Postcard to Kilrush Co-operative Creamery, Kilrush, from Carmody’s Hotel, Ennis, and dated May 17th, 1931. This postcard is significant as it refers to two businesses no longer in operation.
Carmody’s Hotel, which was established in 1804, has famous links with Charles Stewart Parnell as he first met Kitty O’Shea at this venue, with whom he later had an affair which was a scandal at the time. Carmody’s was a haven for political giants. O’Connell, Parnell, The O’Gorman Mahon and de Valera were all regular patrons. Crowds would flock down from O’Connell Street after deValera and wait to see him appear on an upstairs balcony to greet his hoards of supporters again.
On January 15th 1958 crowds converged on Carmody’s for a furniture auction in the Sarsfield Room on the second floor. At 2.35 pm the floor of the Sarsfield Room gave way under the weight of the people, who plummeted into the Commercial Room fourteen feet below. The place was described as, ‘a seething mass of humanity and debris’.
Within minutes of this tragedy, the emergency services and others rushed to the scene. Only after the dust had settled did Ennis finally begin to realise the extent of what had happened. The eight dead and 14 of the 25 injured were removed to the County Hospital and the local, national and international media began to descend on the town.
the dead was Ernest de Regge, a Belgian born in Flanders, in 1901. A
specialist in Church Music, de Regge will be remembered with great fondness
by Clare people as the Professor of Music at St. Flannan’s College,
and also for his involvement in the Cathedral Choir in Ennis. His memory,
along with the manuscripts owned by his daughter Ghislane Kozuh, are
preserved at Clare Museum, Ennis.