History of Cahir House
Cahir House replaced Cahir Castle in the 1770s as the ancestral home of the Butlers of Cahir, whose titles include Barons of Cahir and Earls of Glengall.
When Pierce Lord Cahir died in 1788 without an heir, the vast Cahir estates developed upon the impoverished twelve-year-old Richard Butler of Glengall, who had been whisked off to France by relatives. The wily Mrs. Jefferies of Blarney Castle rescued him and kept the young lord under her care until he was seventeen when he married her daughter Emily, then sixteen.
After a sumptuous wedding, the youthful couple took up residence in Cahir House and entertained the nobility of the country on a very regular basis.
On one occasion “Lord Cahir gave a most flaming fete champetre in Cahir House where the company dined under marquees on the lawn and danced all the evening. Lady Cahir danced an Irish jig in her stockings to the music of an old piper. We had a superb supper in the three largest rooms, all crowded as full as they could hold and we did not get home till eight o’clock next morning and so slept all the next day”. (D.Herbert1793)
For sixty years Cahir House was “home” to Lord Cahir’s family until 1853, when Richard, Earl of Glengall was declared bankrupt and the entire estates were sold. However, twenty years later, his daughter, Lady Margaret succeeded in repurchasing Cahir House and the entire Cahir estate and retained ownership until 1961 when her son Richard Butler Charteris died, thus ending a 600-year association between the Butlers and Cahir. Cahir House was occupied by Lady Margaret’s land agent for the latter half of the last century. In 1927, Miss Nora Burke leased the premises and opened Cahir House Hotel. For over forty years, the reputation of the hotel as a family run, warm, welcoming and hospitable establishment spread far and wide. Indeed, the visitor’s books include such names as De Valera, W.T. Cosgrave, Mae West, Douglas Fairbanks, Walt Disney, Jackie Kennedy to name but a few. The hotel continued to prosper under the strict management of Eileen McCool, until her death in 1974, and her legacy of genuine warmth and accommodation lives on in the hotel to this day.
The hotel has enjoyed a many and varied clientele since then and continues to incorporate the ideas and integrity of a time gone by with a modern efficiency and professionalism