Kilkee girls getting the train to school in Kilrush, 1937.
The following table is a brief history of
the west Clare Railway constructed from, Edmund Lenihan, In the tracks
of the West Clare Railway, 1999, Dublin.
||First Kilkee-Kilrush/Cappagh rail link proposed
by Col. Vandeleur.
||First scheme to reach the stage where ground was
actually broken to lay a railway in West Clare
|31st July 1871
||Ennis and West Clare Railway receive Act of Incorporation
and is authorised to build a narrow-gauge line.
|24th August 1883
||Tramways Act passed by Parliament.
|15th December 1883
||West Clare Railway Company formed.
|9th June 1884
||South Clare Railway Company formed
|26th January 1885
||First sod of West Clare Railway turned by Parnell
at Miltown Malbay.
|2nd July 1887
||West Clare Railway opened for regular services.
|9th October 1890
||First sod of South Clare Railway turned.
|23rd December 1892
||South Clare Railway opened for regular services.
|1st January 1925
||Amalgamation of West Clare Railway and Great Southern
||ETS signalling introduced on Ennis-Miltown sections
of the West Clare line.
||C.I.E. takes over the West Clare line.
||Milne Report. First official mention of possible
closure of West Clare branch of C.I.E.
||West Clare converted from steam to diesel
|31st January 1961
||Closure of West Clare line.
29th May (CJ).
Colonel Vandeleur, D.L., is willing to donate a liberal sum to progress
railway intercourse between Kilrush and Kilkee. ---
1855 12th July (CJ).
Kilrush and Kilkee Railway:
We are glad to see the resident gentry are in earnest in taking up this
line of railway. A preliminary meeting has been held in the Grand Jury
Secretary’s Room on Tuesday with a view on placing the company in
a substantial footing. There were present, Colonel Vandeleur, Sir Matthew
Barrington, J.L.Worral, Esq C.E., Major Armstrong, C. Armstrong Esq, T.Keane,
M.Keane, C.Martin, J.Tymons Esq and several other gentlemen interested
in the project.
1855 23rd July (CJ).
Kilrush and Kilkee Railway.
A meeting of the provisional committee and promoters of this project which
was numerously and respectably attended was held in the Court House of
Kilrush on Tuesday 10th inst. among those present were Col. C.M. Vandeleur,
D.L.,H.T. Burton, D.L., James Studdert, J.P., Richard Studdert, J.P.,
Dr. Donovan, J.P., R.H. Borough, J.P., Francis N. Keane, J.P., Messrs
Matt Kelly, manager National Bank, John Kelly and Wm Blair, Bryan Purcell,
W.M. Blennerhasset, Benjamin Cox, John McDonnell, Thomas Studdert and
several other influential residents and traders both in Kilrush and Kilkee.
The Chair was taken by Crofton Moore Vandeleur.
--------Col Vandeleur then addressed the meeting at some length in support
of the railway, which he said would be highly beneficial both to Kilrush
and Kilkee particularly to the latter town which was rapidly rising in
public estimation as a watering place, but the progress of which was materially
retarded by the difficulty of reaching it from Kilrush.
1859 6th June (CJ).
Mr. M. McDonnell, Secretary to the Kilrush and Kilkee Railway, attended
a meeting of the promoters this week at Limerick. The Bill is certain
to pass during the present session; Colonel Vandeleur will be a powerful
advocate for the measure in Parliament. The undertaking is one, which
will have many advantages to this neighbourhood.
1860 3rd December (CJ).
The Kilrush and Lahinch Railway:
A railway from this town to Lahinch is now projected. The proposed line
is one calculated to develop the resources of the county beyond any we
have yet heard for Clare.
1861 11th March (CJ).
Kilrush and Kilkee Railway and Poulnasherry Reclamation Company:
The first General Meeting of this company was held at 47 Upper Sackville
Street, Dublin on Tuesday 5th inst, at 1 o’clock. Colonel Vandeleur,
D.L., M.P., Chairman. — The appointment of Mr. Michael McDonnell,
Kilrush as Secretary of the line was ratified.
1863 4th May (CJ).
Kilrush and Kilkee Railway:
Two gentlemen from London, in connection with the above project, have
arrived in town to inspect the line. ---
1863 3rd September (IT).
Kilrush and Kilkee Railway: -
An ordinary meeting of this company was held on Monday, 31st August, at
Cruise's Hotel, Limerick, Col. C Moore Vandeleur, M.P., in the chair.
After transacting the ordinary business, the following were elected Directors,
viz. - Colonel Vandeleur, Mr. Malcomson, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Stevens, Mr.
Koch, Mr. Thomas Keane, Ennis and Mr. William Brew, Kilrush were re-elected
1864 Monday 2nd May (CJ). Messrs Stephenson and Morris railway engineers
in connection with the Kilrush and Kilkee Railway have arrived at the
1864 Thursday 12th May (CJ). Two Brigs conveying the contractor, engineer,
a body of navvies and quantities of implements arrived last week at the
ferry below Kilrush. The staff and operatives landed and are lodging in
town. (Re: the Kilrush and Kilkee Railway).
1872 15th April (CJ).
The Kilrush and Kilkee Railway is again revived and there is now scarcely
a doubt but Kilkee, the Brighton of Ireland, will soon be depicted on
Bradshaw’s Guide as connected with the steam-boat pier at Kilrush
by an iron road in full working order. A number of navvies are already
employed on the embankment works under the direction of Mr J. Coffee the
local engineer to the company. ---
1872 8th May (IT).
