The parish of Caher was once under the instruction of this 17th century Roman Catholic Church. The graveyard around the Church has recently been restored and this peaceful area of Cahersiveen is the resting place of Morgan and Catherine O'Connell, the parents of Daniel O'Connell, 'The Liberator'.
Cahersiveen holds many O'Connell connections. Daniel O'Connell was born at Carhan House situated on the banks of the Carhan River, near the modern N70 road bridge and the Memorial Park commemorating him.
The parkland facing his birthplace, donated by John "Kitty" O'Sullivan, is a pleasant place to walk around, where there is a bust on display of Daniel O'Connell by sculptor Alan Hall of Valentia Island.
The Old Barracks Heritage Centre
Another place to visit is the Old Barracks Heritage Centre, a striking and imposing building, formerly an RIC Barracks, construction of which started in 1870 and was completed in 1875.
It operated until the beginning of 1922, but on August 22nd of that year, the Republican Forces in the area burned the Barracks, as they did not want the Free State Troops to use it as a base. The ruins remained as a stark reminder of those times until 1992, when the local development group decided to restored it to its former Schloss design as a focal point for the community.
now houses a permanent showcase exhibition of local history, culture, archaelogy, flora & fauna and geology, with an informative audio visual display about the area for tourists and visitors.
The Daniel O'Connell Memorial Church
For those interested in Daniel O'Connell, Cahersiveen has a magnificent church dedicated to his memory in the town centre, probably one of the only churches dedicated to a lay person. The church received the Papal Blessing for its construction on January 1st 1884 by Pope Leo XIII and Canon Timothy Brosnan, which immediately started the building process. Approximately £17,000 was raised at the time, much of this coming from America and Australia. The first Mass was celebrated there on December 14th 1902.
Another local hero is also buried there, Father Hugh O'Flaherty, the "Pimpernel of the Vatican", who saved the lives of over 4,000 Allied POW[s] and Jews in the Second World War. He died peacefully in Cahersiveen in October 1963 at the age of 65. Gregory Peck, who portrayed him in the 1983 film 'The Scarlet and the Black', visited Cahersiveen with his wife in 1993 on a pilgrimage to seek out O'Flaherty's grave in the grounds of the Daniel O'Connell Memorial Church.