The town of Killarney - one of Ireland's best known tourist
destinations - lies adjacent to the boundary of the National Park on
its north-eastern edge. Its name comes from "Chill Airne", meaning
"church of the sloe", the original site of which is thought to be
location of the present day St. Mary's Church of Ireland.
The spectacular scenery of the area, particularly the lakes has been
the basis of a tourism industry that has been operating in Killarney
for at least 200 years, although it was the visit of Queen Victoria
to the area in 1861 that saw the start of the large-scale tourism
that we know today.
The town itself is quite small, although the thriving tourism
means that the population of the town swells considerably during the
summer months. The total annual number of visitors to Killarney
reaches well over one million, and it is estimated that up to three
quarters of these will spend at least some of their stay within the
The most impressive building in the town is the Cathedral, which was
designed by Pugin and finally completed in the 1920's after some
eighty years of construction work.
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