Kilrush and Kilkee Railway Poulnasherry Reclamation Bill:-
The Select Committee of the House of Commons to which the bill has been
referred sat this morning at noon. ------------------ the object of the
bill was to revive and extend the powers of several acts relating to the
works in question, and which were passed in the years 1860,1861 and 1865.
Kilrush was a small inland harbour at the mouth of the Shannon, and Kilkee
a favourite watering place. It was proposed to connect these two places
by a direct railway, which would be seven miles in length. The new line
was authorised in 1860, but in the course of constructing it the company
had to raise an embankment, which necessitated the reclamation of 900
acres of land. -------- Nearly all the earthworks and bridges had now
been made, but in consequence of the panic of 1866 and other causes the
promoters had not been able to execute their project. The estimated cost
of carrying it out would be about £35,000,and they now asked for
the necessary powers.----------------- Colonel Vandeleur,M.P. gave evidence
in support of the bill.-----.
1873 9th January (CJ).
West Clare Railway:
The contract for the construction of this line has been finally ratified
by the contractors Messrs. Walker and Co., London and approved at a meeting
of the Directors held in this town (Ennis) today.
1875 15th March (IT).
Kilrush and Kilkee Railway:-
Much disappointment prevails in Clare, and especially among the inhabitants
of the central and western districts and towns, in connection with the
non-completion of the railway between these places. Kilkee, as is well
known, is among the best watering towns in Ireland, and the resort of
thousands for half the year. Many are induced to abandon visiting the
West Clare on account of the modes of conveyance from Kilrush to Kilkee.
It is said that a numerously signed petition is got up to Parliament for
the purpose of an enforcement of the work. For this season in the absence
of rails, it is proposed to have tramways laid from Cappa Quay to Kilkee.
1880 9th January (IT).
Kilrush and Kilkee Railway and Poulnasherry Reclamation Company:-
An extraordinary meeting of this company was held yesterday at No. 62
Upper Sackville Street.: Mr. Marcus Keane, J.P., presided.
There were also present-Messrs. H. S. Vandeleur D.L.: P. W. Reeves, D.L.:
Robert Miller, M. Studdert Gibson, and Francis Coffey, C. E. Engineer
to the board and secretary pro tem.
On the motion of Mr. Keane, seconded by Mr. Miller, Mr.H.S. Vandeleur
was elected a director of the company. ----------.
1880 19th August (CJ).
West Clare Railway.
Captain Paterson received on Sunday the welcome telegram from Captain
O’Shea from London announcing that the difficulties connected with
the West Clare Railway had been smoothened, and the Bill passed its third
reading and now only awaits the Royal assent.
1883 29th March (CJ).
The West Clare Railway:
We understand the contract will be finally signed on next Tuesday the
3rd prox., when Mr. Drinkwater will deposit the sum of £11,500.
This sum includes a parliamentary deposit of over £7,000 the balance
being of expenses and preliminary costs incurred by the company in obtaining
1883 5th November (CJ).
Mr. Armstrong from Dublin Castle has been surveying and measuring the
Kilrush and Kilkee line of railway for the past two days.
1883 19th November (IT).
Parliamentary Notices:-Poulnasherry Reclamation. --------.
Notice is hereby given that application is intended to be made to Parliament
in the ensuing session for an Act for all or some of the purposes following,
that is to say:
To revive or renew and extend the powers conferred on the Kilrush and
Kilkee Railway and Poulnasherry Reclamation Company (hereinafter called
“ the Company”) for the compulsory purchase of lands and construction
and completion of the railway and works authorised by the Kilrush and
Kilkee Railway and Poulnasherry Reclamation Act ?,the Kilrush and Kilkee
Railway and Poulnasherry Reclamation Amendment Act 1861.---------.
1884 6th March (CJ).
Kilrush and Kilkee Railway.
The Grand Jury were occupied a considerable time on Tuesday inquiring
into the Kilrush and Kilkee Railway and the Poulnasherry embankment for
which the Barony of Moyarta had voted a presentment of £30,000.----.
1885 26th March (CJ).
--- It is expected that the first sod of the Kilrush and Kilkee Railway
will soon be turned by a prominent member of the Irish parliamentary Party.
1886 4th March (CJ).
West Clare Railway:
The following report was read by Mr. Hill before the Grand Jury on Friday
--Gentlemen- The works for constructing the railway were commenced on
the 26th February? 1885, its 27 miles in length. ----.
1887 1st March (IT).
Kilrush and Kilkee Light Railway.
The application of Mr. Wm. Murphy, M.P., contractor for the Kilrush and
Kilkee Light Railway to alter the original scheme by diverting the line
so as to avoid the great expense and future risk of the proposed embankment
at the month of the estuary of Poulnasherry, which would take in some
800 acres of tidal slob, was unanimously refused by the grand jury.
Mr. Murphy will now abandon the entire project and probably we shall hear
no more of the railway. -------------.
1887 4th April (CJ).
West Clare Railway:
The contractors for the West Clare Railway are finding some difficulty
in laying down part of the railway which crosses a bog. It has repeatedly
been brought to a level and as often subsides. However, they do not despair
1887 1st December (CJ).
West Clare Railway:
--- The West Clare Railway was opened for traffic on the 2nd July last
under a contract between the Company and Wm. M Murphy dated the 3rd November
The net profits for four months since the opening of the line to 31st
October when the Company’s half-year ended were over £1,200.
