Castleisland, County Kerry

Now a thriving market town this was once the formidable power base of the Earls of Desmond. Their Kerry headquarters, the supposedly impregnable ‘Castell of the Island’, is today and ivy-covered stump, seen on the right as the town is entered from Killarney. Castleisland is now noted for its distinctive red marble quarried here and used locally. From Glanshearoon Hill, to the north, there is a fine view of the Vale of Tralee.

Close to Castleisland is a recently discovered fossil cave system call Crag Cave. It is a cool, spectacular world where pale forests of stalagmites and stalactites, thousands of years old, throw eerie shadows around vast echoing caverns.

Magical names identify many of the cave’s special features – and the great love story of Irish mythology, the Passion of Diarmuid and Grainne (a saga that is part of the North Kerry folklore), has been woven into the tour-guide story of Crag. From a maze of side passages come the distant gushing sounds of underground streams traversing the depths of one Irelands longest cave systems – it is just over 2 miles long.

Castleisland is a must see on your tours of Ireland with its spectacular Caves and the mythology attached to it.