Lisdoonvarna is a spa town of 739 people in County Clare in Ireland. The town is famous for its music and festivals. Although the music festival was discontinued in the 1980s, Lisdoonvarna still hosts its annual matchmaking festival each September. Lisdoonvarna is located in the area of County Clare known as the Burren, on the N67 road between Ballyvaughan and Ennistymon; the Aille river flows through the town, where it is joined by the Kilmoon streams. The town is in the civil parish of Kilmoon. Nearby townlands in this parish include Ballyinsheen Beg, Ballyinsheen More and Rooska; the town takes its name from the Irish Lios Dúin Bhearna meaning the "lios dúin", or enclosured fort, of the gap. It is believed that the fort referred to in this name is the green earthen fort of Lissateeaun, which lies 3 km to the northeast of the town, near the remains of a Norman-era castle; the present town is a comparatively new one by Irish standards, dating from the start of the 19th century. The spa official opened in 1845.
By the 1880s, the facilities were quite primitive. The wells were owned, by the Guthrie family; the wells were developed and baths built by the new owner, a Dr. Westropp, who lived in a house overlooking the spa. On 11 September 1887 the house of landowner Mike Walsh was attacked by "moonlighters". A detachment of the Royal Irish Constabulary defended the house and its owner and there was heavy fighting in and around the house. Head Constable Whelehan was killed. All the moonlighters were captured. Seven constables, four acting constables and two head constables received the Constabulary Medal for valour; the spa prospered into the 20th century. In 1920, it was called the "Homberg of the Irish priests"; the area was classified as part of the West Clare Gaeltacht. In September each year one of Europe's largest matchmaking events is held in the town attracting upwards of 40,000 romantic hopefuls, bachelor farmers and accompanying revellers; the month-long event is an important tourist attraction. The current matchmaker is a fourth-generation matchmaker.
A now-defunct music festival which took place near the town is celebrated in a song of the same name written by the Irish folk singer, Christy Moore. This festival took place until 1983, when the last event was marred by a riot and the accidental drowning of eight people; the spa consisted of four wells. Copperas Well, on Kilmoon stream, is now closed, it was used externally for skin conditions and sores. The Magnesia and Iron Well remains open in season; the Twin Wells offer water rich in sulphur. The main Sulphur Well lies at the bottom of the hill. All the waters contain iodine; the spa park is located at the confluence of the Gowlaun rivers. The spa complex features a Victorian pump house among other amenities. Bus Éireann route 350 links Lisdoonvarna to several locations: Ennis, Cliffs of Moher, Fanore and Galway. There are a number of journeys each way daily. Onward rail and bus connections are available at Galway. Spectacle Bridge, spanning the Aille river, dates from 1850. List of towns and villages in Ireland BBC World Service documentary about the matchmaking festival Lisdoonvarna at the Clare County Library
Kilkee is a small coastal town in County Clare, Ireland. It is in the parish of Kilkee Kilfearagh. Kilkee is midway between Doonbeg on the N67 road; the town is popular as a seaside resort. The horseshoe bay is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by the Duggerna Reef. During the early part of the 19th century, Kilkee was just a small fishing village but in the 1820s when a paddle steamer service from Limerick to Kilrush was launched, it began to attract visitors, it has been a resort since and was featured on the front page of the Illustrated London News as the premier bathing spot in what was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. As the town was more accessible to people from Limerick rather than Clare, holidaying in Kilkee became more of a Limerick custom, due to steamboats travelling daily up and down the River Shannon; the town grew as wealthy merchants from Limerick wanted holiday homes by the sea, resulting in a building boom in the 1830s. As demand for lodgings in Kilkee grew, several hotels were built.