1888 17th May (CJ).
West Clare Railway.
The traffic receipts on the West Clare railway for the four days ending
4th inst., amounted to the substantial sum of £124-15s-4d. For the
week ending the 11th inst., the receipts were £115-10s-2d.--
1888 1st June (IT).
Proposed Railway from Kilrush to Miltown-Malbay and Kilkee.
An influential meeting of the inhabitants of Kilrush, Kilkee and the surrounding
districts was held yesterday in the Market House, Assembly Rooms, Kilrush,
for the purpose of furthering the project of the proposed line of railway
between this town and Miltown-Malbay and Kilkee under the Tramways and
Light Railways Act. ----------.
1888 2nd July (CJ).
The Proposed West Clare Railway extension.
The movement in support of the extension of the West Clare Railway to
Kilrush and Kilkee is progressing satisfactorily.
1889 14th February (CJ).
Proposed extension of the West Clare Railway:
The Kilrush Town Commissioners convoked a meeting in the Market House
on Tuesday for the purpose of promoting the proposed extension of the
West Clare Railway to Kilrush, Kilkee and Miltown Malbay. ---.
1889 20th February (IT).
West Clare Railway Company Limited:
The seventh half-yearly general meeting of the shareholders of the West
Clare Railway Company, (Limited), was held yesterday at the offices of
the company, 39 Dame Street, Dublin.—
1889 13th May (CJ).
South Clare Railway:
The scheme for constructing a light railway from Kilrush to Miltown Malbay
with a branch from Moyasta to Kilkee was unanimously approved by the Presentment
Sessions at Kilrush.
1890 3rd May (KH).
-- The Privy Council unanimously passed the South Clare Railway -----.
1890 12th May (CJ).
The South Clare Railway:
At a special meeting of the Kilrush Board of Guardians the following resolution
was passed unanimously: “Resolved that we the guardians of the Kilrush
Union beg to congratulate the Very Rev. Dr. White, P.P., V.G., Kilrush
the Rev. M Quinlivan, P.P., Kilkee, Lord Inchiquin, Mr. Mr. Reeves and
our worthy chairman (Mr. M. Mescall) and others, who took an active part
in promoting the South Clare railway and gained a victory over the opponents
of the scheme, which will afford facilities of communication to West Clare
and other parts of the county”.
1890 4th October (KH).
The South Clare Railway: To the Editor of the Kilrush Herald:
39 Merrion Square East, Dublin, 2/10/1890.
Mr Murphy intends to turn the “first sod” on the 9th inst.
and to commence work at once,
A O’Connor, Solicitor.
1891 26th January (CJ).
The strike on the South Clare railway
Our correspondent writes, that the strike on the South Clare Railway which
began at Moyasta on last Monday has terminated as everyone expected in
a most complete failure for the participants in it. Their first demands
were 18s a week being an increase of 5s on what they were already paid.
--- On Thursday and Friday they resumed work at 13s the old wages, which
are considered good wages in such short days and bad weather.
1891 4th July (Nation).
A report has been received at Kilrush of a desperate assault on one of
the assistant engineers engaged on the South Clare Railway – Mr.
Waters – and also on Mr. Moloney, the clerk of works, and Mr. Murphy,
a builder, committed on Wednesday evening at Mountrivers by a crowd of
farmers. It would seem that those farmers will not accept the amount of
compensation offered them by the South Clare Railway Company. Accordingly
on Wednesday, when the engineer and the clerk of works and a gang of men
entered on the land of one of the farmers they were set upon by a large
crowd of country folk, who were armed with spades and pitchforks. The
men engaged in the works, fled, but Mr. Waters and the two already named
held their ground and remonstrated with their assailants on the illegal
methods they were taking. This proved unavailing. A melee ensued in which
Mr. Waters received a scalp wound, and Murphy and Moloney minor injuries.
1891 23rd July (KH).
South Clare Railway:
The Station House and offices has been commenced at Kilrush for this line.
By next week, the line will be nearly finished from Cappa to Moyasta.
1892 11th August (CJ).
South Clare Railway: Inspection of the South Clare Railway:
---- The second and we hope the final inspection of the South Clare Railway
on that part of it between Kilrush and Kilkee by Major General Hutchinson,
R.E., and takes place today.
1892 15th August (CJ).
Opening of the South Clare Railway:
The train between Kilrush and Kilkee in connection with the above line
of railway was commenced on Saturday. The trains were run to suit the
arrival and departure of the river steamers.
1893 1st June (CJ).
The West Clare Railway Company is to run an excursion on Sunday next from
Kilrush and Kilkee to Lahinch and Ennistymon. ----
1894 28th May (IT).
Kilkee and West Clare Railway:-To the Editor of the Irish Times.
Sir: - I visited this beautiful watering place today, which, if in any
other country but this unfortunate one of ours, would be far-famed for
its wildness and grandeur.
The lodges seem to get a very indifferent cleaning up, and good paint
seems scarce. However there are three first-class hotels, where tourists
can have the best of accommodation. But my object in troubling you is
to bring under the notice of the proper authorities the scandalous train
management: and it is a duty I owe invalids and mothers of young families
who come to Kilkee for health's sake to warn them of the train accommodation.
I left Kilkee last night at 5 minutes to 9 pm and did not reach Kilrush,
a distance of eight miles, until 10 minutes past 10 o'clock, thus taking
one hour and 15 minutes to go the eight miles: and there was no accident,
no crush of passengers, no fair on the line, to account for thus state
I was in a first class carriage, and must say a Great Southern and Western
third would shame it. The paint once white was now black: no mat, and
the cushions different patterns, and old worn-out ones.
