The Village of Tinahely (Tigh na hÉille) is set amidst the rolling hills of South Wicklow in the valley of the Derry River, close to the borders of Co. Carlow and Co. Wexford. It is a village steeped in history, having been burnt to the ground in 1798 and either directly or indirectly involved in many historical events ever since.
Originally part of Coolattin Estate which was owned by the Fitzwilliam family, it is a village full of character and folklore. Indeed, one of the village’s pubs bears the name ‘Black Tom’s’ for Thomas Wentworth who willed the estate of Coolattin to the Fitzwilliam family. For many years Tinahely was known far and wide as a famous market town and particularly for its annual 8th of May Horse Fair, second only to the fair in Ballinasloe.
The main feature of the town is its triangular “Market Square” dominated by the imposing Market House. Until the mid 1950’s this house enabled local farmers to market their produce locally. The market house was purchased and refurbished by Tinahely Courthouse Ltd. with assistance from Wicklow County Council and the Department of Environment’s Conservation grants scheme. It is currently a public library.
Facing the Market House is the beautifully restored 19th century Courthouse which now serves as a vibrant centre for the arts with regular programmes of exhibitions, concerts, films, and theatre productions.
Today, Tinahely is known nationally for the annual county show which is held on August Bank Holiday Monday and is one of the largest agricultural shows in Ireland, attracting up to 20,000 visitors and exhibitors.
There are a range of services in the village of Tinahely including a post office, library, a number of local shops, hairdressers, cafes, pubs and the Courthouse Arts Centre.
Visitors can avail of numerous amenities including horse riding, golf, angling, and hill walking along the Wicklow Way. Tomnafinnoge Wood lies between Tinahely and Shillelagh, and is one of the last remnants of Ireland’s original oak woodlands which once blanketed south Wicklow. Within an hour’s drive of Tinahely are the magnificent monastic settlement of Glendalough, Powerscourt House and Gardens, Glenmalure, and the “Featherbed” uplands. Wicklow, known as the Garden of Ireland, boasts some of the most spectacular landscapes and vistas in the country, as well as a host of activities for visitors, whether your interests are sport or outdoor pursuits, or cultural and artistic events.