Along with these, three churches were built, a Roman Catholic church in 1831, a Protestant church in 1843 and a Methodist church in 1900, reflecting the cosmopolitan feel of the town in that era. On 30 January 1836 the Intrinsic, a ship from Liverpool bound for New Orleans, was blown into a bay near Bishops Island in Kilkee; the ship was dashed against the cliffs and sank along with her crew of 14, of whom none survived. The shipwreck site is now called'Intrinsic Bay'. A chartered passenger sailing vessel named the Edmond sank at Edmond Point on 19 November 1850; the ship was driven into Kilkee Bay by a storm. As the tide was high, the ship was driven all the way to Edmond Point, where it split in two. Of the 216 on board, 98 drowned in the disaster. 50 years to the day after the Intrinsic sank, on 30 January 1886, the Fulmar sank just north of Kilkee in an area known as Farrihy Bay. The ship was a cargo vessel transporting coal from Troon in Scotland to Limerick, but never reached its destination.
Of the 17 crew members aboard only one body was recovered. Between 28 and 29 December 1894, the Inishtrahull went missing somewhere near the Kilkee coast. At the time of the disappearance the ship was transporting a consignment of coal from Glasgow to Limerick but never reached its intended destination; the ship was only confirmed to have sunk on 3 January 1985, when a section of a port bow from a ship with a brass plate marked "Glasgow" was picked up by the Kilkee coastguards. In the 1890s, Kilkee had yet again another boom, when the West Clare Railway opened up to goods transport, improving commercial life in the area, as well as providing a fast means of travel to and from the town. Many prominent people in society travelled to Kilkee including Sir Aubrey de Vere, Charlotte Brontë, Sir Henry Rider Haggard, Alfred, Lord Tennyson. In 1896, the Crown Princess of Austria visited the town; the entertainer Percy French was a regular performer in the town and an incident on the West Clare Railway on the way to Kilkee prompted him to write the song "Are Ye Right There Michael".
Although it has become more developed and modern in recent years, the town retains some of its 19th-century Victorian feel. Kilkee has been awarded the Blue Flag by the European Commission. In 2006, a statue of Richard Harris was unveiled in Kilkee by actor Russell Crowe. Over the more recent years, during a period of rapid economic growth in Ireland known as the'Celtic Tiger', Kilkee underwent considerable expansion with the development of hotels and other forms of housing. During this period, the beach or "horse shoe" bay was crowded as the population expanded to 25,000 during the summer months, although this peak has fallen from 2008 onwards as the Irish financial crisis has prevented as much people from visiting the town for the summer; the town's main source of income is still the tourism sector and therefore many recreational places have been established, including restaurants and cafés. After the last weekend of August the town empties and many businesses close until the next summer, creating a much slower pace of life compared to the hectic summer months.
This means that if the local businesses do not have a good summer in terms of sales, they might suffer financially for the rest of the year. Summer holidays in 1950s Kilkee are evocatively described in Rathcormick. Along with bathing on the strand, swimmers can choose from the Pollock Holes, New Found Out and Byrnes Cove; the Pollock Holes, known as Duggerna Reef, are three natural rock-enclosed pools, with water, changed by every tide. This not only brings in fresh water, but replenishes the marine life in the many rock pools surrounding it; the diving boards at New Found Out allow for dives of up to 13 metres into the open sea. The annual diving competition is held at these boards; every year there are many participants in the Bay Swim, a race of a mile from the east end of the town to the west across the bay. The race starts at Byrnes Cove, a sheltered cove situated close to George's Head, a prominent headland in the town. In 2011 nearly 200 people took part in the swim. There is a mini bay swim for children under fourteen, from Sandy Cove to the Pier.