With such train service how is Kilkee to progress!
Thanking you in anticipation for insertion.
Yours & c. A Dubliner, Kilkee 26th May 1894.
1896 3rd August (CJ).
West Clare Railway Company half-yearly meeting:
The twenty seventh general half-yearly meeting of the West Clare Railway
Company was held on Friday at the Golf Links Hotel, Lahinch which had
been selected as the most central for the meeting of both the West and
South Clare Railway Companies.
1898 6th June (CJ).
West Clare Railway:
The West Clare Railway Company have up and ordered a new and powerful
engine and it will soon be on the road.---- Seven trains now leave Kilrush
1899 16th January (CJ).
The Storm: A second accident on the South Clare Railway.
An alarming accident occurred as the train, from Kilrush to Kilkee on
Thursday morning, it was made up of an engine and two passenger carriages
and two vans and had only two miles of the outward journey completed when
on rounding a curve the violent gale blew the carriages off the track
and they lay completely on their side. Fortunately the engine and vans
kept on the rails. Only one passenger was on the train, a tradesman named
Scales who escaped injury. ---
1900 25th May (IT).
Irish Railway Amalgamation. (From our correspondent) Westminster, Thursday.
According to the resolution of the House, today being Ascension Day, Earl
Spencer and his Joint Committee, all of whom were present, did not proceed
with the consideration of the Great Southern and Western Company's proposals
for amalgamation with the Waterford, Limerick and Waterford and Central
Ireland and the Midland Great Western Competing Bill until two o'clock
The counsel was as before, but at the close of the proceedings, Mr. Acworth
announced that the opposition of the three Kerry railways was withdrawn.
He did not give the details, but said that on the whole the terms were
the same as were agreed upon last year.
Earl Spencer - That is advancing a little, at any rate. (Laughter).
Mr. Henry Richard Glynn,
In reply to Mr. Pope, Q.C., said he was
a miller at Kilrush, a member of the Limerick Chamber of Commerce, of
the Clare County Council, a director of the South Clare Railway and of
the Limerick and Kilrush Steamboat Company, besides holding many other
offices which would entitle him to speak for the people and traders of
that part of Ireland. He was delegated by the Clare County Council to
represent them. His view of the proposed amalgamation was favourable to
the Great Southern’s proposals. The competition between them and
the Waterford and Limerick had not always been an advantage, and had resulted
in a dislocated and inefficient service. He instanced delays amounting
to some hours which resulted from the frequent failure of the Waterford
and Limerick to keep their train at Limerick Junction to meet the morning
mail from Dublin, delays inconvenient to passengers and trades-people
who got their mails hours after the proper time.-------.
County Clare was badly served by the railways
now. The South Clare line not only did not earn its dividend, but the
county had to find part of the working expenses.
The Chairman-How is that?
Witness pointed out that the Government
paid half the guarantee, 2 per cent, and would cease to do so if the line
became derelict. It was therefore to the advantage of the county to pay
working expenses, even though not legally compelled to do so, up to the
amount of 2 per cent, to keep the line doing. The line was a narrow gauge
built not by the Board of Works but by the company, and it was worked
by the West Clare. The principal traffic was eggs and fish, for which
rapid transit was of great importance, not so much for the local markets
as for the great consuming centres. That was why Clare had a great interest
in the new route to England. Dairy industries were now being set up in
Clare, and all these undertakings could be developed with better railway
facilities. At present, the long-cartage was against expansion. The quarries
too, near the coast, could be developed if a small line were built to
them about eight miles long. Twenty or more vessels now loaded at them
annually. The Great Southern had greatly developed tourist traffic in
Kerry, and Clare could be dealt with in the same way. Last year the Clare
County Council had favoured the Midland and he stood alone in favour of
the Great Southern. This year, by 13 to 9 they decided in favour of the
latter line after hearing its representative, and that of the Midland.
1902 23rd June (IT).
Limerick Excursion Train Derailed.
A report reached Limerick last night that a serious railway accident occurred
on the West Clare Railway today. The train from Kilrush to Kilkee is stated
to have run off the line near Moyasta whilst carrying a party of excursionists
from Limerick, and some of the carriages got overturned. One of the passengers
an excursionist from Limerick, was seriously injured, and had to be removed
for medical treatment and others were more or less shaken. The injured
man is Mr. Carmody, from the city but a later account states his case
is not so bad as was at first reported.
1903 9th October (CJ).
The Goods Train from Kilrush to Ennis on Monday broke down near Ennistymon
------ this delayed the passenger trains one which contained Mr. W. H.
Redmond, M.P. which did not arrive in Ennis until 9 o’clock pm.
1905 14th February (CJ).
The enterprising firm of Messrs. O’Doherty and Son, Kilrush have
laid down rails to their timber, coal and cement sheds at Ned’s
Island in connection with the South Clare Railway’s Line to Kilrush.
1907 9th January (IT).
Irish Railways Commission.
Amusing evidence from Kilkee.
------------ In answer to Mr. Sexton, who inquired as to the tourist traffic,
Mrs. Griffin said that people came from England, Scotland and America
to take in Kilkee during tours in Ireland, and some had been so disgusted
with the travelling arrangements that they would never come again. The
state of affairs complained of could be amended by practical reforms.
Among other matters, she suggested the revival of steamer communication
between Foynes and Kilrush. -----.
