Mitchelstown Cave – This picturesque cave considered one of the most spectacular in Ireland, its located on the border between the counties of Tipperary and Cork.
It’s one of the most well-known and complicated networks of European caves – the caves stretch from Mitchelstown to Cahir at a length of about 16 km and a width of 5 km.
It was discovered by chance on May 3, 1833, when the local farmer Michael Condon broke off the rocks on his home – by accident, the crowbar fell into the gap, and trying to retrieve it and discarding a few stones he discovered the entrance to the cave – the same which today is used to come and visit it.
After the discovery of the cave, Michael decided to explore it with two local boys, They only had primitive tools like ropes, candles and burning torches. Unfortunately after the candles were burned out, they were trapped in a cave of total darkness and spent 12 hours there, until the father of both boys found them.
The news about the discovery spread very quickly, which meant that almost immediately there were many people wanting to visit it – the family who lived at the entrance to the cave was the first family of guides who began to show visitors through the corridors – there were no lighting and stairs leading down so sightseeing was not the easiest one.
In 1834, the Royal Geological Society asked dr. James Apjohn of Trinity Collacge in Dublin and engineer Thomas Kearney to conduct research there. They used primitive tools for this, and the map they developed turned out to be extremely accurate – to the point that it was used for a very long time and served in future research.
In 1895 Mitchelstown Cave was examined by A.E. Martela – the most famous explorer of caves, a man who is still considered to be the father of speleology.
In the years 1960 – 1972 a staircase was poured there, a handrail was installed and lighting was installed, which made her the first show cave in Ireland
Caves can be visited daily, and visitors are guided through a mile-long corridor and three huge caves, which are filled with spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, and huge columns of calcite.