The last weekend in June sees an influx of triathletes as Kilkee hosts the "Hell of the West Triathlon", the longest-running triathlon in the country. This is one of the biggest and toughest triathlons on the Irish Triathlon calendar with upwards of 600 athletes taking part in a 1500-metre swim, 45 km cycle and finishing with a 10 km road race. Kilkee
In Old World archaeology, Mesolithic is the period between the Upper Paleolithic and the Neolithic. The term Epipaleolithic is used synonymously for outside northern Europe, for the corresponding period in the Levant and Caucasus; the Mesolithic has different time spans in different parts of Eurasia. It refers to the final period of hunter-gatherer cultures in Europe and Western Asia, between the end of the Last Glacial Maximum and the Neolithic Revolution. In Europe it spans 15,000 to 5,000 BP; the term is less used of areas further east, not at all beyond Eurasia and North Africa. The type of culture associated with the Mesolithic varies between areas, but it is associated with a decline in the group hunting of large animals in favour of a broader hunter-gatherer way of life, the development of more sophisticated and smaller lithic tools and weapons than the heavy chipped equivalents typical of the Paleolithic. Depending on the region, some use of pottery and textiles may be found in sites allocated to the Mesolithic, but indications of agriculture are taken as marking transition into the Neolithic.
The more permanent settlements tend to be close to the sea or inland waters offering a good supply of food. Mesolithic societies are not seen as complex, burials are simple; the terms "Paleolithic" and "Neolithic" were introduced by John Lubbock in his work Pre-historic Times in 1865. The additional "Mesolithic" category was added as an intermediate category by Hodder Westropp in 1866. Westropp's suggestion was controversial. A British school led by John Evans denied any need for an intermediate: the ages blended together like the colors of a rainbow, he said. A European school led by Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet asserted that there was a gap between the earlier and later. Edouard Piette claimed to have filled the gap with his naming of the Azilian Culture. Knut Stjerna offered an alternative in the "Epipaleolithic", suggesting a final phase of the Paleolithic rather than an intermediate age in its own right inserted between the Paleolithic and Neolithic. By the time of Vere Gordon Childe's work, The Dawn of Europe, which affirms the Mesolithic, sufficient data had been collected to determine that a transitional period between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic was indeed a useful concept.
However, the terms "Mesolithic" and "Epipalaeolitic" remain in competition, with varying conventions of usage. In the archaeology of Northern Europe, for example for archaeological sites in Great Britain, Scandinavia and Russia, the term "Mesolithic" is always used. In the archaeology of other areas, the term "Epipaleolithic" may be preferred by most authors, or there may be divergences between authors over which term to use or what meaning to assign to each. In the New World, neither term is used. "Epipaleolithic" is sometimes used alongside "Mesolithic" for the final end of the Upper Paleolithic followed by the Mesolithic. As "Mesolithic" suggests an intermediate period, followed by the Neolithic, some authors prefer the term "Epipaleolithic" for hunter-gatherer cultures who are not succeeded by agricultural traditions, reserving "Mesolithic" for cultures who are succeeded by the Neolithic Revolution, such as the Natufian culture. Other authors use "Mesolithic" as a generic term for post-LGM hunter-gatherer cultures, whether they are transitional towards agriculture or not.
In addition, terminology appears to differ between archaeological sub-disciplines, with "Mesolithic" being used in European archaeology, while "Epipalaeolithic" is more common in Near Eastern archaeology. The Balkan Mesolithic begins around 15,000 years ago. In Western Europe, the Early Mesolithic, or Azilian, begins about 14,000 years ago, in the Franco-Cantabrian region of northern Spain and southern France. In other parts of Europe, the Mesolithic begins by 11,500 years ago, it ends with the introduction of farming, depending on the region between c. 8,500 and 5,500 years ago. Regions that experienced greater environmental effects as the last glacial period ended have a much more apparent Mesolithic era, lasting millennia. In northern Europe, for example, societies were able to live well on rich food supplies from the marshlands created by the warmer climate; such conditions produced distinctive human behaviors that are preserved in the material record, such as the Maglemosian and Azilian cultures.