With regard to the statement that Kilkee was not as prosperous as it might
be, counsel inquired if witness was aware that serious complaints had
been made in regard to sanitation. Mrs. Griffin replied that that was
1910 23rd September (II).
Clare Strike and Tourists.
Sir- The Clare Railway strike, if not settled immediately, will certainly
leave a very bad impression on the minds of many tourists who are at present
staying at Kilkee, Kilrush, Miltown-Malbay, Lahinch and Lisdoonvarna.
It cannot fail to have a prejudicial effect on these beautiful seaside
resorts for the remaining portion of what promises to be a splendid autumn.
Consequent on the strike in Clare many who would otherwise have spent
money in the locality by going for a week or month to Kilkee and Lahinch
have now turned their minds to the Isle of Man or Blackpool.
I have been speaking to several of the strikers
in Kilkee and Lahinch during the past week, and found the men most anxious
for an amicable settlement, and were it not that an ill-feeling was wrought
between the men and the directors of the Clare Railway by County, Rural
and District Councillors seeking re-election in January next, the men
certainly would never have struck without exhausting every other means
by which an arrangement could be arrived at.
A man in receipt of 13s per week, with a
house, the use of tillage along the slopes of the railway, is in a much
better condition that those on the Great Southern or Northern lines in
Ireland, earning from 22s to 24s per week.
An all-round increase of 2s to the men would
mean an increase of £450 per annum in the expenditure of a railway
that is not paying, and beyond the fact that the earning power of the
railway is sufficient merely to pay interest and wipe of portion of the
capital expenditure on the line, and provide by the greatest stratagem
sufficient to maintain the railways, with a small margin to meet unforeseen
circumstances that must always follow in the train of a public carrying
company, there is no prospects to encourage the continuance of a line
through East and West Clare.
Should the directors and men be kept asunder
by designing people, who want to use the men for election purposes, the
guarantors for the capital expenditure on the Clare lines will be the
parties who must suffer most. The hotel proprietors and business people
some of whom are guarantors will be doubly hit by the suicidal policy
of forcing men to look for an increase where the income is sufficient
only to pay the cost of working.
The guarantors of those lines of railways
should insist, before it is too late on having this difference settled.
I think the action of the Rev. Father Garry, who is making an unreasonable
demand for the men at the cost of the overtaxed ratepayers badly timed.
I would yield to no man in my devotion to any cause that would place the
workers of Ireland on a more reasonable basis by increasing their income,
but certainly before advocating such, those champions of labour ought
to look at the matter from the other side as well-how such an increase
was likely to injure the county as a whole.
The difference in the Clare Railways is
not a strike in any sense of the word. It is a gross misunderstanding
born of prejudice, due entirely to the promptings of a few, who believe
that Mr. Murphy is likely to go forward as one of the representatives
of Clare at the next General Election for a seat in the Imperial Parliament,
coupled with the fact that several parties who believe they have a mortgage
on the people's minds being refused an annual free pass over the entire
service of the railways.
I would suggest that the representatives
of the men, of the ratepayers, and of the directors have a conference.
Six hours will suffice to terminate a dispute that may last until Christmas,
if not ruin the county.
John O'Hehir, Merville House, Clontarf, Sept. 22 1910.
1910 26th September (IT).
West and South Clare Railways.
This line is a light railway connecting Ennis with Kilrush and Kilkee,
and its total length is 48 miles.
On 30th August, the gangers and milesmen struck for an increase of wages,
and by way of enforcing their demands refused to open the gates at the
level crossings. In some instances, the gates were wired and fastened
against traffic. To obviate the delay and annoyance caused by trains having
to stop at all gates until opened by an official on the train, the directors
decided to remove the gates during the continuation of the strike.
All gates between Ennis and Miltown-Malbay, distance 27 miles, were removed,
and later those between Miltown-Malbay and Kilrush and Kilkee, distance
20 and 21 miles respectively, were also removed. Since then the company
have maintained a service of three trains daily each way at a much-reduced
1910 13th October (FJ).
The Clare Railways:
At the quarterly meeting of the West Clare Executive of the United Irish
League held on Monday at the Assembly Rooms, Bank Place, Kilrush, Mr.
Laurence Whelan, President, occupied the chair. There was a good attendance
of delegates from the Branches of the League in the division.
After some business in connection with the evicted tenants in the district
had been dealt with, as well as a matter relating to the Returning Officership
of the County Council elections next year, the secretary (Mr. S. Keane)
proposed the following resolution: “That in view of the recent action
of the County Council of Clare in proposing to take over the control and
management of the West and South Clare Railways, and having regard to
the enormous interests involved from the public point of view, we think
it eminently desirable before such a scheme should receive Government
sanction that a public meeting of the priests and people of West Clare,
representing the ratepayers of the guaranteeing areas for the lines, who
are so vitally concerned, should be immediately convened to discuss the
proposition and consider the question in all its phases before a definite
conclusion is arrived at” (hear hear)
The resolution was seconded by Mr. Frank Keane and adopted.
1911 21st December (II).
West Clare Railway Company.
Christmas Holidays, 1911.
On 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th December Return Tickets at single fare and
a quarter will be issued to and from Stations available to return on up
to and including 30th December, 1911
Saturday, 23rd December 1911, a special
train will leave Ennis at 3.15 p.m., for Kilrush and Kilkee, giving connection
at Ennis for passengers off the 9.15 a.m., train from Kingsbridge and
Clare Railways Ennis, December 12, 1911. P.Sullivan, Manager.
