Michelstown Caves were discovered in 1833 when a farm labourer called Michael Condon was quarrying limestone and dropped his crowbar into a cavern.
On the 13th September 1875 Timothy Mulcahy became the owner of the farm on which the cave is situated. Mr Mulcahy took a keen interest in the preservation of the cave.
Fortunately the cave has remained in the family ever since. Major work was started in the cave in 1969. Electricity was installed in 1972 making it the first cave in Ireland to have an electric lighting system. The result is a wonderland of muted colour. The cave is now open daily throughout the year and the temperature remains constantly at 54 fahrenheit.
Mitchelstown Caves are located in county Tipperary 12 kilometres east of Mitchelstown. The tours are approximately 2 kilometres in length going through several caverns with examples of different types of formations many of which are given colourful names.
The limestone being dissolved by rainwater percolating through the soil and stone is redeposited in the cave as the drops of water evaporate in the air forming stalactites, stalagmites, calcite columns, and flow stones among other examples of formations which are to be seen in the caves. Considering that it takes over a thousand years for a stalagmite or stalactite to grow a few centimetres the formations found in Mitchelstown Caves are highly impressive. Examples of 350 million year old fossils are to be seen as well as some cave fauna.