Such conditions delayed the coming of the Neolithic until some 5,500 BP in northern Europe. The type of stone toolkit remains one of the most diagnostic features: the Mesolithic used a microlithic technology – composite devices manufactured with Mode V chipped stone tools, while the Paleolithic had utilized Modes I–IV. In some areas, such as Ireland, parts of Portugal, the Isle of Man and the Tyrrhenian Islands, a macrolithic technology was used in the Mesolithic. In the Neolithic, the microlithic technology was replaced by a macrolithic technology, with an increased use of polished stone tools such as stone axes. There is some evidence for the beginning of construction at sites with a ritual or astronomical significance, including Stonehenge, with a short row of large post holes aligned east-west, a possible "lunar calendar" at Warren Field in Scotland, with pits of post holes of varying sizes, thought to reflect the lunar phases. Both are dated to before c. 9,000 BP. As the "Neolithic package" (including farming, polished stone axes, timber longhouses and pot
Ailladie is an 800 metre long west-facing limestone sea-cliff, varying in height from 8 metres to 35 metres, on the coast of The Burren in County Clare, Ireland. It is one of Ireland's most highly-regarded rock-climbing locations, it is a location for shore-angling competitions, with its cliffs and view of the Aran Islands, a popular photography stop for tourists. The cliffs are referred to locally, by anglers, as Ballyreen Cliffs and Ballyreen Point, an anglicised version of the name of Ailladie's local townland: Irish: Baile Uí Rinn. Ailladie is hidden from view, just off the R477 road, 1.5 km before the road turns inland and south-east to Lisdoonvarna. The Ailladie car-park is opposite the Stone Wall section of the cliff. Beside the car park, to the south, is the smaller rock climbing crag known as Ballyryan. Access to the base of the cliff is only possible without abseiling at the northernmost end, where there is a 3–metre roped fisherman's descent to Ailladie's base, a large limestone platform.
The cliff straddles the Clare townlands of Ballyryan, Crumlin. Ailladie's northern half covers the sections known to climbers as the Dancing Ledges and the Aran Wall, sits above a large rock platform making it accessible, via the 3 metre roped fisherman's descent, regardless of tides. Ailladie climbers use the climber's descent area at O'Conner's Corner; the Dancing Ledges is the lowest section of Ailladie with several climbs of 10–15 metres. The first part of Ailladie's southern half is Mirror Wall, it is accessible by boulder-hopping at low-tide, although many abseil down to the start of the climbs; the remainder of the southern half of Ailladie, the Stone Wall, An Falla Uaigneach, Boulder Wall sections, require abseils. The impressive An Falla Uaigneach sector is into a hanging belay, offers high-grade deep water soloing at grade 7c+, but with 30 metre drops; the rock is limestone, of good clean blue/grey quality and hanging in a sheer vertical form. Its texture is described as "varies from smooth, in the few small areas exposed by rockfall, to a sharp popcorn texture which provides excellent friction".
Most climbs follow steep narrow finger-crack lines, protection is good. The last guidebook, published in 2008, lists 170 climbs, nearly all single-pitch, with grades up to E7 6c. Most Ailladie climbs are above, E1 5b grades; the lower sections of some routes, the climbing grade, can change due to the movements of large boulders in sea storms, hence why many Mirror Wall climbers start from a hanging belay. The climbing potential of Ailladie was discovered in August 1972, when it was visited by a group of Dublin climbers. Word of its quality spread and development began in earnest. Since Ailladie has remained at the "cutting edge" of Irish outdoor traditional rock climbing, along with the dolerite Fair Head cliff in County Antrim. UKC describes Ailladie as "Best coastal limestone in the world! Fact!" Ailladie, the smaller nearby climbing crags in The Burren area, are the only on-shore limestone rock climbing locations in Ireland. Visiting climbers either camp in the fields above the crag, or stay at one of the many hostels in the surrounding villages.
There are several nearby inland 10–20 metre high limestone crags with many graded rock climbs in the grades below VS, that are within walking distance, or a short driving distance, from Ailladie. The limestone ledges at the base of Ailladie's cliffs, are regarded for their shore-angling and are described as providing "superb bottom fishing". Anglers know the area as Ballyreen-south of Fanore, several of the rocks have numbers painted on them for shore-angling competitions. Ballyreen is noted as one of the few shore-angling locations in Clare where sharks, conger eels have been landed; because of the proximity of these low limestone ledges to deep Atlantic waters, the ledges have seen several fatalities over the years of anglers who caught by sudden swells and large waves, carried out to sea. As well as rock-climbing accidents, shore-angling fatalities, Ailladie's sea-cliffs attract tourists. There have been a number of tourist fatalities over the years from falls at the cliffs. Torrans, Calvin.