1912 6th June (II).
---One can journey down the Shannon to Kilrush and thence by the West
Clare Railway, or he can go by rail to Ennis and thence by the West Clare
By either route there is much to be seen but most holiday seekers will
prefer the trip down the river, when they will have the first experience
of the pure, invigorating Atlantic breezes, Moreover, the scenes along
the route are highly picturesque, and the historical associations of the
Fifty years ago Kilkee, or Dough, was a
village on the Atlantic of 1,400 inhabitants. The development of the place
has been extremely rapid. Within a score of years, the hotels and boarding
houses have more than doubled, and a tourist will find the arrangements
for his comfort equal to anything in Ireland. Moreover, in certain important
respects great improvements have been affected, the new road to George's
Head has made easily accessible a highly interesting spot.
Kilkee is lucky in possessing an intelligent and enterprising body of
Town Commissioners who have not been afraid to incur the expense involved
in a big sewerage and waterworks scheme.
The main object of a holiday is rest, fresh air, and sunshine, and, where
practicable, sea bathing. For all these purposes, Kilkee is ideal. People
lounge about after their morning dip carelessly dressed, chat with their
friends, watch the bathers, and generally relax.
As for sea bathing, it is admittedly unrivalled. The most remarkable of
the numerous bathing places are the Pollock Holes---------.
1913 30th January (CJ).
Action against the West Clare Railway Company.
--- Mr. John Enright, cattle dealer, Market Street, Ennis has a process
against the West Clare Railway Co. claiming £13 damages for the
loss of a heifer which through the negligence of the company’s servants
fell from a wagon while on its way from Kilkee to Ennis and was killed.
-- His Honor gave a decree for £10 and allowed 10s as expenses.
1913 28th June (IT).
South Clare Railway, -The Clare County Council have appointed Mr. Henry
R. Glynn, Leadmore House, Kilrush, to the position of County Director
for the South Clare Railway, and not County Inspector, as has been already
1914 7th December (IT).
The Gale. Trains held up in Clare. (From our correspondent) Ennis, Saturday.)
Yesterday and last night a terrific gale from the west raged over this
district, doing a considerable amount of damage. In the town, slates were
blown off many houses and chimneys were blown down. The Fergus was swollen
to an unusual degree, and the low-lying parts of the town suffered from
the rising waters. In the low-lying districts to the south of the town,
there were serious inundations. Traffic on the West Clare Railway was
practically suspended for the day. The 12 o'clock noon train from Ennis
was held up at Ennistymon, and did not reach Kilrush until 9 o'clock.
The 11.15 from Kilrush was not allowed to go beyond Moyasta, the junction
for Kilkee. At Miltown-Malbay one of a “rake” of wagons outside
the station were blown completely over, and blocked both lines. A breakdown
gang this morning cleared the system for traffic. At Quilty, the storm
registered a velocity of 81 miles. There were stupendous seas along the
1916 18th September (CJ).
From Sunday on no more mails will be carried on the West Clare Railway,
to West Clare on Sundays.
1917 2nd March (IT).
County Clare Railways. Annual Meeting.
The annual general meeting of the West Clare and South Clare Railway Companies
were held at offices of the companies, 39 Dame Street, Dublin, yesterday.
------ During the last ten years or so a contract has subsisted between
the companies and the Postmaster-General for the conveyance of the mails
between Ennis and Kilrush and Kilkee, for which we received a subsidy
of £1,000 a year. Owing however to the great increase in the price
of coal and other materials used on the railway, and increases in wages,
etc. ,it was found that this service resulted in a loss to these companies
of about £2,000 a year, and having failed to get any increase from
the Post Office the company gave six months’ notice in August last
to terminate the contract on the last day of February, and published a
new time-table to come into force on the first of this month, which provided
for a train to start from Ennis at 8.30 a m,which directors believed would
be more convenient for the public using the railway than would be one
starting at 5,00 a m with the mails.--.
1920 11th March (II).
Daring Raid in Clare. Train held-up and searched.
A daring hold-up was carried out by 30 armed and disguised men, who yesterday
detained a train for 20 minutes at Doonbeg station, on the West Clare
The train was due to reach Ennis from Kilrush at 6 o’clock, but
at Doonbeg, 7 miles from Kilrush, the driver, Mr. McMahon, and the guard
were ordered out the raiders not to proceed. The contents of the mail
bags were then examined and several letters carried off. Another account
states that no letters were taken as the mails from Kilrush and Kilkee,
which it is believed the raiders wanted, are carried on a later train.
1922 25th September (II).
West Clare Line Cut.
Drumsna signal cabin, on the M.G.W.R. was burned down.
The railway bridge near Doonbeg, on the West Clare railway, was blown
up early on Friday morning. The explosion was heard miles away. This severs
the communications by rail of East and West Clare. The mail train from
Kilrush and Kilkee to Ennis was forced to return from Doonbeg. Some passengers
hired jaunting cars and some ladies who were not successful in procuring
cars cycled to Ennis a distance of 30 miles. The roads near Doonbeg were
The demolishing of bridges and destroying of roads is not hampering the
progress of the National troops. The sufferers are the local people who
have to make big detours to market.
1927 23rd February (IT).
Great Southern Railway:-Train Alterations -March 1927.
On and from the 1st March the following alterations will come into operation:-
----The 8.10 a m Kilkee to Moyasta will be extended to Kilrush.
1929 11th October (IT).
