Many visitors to Waterville are surprised to find a bronze statue of Charlie Chaplin in the centre of the village. In 1952, when he left America to promote his latest film Limelight in London, Chaplins re-entry permit to the US was revoked (Chaplin was English by birth), due to FBI suspicions that he was a communist.
Chaplin now remained in exile in Europe, and he settled his family in Switzerland. They first visited Waterville in 1959, encountering the village while touring the Ring of Kerry, and they stayed at the Butler Arms Hotel.
The family fell in love with the village, and returned here every year, usually at Easter, for the next decade. The Chaplin children have retained their connection with Waterville. According to Geraldine Chaplin my father felt very romantic toward my mother when they were in Ireland.
The newly established Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival is held in Waterville each year, with the permission of the family. It commemorates the work of the actor.