In 2020, Nenagh celebrated Nenagh 800, celebrating 800 years of the development and history of the town of Nenagh. There are so many elements that make Nenagh what it is – its agricultural roots and market town, its heritage – both physical and cultural, but most of all its people.
Nenagh first became established as a walled, Norman town in the 13th Century, when Theobald FitzWalter, the founder of the Butler dynasty in Ireland, built a castle in the Nenagh area. The Butlers made the town their principle seat in their palatinate, but it was later moved, in the 14th Century, to Kilkenny.
Nenagh is the largest town in north Tipperary with an urban population of 7,995 and is part of the historical Barony of Ormond Lower which was the traditional territory of the O’Kennedy’s prior to the Norman invasion. This land was included in the grant made by King John of England to Theobald, eldest son of Hervey Walter of Lancashire, England. Theobald was subsequently appointed Chief Butler of Ireland. Nenagh Castle was built c1216 and was the main castle of the Butler family before they moved to Gowran, County Kilkenny in the 14th century.
Nenagh lies on the banks of the Nenagh River which empties into Lough Derg at Dromineer (nine kilometres to the north-west) which is a popular centre for sailing and water sports. The Silvermines Mountain range lies to the south of the town (highest peak Keeper Hill at 694 metres).