|Clare County Library||
|Vandeleurs of Kilrush County
by Senan Scanlan
6. Vandeleurs leave Kilrush
Giles Vandeleur was the first of the name to establish a connection with Kilrush, by becoming tenant to the Earl of Thomond for Ballynote, which he held in 1656. His son Rev. John Vandeleur was appointed to the prebend of Iniscathay in March 1687. When he died in 1727 he was interred at Kilrush. On January 7th, 1749 John Vandeleur son Rev. John Vandeleur, purchased those lands inter alia in West Clare, for the sum of £9,826-0-6½. From 1727 the family lived in Dublin or in England, having no residence in Kilrush, until Kilrush House was built in 1808. John Vandeleur's son Crofton was M P for Ennis in 1768. Crofton son the Right Honorable John Ormsby Vandeleur was M.P. for Ennis 1802 and he built Kilrush House in 1808 and died 1828. John Ormsby's son and heir, Crofton Moore Vandeleur was M P for Clare from 1859 to 1874 and was head of the Kilrush Vandeleurs for fifty three years until his death in November 1881.From 1881 until Kilrush House burned down in March 1897 his son and heir Hector Stewart lived mainly in London and only spent short periods each year in Kilrush. Indeed during the years 1886 to 1890 which coincided with the period of the greatest number evictions form the Vandeleur Estate he does not appear to have visited Kilrush. In 1889 he bought Cahircon House and then it was only a matter of time before the Vandeleurs moved to Cahircon as in 1896 they were organising shooting parties at Kilrush House and also at the Cahircon Demesne. In April 1901 Hector leased the shooting rights at Cahircon from James C. R. Scott for seven years for £5 and in October 1908 he again leased these rights for another seven years.
During 1901 two members of the family died Hector’s brother Colonel J.O.M. Vandeleur died in February 1901 and was buried at Kilrush. Hector’s son Lieut.Col. Cecil F. S. Vandeleur was killed in South Africa in August 1901.
During the next eight years until 1909 Hector and his family visited Cahircon each year, usually entertaining guests there and organising shooting parties. Hector died in October 1909 and was the last Vandeleur to be buried at Kilrush in the Vandeleur mausoleum. Hector's, son Captain Alexander Moore was killed in October 1914 and Hector’s mother Charlotte died in November 1915. Captain Alexander Moore’s son and heir, Giles Alexander, was only three year old when his father was killed. Later as Lieut-Col Giles Alexander he married first in 1946 and again in 1955, 1960 and 1970 and it would appear that he had no male heirs
Hon. Violet Ethel (Meysey-Thompson) wife of Captain Alexander Vandeleur visited Cahircon House in 1916 and again in 1917. Cahircon House was sold in 1920 ending the Kilrush Vandeleurs direct association with Clare.
Hector Vandeleur had by 1908 agreed to sell the Vandeleur Estate to the tenants for approximately 20 years rent and the majority of the estate was purchased by these tenants. The Vandeleur demesne was purchased by the Department of Agriculture as trustee under the Irish Land Acts solely for the purpose of forestry. The Kilrush Committee for Urban Affairs purchased the Fair Green and Market House.