Mr. Patrick Rochford, who for some four years was clerk at Limerick Junction
Railway Station, has been promoted stationmaster at Kilrush. Mr. Rochford,
who belongs to Roslevan, Ennis, while at Limerick Junction was an efficient
and courteous official.
1931 14th October (IT).
Last night a mine was placed on the railway line, and some of
the rails were blown up. The first train into Kilrush this morning was
an hour late.
In order to prevent the discharge of coal at Cappa, the railway turning
table was put out of order, and considerable delay was caused to the anti-union
The Civic Guard are doing their utmost to cope with the situation under
1932 13th May (IT).
Curtailment of Railway Service.
The Great Southern Railways Company have issued notice that they have
made application to the Minister for Industry and Commerce for an order
under Part 2 of the Railways (Miscellaneous) Act,1932,to authorise the
curtailment of train services on the Ennis, Kilrush and Kilkee section.
1932 3rd November (II)
Loss of Railway Services.
Kilrush UDC passed a resolution requesting the G.S.R. Co. to continue
the present train service between Ennis and Kilrush, as the discontinuation
of the 11.40 am. train to Ennis and the 12 o'clock train from Ennis would
be a blow to the commercial life of Kilrush. They further called on local
traders to support the railways in preference to road transport, and expressed
the hope that the long promised legislation would remedy the disabilities
under which the railways are working.
1933 13th March (IT).
Railway Guard Killed.
While working at Kilrush Railway Station on Saturday last, Michael Ryan,
of Frances Street, Kilrush, was knocked down, and an 8 ton wagon that
was being shunted went over his thigh. He died from his injuries yesterday.
He had been a guard with the West Clare Railways Company for over twenty
1938 5th May (IT).
West Clare Line May Close:-Report to Kilkee Commissioners.
Kilkee Town Commissioners received a report that the West Clare Railway
from Ennis to Kilkee and Kilrush was to close down in the near future.
1938 24th August (II).
West Clare Railway: To the Editor “Irish Independent”
Sir--- Re the West Clare Railway, though agreeing with “Railway
Saver” that the traders of West Clare could do far more than they
are doing to support the railway. It is not correct to state that only
a few months ago there was in Kilkee an official opening of the first
loading bank for Lorries and that this was opened for the purpose of taking
traffic from the railway. There is no such loading bank as mentioned:
but what strikes me as pathetic is that the poor farmer is made the medium
of subsidizing motor traffic to his own detriment.
In Co. Clare the farmer pays approximately £51,000 yearly for the
upkeep of the roads for the trades of Kilrush, Kilkee, Ennistymon, Miltown
Malbay, Doonbeg, etc., whereas the motors only pay approximately £13,000
yearly.-------------- Clare Farmer.
1938 5th October (II)
Threatened Rail close down:
Representatives from all over West Clare attended a meeting at Kilrush.
Very. Rev. Canon Meade, PP, presiding to discuss the threatened closing
down of the West Clare railway.
Canon Meade said the farmers and shopkeepers of Clare would be faced with
a very serious situation if the threat of closing down the West Clare
railway was put into effect. Unless the public supported the railway better,
the blame would fall on themselves. ------------
1939 9th February (II)
West Clare Railway: To the Editor “Irish Independent”.
Sir-I entirely agree with the remarks of Mr. J A Kelly. V.S. Chairman,
Clare Farmers' Party published in your issue of February 6th , re the
gravity of the situation for the numerous turf producers who sent turf
by the West Clare Railway, if this branch were compelled to be closed
down. The rates for the cartage of turf by rail are 75% less than that
of the road service.
The West Clare Railway will also be called upon for transporting seaweed
from the shores of Quilty, Kilkee, Doonbeg, etc., to the new seaweed factory
established recently in Kilrush, and as this project will be of enormous
benefit to the county in general, without a cheap rate of freight from
the railway company from the sea shores, the fishermen would have to contend
with a smaller price if the costly road transport has to be availed of.
1944 12th February (CC)
The West Clare Railway
The Minister for Agriculture (Dr James Ryan) at a big meeting in Kilrush
Town hall on Saturday afternoon dealt at some length with representations
made by local speakers as to the grave consequences to the county which
would result if the threatened closing down of the West Clare Railway
took effect. From his observations and from those of Mr. Sean O'Grady
T D it appears that no such threat has been made and that it is unlikely
it will ever be made as the line is used to the full for Clare goods and
passengers traffic? ----.
1951 19th February (II).
--- The Railway was indeed, a byword throughout the entire country. Things
have changed, of course since C.I.E took it over, but today you will find
many people sighing for the old days. In Kilrush C.I.E. is frequently
and unfavourably compared with its ancient predecessor. For the townsfolk
have a grievance that has lasted now for the best part of ten years.
During the Emergency the Kilrush train service was cut to two a day: a
train went out in the morning and returned the same night. It was supposed
to be only a temporary arrangement but since then the full service has
not been restored.
I was innocent enough to suggest that two
trains a day did not constitute a really bad service. But after listening
to Urban Councillor Michael MacMahon for half an hour on the subject I
realised that the whole matter was by no means as simple as it seems.
C.I.E. you will be told by Mr. MacMahon and by every other businessman
in the town, is draining trade away from Kilrush. So long as people visiting
the town by train are obliged to remain overnight, would-be shoppers it
is reasonably argued, will take their trade to towns like Ennistymon and
Ennis from which they are able to return in the same day.
