Fermoy Tourist Attractions
The little market town of Fermoy (Mainistir Fhear Muighe, "Abbey of the Plainsmen") lies inland from the Irish south coast between the foothills of the Knockmealdown and Nagles Mountains.The late Georgian Castle Hyde, which stands on the banks of the River Blackwater in the west of the town, was the ancestral home of Douglas Hyde, who was President of the Republic of Ireland from 1938 to 1945. There is excellent salmon and trout fishing, and angling competitions are regularly held in the area. There is also good coarse fishing; the Blackwater is the only river in Ireland in which roach are to be found. There are the remains of four castles on the banks of the river near the town.
The surroundings of Fermoy have many interesting sights.
Mitchelstown Caves, Mitchelstown
The north-south road (the N8) intersects with the N72, running east-west, in Fermoy. 10mi/16km north of the town on the N8 is Mitchelstown, a little country town with a creamery producing butter and cheese. It was an 18th C. planned town which expanded in the 19th C. Kingstown College (1780) is an attractive group of 18th C. buildings.7mi/11km northeast, in Tipperary county, are the Mitchelstown Caves. The Old Caves, which are difficult to access, provided a refuge for a 16th C. Earl of Desmond, who had a large price on his head. The New Caves, discovered in 1833, have fine stalagtitic formations; they can be seen on a guided tour (2mi/3km).
In hilly country 6mi/9.5km northwest of Mitchelstown, on the R665, we come to Labbamolaga, with the ruins of a modest Early English church (National Monument).
4.5mi/7km southeast of Fermoy is Castlelyons, with the remains of a 15th C. Carmelite friary (National Monument): a church, with a beautiful west doorway and tower, and other buildings.
A few miles east of Castlelyons, southeast of Fermoy, on a crag above the River Bride, stands a 14th C. tower house, Conna Castle (National Monument).
From Fermoy the N72 runs west, passing Ballyhooly Castle, to Mallow, an important sugar manufacturing center situated in the wooded valley of the Blackwater, a river well stocked with fish. In addition to good fishing the town has a golf course (18 holes) and a racecourse, and there is also hunting in the area. In the 18th and 19th C. Mallow was a much frequented spa, and still preserves something of the atmosphere of those days. It has a number of notable buildings - the Court House, the Market House, the picturesque half-timbered Clock House, some good 18th century dwelling houses and a few relics of its heyday as a fashionable spa, the old Spa House, the racecourse and the three gushing Springs in Fermoy Road. At the southeast end of the town are the ruins of Mallow Castle (16th C.: National Monument), with a small museum. Nearby are the remains of an earlier castle.
North of Mallow, on the N20, is Ballybeg Abbey (13th century: National Monument), with a very fine dovecot. The little town of Buttevant is close by.
North of Mallow, on the N20, is the little town of Buttevant, with a ruined church which belonged to a Franciscan friary (13th C.: National Monument); fine choir and crypt (underbuilding on a steep river bank). Ballybeg Abbey is close by.
This annual week-long festival takes place in early July. A traditional Irish fair, along with "baby" and "granny" beauty contests and other fun events fill the program.
A short distance to the northeast of Buttevant are the ruins of Kilcolman Castle, in which the poet Edmund Spenser (1552-99) lived for 13 years.
The little market town of Kanturk, 12mi/20km west of Mallow, has a large early 17th C. fortified house of the MacCarthys (National Monument). When news of the building of the castle reached England an order to cease work was issued; the castle has remained unfinished.9mi/15km northeast are the ruins of Liscarroll Castle (National Monument), a handsome tower house built in the 13th C. but much altered in later centuries; it is surrounded by a walled outer ward with defensive towers.
North of Kanturk on the R579, at Tullylease, are the ruins of a monastery of the 13th-15th C. (National Monument). It has a number of early gravestones built into the walls, including one on the east end of the church with fine ornament in the style of the eighth century "Book of Lindisfarne" and a Latin inscription.
Northwest of Fermoy on the R512 can be seen the Labbacallee Cairn (National Monument), an unusually large Neolithic wedge-shaped gallery grave with a rectangular main chamber and a smaller chamber to the rear. A short distance away is a roofless tomb.
A short distance from Labbacallee Cairn, to the northwest of Fermoy, we come to Glanworth, with an old 13-arched bridge over the River Funshion (view). In the surrounding area are a number of ruined castles on the banks of the river.
Wildlife Park, Doneraile
Doneraile has a wildlife park with 160 ha of parkland with mature groves of deciduous trees and herds of deer.