Rock Climbing In Ireland. Constable. ISBN 978-0094653207. Torrans, Calvin. Rock Climbing Guide to the Burren. Mountaineering Council of Ireland. ISBN 978-0902940079. Torrans, Calvin. Climbing guide to the Burren. Mountaineering Council of Ireland. ISBN 0-902940-12-0. Owens, Peter. Climbs in the Burren and Aran Islands. Mountaineering Ireland. ISBN 0-902940-21-X. Flanagan, David. Rock Climbing in Ireland. Three Rock Books. ISBN 978-0956787422. Aill na Cronain, inland rock climbing limestone crag in County Clare, right beside the Aillwee Cave Ballyryan, inland rock
Clarecastle is a village in County Clare, located just south of Ennis. Over the eight years through 2008 to now 2016 the village saw a big population increase due to its close proximity to Ennis and Limerick; the town is named after the Clare Castle, which stands on an island in the narrowest navigable part of the River Fergus. The Irish Clár, meaning a wooden board, is used for a bridge; the name originated as Clár adar da choradh, which means "the bridge between two weirs". Another explanation of the name is that the de Clare family gave the castle its name, since they had acquired land in Kilkenny and Thomond that included the castle. In 1590 County Clare was named after the castle, in a strategic location. Clarecastle is a parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Killaloe, it is known as Ballyea/Clarecastle. Clare Abbey and Killone Abbey are linked by the Pilgrim's road. Clarecastle was once a port for boats, used to deliver items into the town of Ennis that could not navigate the river Fergus.
The Quay of Clarecastle was a busy port during its time. Today it is used for recreation; the main sport played in Clarecastle is hurling with the teams of all age groups named Clarecastle GAA. The team colours are black and white and are known as the'magpies'; the composer Gerald Barry was born in Clarecastle in 1952. List of abbeys and priories in County Clare List of towns and villages in Ireland Clarecastle GAA
Ennis is the county town of County Clare, Ireland. The Irish name is short for Inis Cluana Rámhfhada; the town is on the River Fergus, north of where it enters the Shannon Estuary, 19 km from Shannon Airport. In 2016, Ennis had a population of 25,276, making it the largest town in Clare and the 12th largest in Ireland; the name Ennis comes from the Irish word "Inis", meaning "island". This name relates to an island formed between two courses of the River Fergus on which the Franciscan Friary was built; the past of Ennis is associated with the O'Brien dynasty, who were descendants of Brian Boru. In the 12th century, the O'Briens, who were Kings of Thomond, left their seat of power in Limerick and built a royal residence at Clonroad on what was an island. In 1240, King Donnchadh O'Brien ordered the construction of an extensive church which he donated to the Franciscans; the centuries which followed bore great activity. The Friary was expanded and students came in great flocks to study at the theological college.
The Friars, who were free to move about, met the spiritual needs of the local population. It was a religious centre until the Dissolution of the Monasteries; because it never had town walls, Ennis became a location for merchants from Limerick when Catholics were forbidden to reside in the walled towns by the Penal Laws, much of its past prosperity is attributable to this influx. It became a thriving market town in the late 18th century and this expansion continued unabated throughout the 19th century, except the period after the Famine c. 1850. in the colonial period, a number of landmark structures were constructed, including the Mill and Courthouse. The town contains a number of old military barracks, most notably the Old Military Barracks on the Kilrush road. Many locals served in the British Army in the First World War; the Clare Road and Clonroad areas contain terraced cottages built in the early 20th century to house soldiers. On Station Road called Jail Road, a gaol once stood. Ennis was governed by a town council from around the 17th century onwards, before the Local Government Reform Act 2014 dissolved this with the creation of the Ennis Municipal District under the authority of Clare County Council.
