Birr is a designated Irish Heritage Town with a carefully preserved Georgian heritage. Birr itself has graceful wide streets and elegant buildings. Many of the houses in John's Place and Oxmantown Mall have exquisite fanlight windows of the Georgian period.
In Emmet Square stands Dooly's Hotel: one of the oldest coaching inns in Ireland, dating from 1747. The name of Galway Blazers was given to the Galway Hunt after a celebration held in the hotel in 1809 resulted in the premises being set on fire. The column in the centre of the square dates from 1747 and was built to carry the statue of the Duke of Cumberland, known as the Bloody Duke and the victor of the Battle of Culloden. The statue was removed in 1915 as it was in danger of collapse. On the Roscrea road, near the County Arms Hotel is the beautiful gothic-style Catholic church of 1817–25.
The town was also the location of The Crotty Schism, one of the few schisms to affect the Catholic Church in Ireland in the 19th century.
A main feature on the grounds of the castle is the great Leviathan of Parsonstown, an astronomical telescope with a 72-inch metal mirror erected by the third Earl of Rosse, which was, until 1917, the largest telescope in the world.
The Ormond Flying Club has been in operation at Birr Airfield for over 30 years. The area has been linked with aviation for some time - as a British Army airstrip was previously near the current field.
The first ever All-Ireland hurling final was played in Birr, on Easter Sunday, 1 April 1888, between Tipperary and Galway. The match was won by Tipperary on a score line of 1 goal, 1 point and 1 forfeit point to Galway’s no score. A forfeit point was given against a player carrying the sliotar over his own goal line.
GAA: BIRR LEFT IN COLD BY CLASSY TOWN; Castletown 2-10; Birr 1-08; Reigning Leinster Hurling Champions Lose out in Thriller
Nov 06, 2000; LAOIS champions Castletown wrote a glorious chapter into their history books as they produced their greatest ever display to...