But what makes Kilrush people really indignant is what one shopper called
“the senseless duplication of bus and railway services”. It
is hard to blame the townspeople when you learn that its bus to and from
Ennis enters and leaves Kilrush at approximately the same times as the
Townsfolk are not without hope that something
will soon be done to settle the problem however, Mr. Morrissey, Minister
for Industry and Commerce, promised over 12 months ago to inquire into
the matter, and since then, it has been announced that diesel engines
will operate on the West Clare line and that C.I.E. plans to run in the
future “frequent and light” rather than “few and heavy
1953 11th June (IP).
West Clare’s record Run: Are you right there, Michael, are you right?
Percy French would have goggled in amazement yesterday. When, half a century
ago, he immortalised the narrow-gauge West Clare Railway the run from
Kilkee to Ennis took over five hours for the 48 miles.
But yesterday, with 37 British guests aboard, the first ever Diesel express
covered the distance in 1 hour 23 minutes.
Average speed made by driver Michael O’Donoghue was something over
38 M.P.H., and at his best he touched 43 miles. His guard was Jack O’Halloran.
The guests were members of Britain’s Light Railway Transport League,
led by Mr. J.H.Price, of London, who edits Cook’s International
Said Mr. Price afterwards: “No narrow gauge railway in Britain has
a service to compare with this. The West Clare is the best I have ever
travelled on “
(In the picture), 71-years-old Mrs. Mary O’Donoghue, for 47 years
station-mistress, congratulates Driver O’Donoghue.
1955 22nd October (IT).
West Clare goods train “expected”:
The West Clare Railway, which inspired Percy French to write the song,
“Are you right there, Michael, are you right?” is again in
the news. The line runs between Kilrush and Ennis, and at Kilrush Urban
Council meeting, Mr M. McInerney said that the old steam engine hauling
the goods train was breaking down almost every day. Recently, when the
train left Kilrush, it broke down, and the goods were left on it for three
days at an intermediate station.
It was, he said, four days since a goods train arrived at Kilrush, and
there was no guarantee when it would arrive. --- ---.
It was decided to request C.I.E., to put the new diesel goods locomotive
into use on the West Clare line immediately.
1960 4th January (IT).
Clare will fight to keep famous railway:
Clare people believe that the famous West Clare Railway the last of the
public narrow-gauge lines in the country, is scheduled for closing this
year, and are preparing to make a fight to keep it open. Dáil deputies
for the county and other public figures are preparing to hold meetings
A team of C.I.E., economy experts has visited stations along the 53 miles
Mr. E. J. Carroll, auctioneer, Miltown Malbay, says that nearly 150 children
travel on the railway to schools in Kilrush, Ennis and Ennistymon. ----
1960 3rd November (IT).
S.O.N.G. to fight C.I.E. For Rail Line:
There is a new song in the Banner County, S.O.N.G. (Save Our Narrow Gauge),
an organisation, which has just been formed in Co. Clare in an effort
to save the West Clare railway--- the last narrow gauge line left in Ireland.
--- Mr. Michael Howard, chairman, Kilrush, U.D.C., said that they had
been told by C.I.E., that the decision to close the line was final. ---
--- Mr. John Fennell, Kilrush, U.D.C., demanded proof that the West Clare
railway line was losing £23,000 a year. If the line went he said,
Clare would end up “like Siberia”.
1960 18th November (Irish Press).
Coras Iompair Eireann:
Notice as to termination of services of trains operating between Ennis
and Kilrush and Kilkee, and between Kilrush and Kilkee.
Pursuant to Section 19 of the Transport Act, 1958 the Board of Coras Iompair
Eireann hereby gives notice:
1 That all services of trains for passengers, merchandise and livestock
operating in each direction between Ennis and Kilkee, Ennis and Kilrush,
and between Kilrush and Kilkee, whether or not serving any intermediate
stations or halts, will be terminated on and from 1st February 1961.
2 That Kilrush and Kilkee railway stations and all intermediate railway
stations and halts will be closed to passengers, merchandise and livestock
traffic as from the said 1st February 1961 and that Ennis railway station
will be likewise closed to all the said traffic in relation to the carrying
thereof by rail between Ennis and Kilrush and Kilkee and all said intermediate
railway stations and halts.
3 That as an alternative for passengers new and additional road transport
omnibus services will operate between Ennis and Kilkee and Kilrush via
Corofin,Willbrook, Ennistymon, Lahinch, Miltown Malbay, Quilty and Doonbeg)
and between Kilrush and Kilkee via Moyasta ------.
1962 6th November (II).
The West Clare Runs Again:
The famous West Clare Railway is running again: - this time in Co. Mayo-helping
to produce turf for the new E.S.B. power station, Bellacorick, 12 miles
west of Crossmolina.
Parts of the narrow gauge railway made immortal by Percy French in his
song “Are You Right There Michael? Are You Right?” were bought
by Bord na Mona at the auction of the line last year and moved to Bangor
Erris where Bord na Mona is developing two huge bogs to supply milled
peat for the station which recently commenced feeding into the electricity
network as engineers switched-in one of its 20 M.W. generating sets on
the first running tests.
Now the famous carriages which “the passengers pushed with a will”
are running to time, transporting the workers around the narrow gauge
railway which connects the E.S.B. power station, the residential camp
and the bogs-in fact, taking the workers to and from work in plush 19th
The wagons which formed the “goods from Kilrush coming in”
travel over the lines. Now providing temporary shelters, for men engaged
in developing these bogs for the new needs of Ireland. ------.