Politically, Ennis has always been considered a Fianna Fáil stronghold. However, in the 2009 local elections the party was reduced to just one member out of nine on Ennis Town Council. A monument to Éamon de Valera, founder of the party and former President of Ireland, stands outside Ennis Courthouse; the River Fergus runs through the middle of Ennis, is a well-known trout and salmon fishery. At one time, small sailing boats made their way up river from the Shannon and berthed in the centre of the town at Woodquay; this area of the town along with Parnell Street and Mill Road was susceptible to flooding, but the flood defence system put an end to the event in Parnell Street and the Mill Road areas, although in November 2009 other parts of the town experienced severe flooding. A new pedestrian bridge, Harmony Row Bridge, was built over the river Fergus in June 2009. Clare became a county under the rule of Elizabeth I and Ennis was chosen as its capital by the Earls of Thomond because of its central location and great influence.
Ennis received a grant to hold fairs and markets in 1610 and some years a Charter for a Corporation with a Provost, Free Burgesses, Commonalty and a Town Clerk. Ennis continued to expand in the following centuries as a market town and as a manufacturing and distributing centre. Many commodities were conveyed by river to Clarecastle for shipment abroad. Ennis is an important market town; the market square is still home to market stalls on each Saturday through the year, although with the rise in the town's commercial retail sector it has shifted from agricultural produce to textiles and home hardware. The market has an organic farming element; the town centre consists of medieval narrow streets and laneways, overshadowed by structures built over the last thousand years. Of the main thoroughfares, Parnell Street has been pedestrianised, while the others, O'Connell Street, Bindon Street and Abbey Street, are one way; the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul is on the fringe of the old town centre.
Ennis serves as a major regional hub for County Clare. Among its emergency services, it contains the Ennis Regional Hospital, the HQ of the Clare Divisional Garda, the Clare Fire Brigade and Civil Defence. Ennis includes many relief organisations, such as The Samaratans, Clare Care and St. Vincent De Paul. Among its civil services, it contains Clare County Council, as well as Family affairs. Ennis has been a centre for Irish Traditional Music, since 1974 has hosted the Fleadh Nua in late May each year, the second largest traditional music festival in Ireland. There are other traditional festivals held in the town as well such as the Ennis Trad Festival held annually in November. Ennis is served by both rail links to all major cities and towns in Ireland; the main bus depot is adjacent to the town's train station and both are about one kilometre from the town centre. Ennis railway station is on the Clon Road toward the east of the town, which links to the main N18 in either direction. Bus services are provided to Shannon Airport, Limerick, Cork and all routes in between and run nearly every hour.
Shannon Airport is 15 minutes from Ennis, providing daily flights to US destinations. Twenty rail services per day are now provided to and from Limerick, from where connecting rail services are available to both Dublin Heuston and Cork; the Western Railway Corridor north of Ennis reopened on 30 March 2010 with five re
Kilrush is a coastal town in County Clare, Ireland. It is the name of a civil parish and an ecclesiastical parish in Roman Catholic Diocese of Killaloe, it is located near the mouth of the River Shannon in the south-west of the county. Kilrush is one of the listed Heritage Towns of Ireland; the area was classified as part of the West Clare Gaeltacht, an Irish-speaking community, until 1956. Kilrush has existed since the 16th Century. However, it was not until the 18th century; this development coincided with the succession of John Ormsby Vandeleur as the wealthiest landlord in the district. Of Dutch origin, the Vandeleur family was the most prominent landlord family in West Clare, they designed the layout of the town and many of the present day street names derive from Vandeleur family names. The Vandeleurs had settled in the area, as tenants to the Earl of Thomond on land at Ballynote, Kilrush, in about 1656. Giles, the first Vandeleur in the area was the father of the Rev. John Vandeleur, appointed prebend of Iniscathaigh in March 1687.
