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History of Waterville

Waterville (Irish: An Coireán, meaning ‘”The Little Whirlpool” or “The Sickle”’)

The town’s name in Irish refers to the river in the case of “The Little Whirlpool”, or “The Sickle” refers to the shape of Ballinskelligs Bay on which the town sits; the name however has been transplanted onto the lake with the Irish name being Loch Luíoch or Loch Luidheach. The Butler family built a house at the mouth of the River Currane in the latter part of the 18th century. They named their house and estate Waterville. The village that developed on the estate during the first half of the 19th century was also named Waterville. Cyrus Field happened to be from Waterville City, Maine, USA. It was he who decided to locate a cable station of his Commercial Cable Company just outside the existing village in the 1880’s in the townland of Spunkane. The cable station brought much activity to Waterville and increased the town in size. The N70 Ring of Kerry route passes through the town. Waterville has a population of 538 (CSO 2002).