Secondary Route to
Birr (and through the Midlands to Dundalk).
has a station on the railway line between Limerick and Ballybrophy. Passengers can connect at Ballybrophy to
trains heading northeast to Dublin or southwest
to Cork or Tralee.
Nenagh railway station
on 5 October 1863.
The railway line is lightly used. Lack of upkeep means that the
line is restricted to a maximum speed of 40 km/h and the
existing trains are poorly timetabled for commuters
. A committee (the Nenagh Rail Steering
Committee) working in conjunction with Irish Railway News, had a
meeting with the national railway company Iarnród Éireann
(IÉ) on 1
September 2005 to present the results of a traffic study funded by
Nenagh Town Council and North Tipperary County
, and to seek a morning and evening service between
Nenagh and Limerick which would increase commuter traffic. IÉ
agreed to delay an afternoon service from the December 2005
timetable and to work towards an early service when equipment
permitted from 2007.
While the twice-a-day service on the Ballybrophy/Limerick line is
poor, Nenagh is only 37 km from Thurles, which is on the main
Dublin/Cork line, and which has around 18 trains daily in each
direction, including non-stop services to and from Dublin.
Éire Óg Nenagh
Nenagh Éire Óg Colours
local Gaelic Athletic
club and has had a deal of success in County
Championships in both football and hurling, last winning the County
Championship in 1995. The club has been strongly represented on
All-Ireland winning Tipperary hurling
teams with players such as Mick Burns,
Heffernan, Conor O'Donovan and Hugh
After years of being one of the stronger junior Rugby clubs in
Munster winning many trophies in the late nineties and early part
of the new century Rugby Union
RFC became the first
Tipperary club to gain senior status by being promoted promoted to
the third division of the Rugby AIB
in 2005. Since going senior the club has competed
admirably in the AIL. The club has produced three full Irish
International players: Tony Courtney in the 1920s and more recently
and Donnacha Ryan
Statue of Olympic gold medalists
Hayes, McGrath and Tisdall in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, Ireland
The local athletic club Nenagh Olympic were named after three men
, Matt McGrath
) with Nenagh connections who won Olympic
Gold Medals and the badge of the club
is three interlocking Olympic Rings
in green, white and orange. A statue of the three has been erected
in Banba Square in the grounds of the Courthouse. The club has
produced many fine athletes including recently Gary Ryan who also
represented Ireland at the Olympics. The club also possesses
Ireland's first and to date only international standard indoor athletics
track at Tyone. Many
championships are held there including munster
championships and even all Ireland championships
Home to Nenagh A.F.C.(1951) and Nenagh Celtic F.C.(1981).Nenagh
A.F.C.'s home grounds are Brickfields and Islandbawn. Nenagh
Celtic's home ground is the VEC grounds.Nenagh Celtic over the last
decade have dominated the North Tipp soccer scene, winning numerous
Nenagh Golf Club located at Beechwood on the "Old Birr Road" was
affiliated to the Golfing Union of Ireland in 1929. The original 9 hole
course was designed by Alister McKenzie, who along with Bobby Jones designed the legendary
The course was expanded to 18 holes by
in 1973. The course was
expanded to 150 acres during the 1980s and 1990s and redevelopment
to a new design by Patrick Merrigan was completed in 2001.
The Nenagh Triathlon Club was formed in 2007 to cater for the
growing number of triathlon enthusiasts in the town.
Swimming is catered for by Nenagh Neptune Swimming club which is
based at the town's 25m swimming pool.
Riverdale Pitch And Putt Club on the "Old Birr Road" is a
registered Member of the pitch and putt union of Ireland.