He was buried at Kilrush in 1727. In 1749, John Vandeleur, son of the Rev. John, purchased lands in West Clare to the value of £9,826.0.6, from the fortune, acquired as one of the Commissioners for applotting quit rents in Ireland John Ormsby Vandeleur built the large family home, Kilrush House in 1808. He owned much of Kilrush. With wealth achieved from a financially beneficial marriage and some political skulduggery, he decided to develop the town. A Scots businessman James Paterson, a gunboat lieutenant until 1802, assisted him in this project. Paterson entered the oats trade in west Clare and in 1802 he was given a site on the square from Vandeleur and erected a six-storey building; the Napoleonic Wars led to an improvement in agricultural prices. As Kilrush and the neighbouring countryside began to prosper, Hely Dutton reported in 1808 that the town was'rising fast into some consequence', he acknowledged Paterson's role as a'very active and intelligent inhabitant, of the utmost benefit to Kilrush, the adjoining counties'.
In 1812 Paterson went into the shipping business and by 1817 he had a steamboat operating between Limerick and Kilrush. The increasing popularity of Kilkee as a bathing resort brought many transit travellers to Kilrush. In 1837 Samuel Lewis described Kilrush as a seaport and post town; the main industries, chiefly for home consumption, were flannels and bundle cloth. The main trade was corn, pigs, agricultural products and hides. There were works for refining rock salt for domestic use, a tan-yard, a soap factory and a nail factory. Branches of the national and agricultural banks had been opened in the town and a constabulary police force was stationed there. A small prison was built in 1825 and a court house in 1831; however the famine years brought much hardship to Kilrush. Famine, evictions and cholera reduced the population of south-west Clare to such an extent that it never again attained its pre-famine numbers; this was vividly dramatised for radio in 1980. In the post-famine era, the Vandeleur name became synonymous with the worst of landlord evictions, with over 20,000 evicted in the Kilrush Union.
The Kilrush workhouse witnessed deaths. By that stage Hector Vandeleur had succeeded John Ormsby Vandeleur. Kilrush commercially survived the setbacks of the Great Famine to a great extent as a result of the arrival of the West Clare Railway towards the end of the 19th century, developed into a bustling market town. There is a 1500-year-old monastic settlement at Scattery Island in the Shannon estuary, about 15 minutes from Kilrush by boat; the settlement was founded by St. Senan, it features one of tallest round towers in Ireland. The old port of Kilrush is now home to a 120 berth marina with lock gate access to the Shannon Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. An impressive walled garden on the grounds of the old Vandeleur estate can still be visited today, though Kilrush House was gutted by fire in the late 19th century and demolished in the 1970s due to safety hazard, it stood. Kilrush was the host venue for the 2013 National Famine Commemoration. Offshore resides a large pod of Bottlenose dolphins.
Dolphin-watching tour boats depart daily from the Kilrush marina, the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation has an information centre nearby. Kilrush has been twinned with the town of Plouzané in Brittany, France since 1982. In 2015, Kilrush won an Entente Florale gold medal, a European-wide horticultural and environmental competition. Kilrush represented Ireland in the ‘Village’ category of the competition for population centres of less than 5,000 people; the town has an 18-hole golf course on the Ennis Road. The Western Yacht Club has in the last decades been rejuvenated, being one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world. Tennis and athletics are catered for at the Cooraclare Road complex; the rugby club is based on the Doonbeg Road. Kilrush Shamrocks GAA Club is located on the Killimer Road; the ground, Captain Tubridy Memorial Park is traditionally called "The Cricket Field", since it was used for that sport during the 19th century. The club has recorded 21 county titles. Kilrush is home to the West Clare Triathlon Club, a multi-discipline sports club, which trains and competes in the following sports – swimming and running.
Kilrush was the birthplace of a number of renowned sportspeople listed in the Notable People section below. Kilrush has two primary schools and one secondary