Mitchelstown Caves was discovered on the 3rd of May 1833, by Michael Condon who was quarrying limestone when he accidentally dropped his crowbar into a crevice. He stooped down to pull out a few boulders to retrieve the bar, next minute he found himself looking down into a vast series of underground chambers, passages and caverns.
Michael was determined to explore his discovery, accompanied by two boys named Shelly, using only candles, a rope and a burning turf tied to a string to judge depths of crevasses, they cautiously entered the cave. After spending hours exploring, the cave turned out to be far bigger than they were expecting and in attempting to return to the safety of the entrance their candles burned out leaving them in complete darkness for twelve hours before the father of the two boys found them. This is the singular way in which this astonishing phenomenon of nature was discovered, which might otherwise have remained unknown forever.