Places of Interest
- ENNIS ABBEY:
The town of Ennis developed around this 13th century Abbey. It was
founded by the O'Brien's for the Franciscans in the 1240's. The well-preserved
ruins consist of a nave, chancel, belfry and an arcaded cloister.
It contains medieval sculpture of high quality.
This building was erected by the County Clare Grand Jury in 1850,
to the design of Henry Whitestone, at a cost of £12,000. It is a quadrangular
building with a grand limestone ashlar facade consisting of an ionic
portico and two flanking wings. Beside the Courthouse is a large Russian
cannon, a trophy of the Crimean war.
- DE VALERA MEMORIAL:
In the town park near the Courthouse, is a larger than life bronze
statue of Eamon de Valera mounted on a limestone pedestal. The former
President of Ireland is depicted taking the salute and was sculpted
by Jim Connolly.
- STEELES ROCK:
This unusual monument consists of three irregular blocks of limestone,
on one of which is carved a shield bearing a lion passant, the ornament
being picked out in colour. It is sited close to the embankment of
the River Fergus and it is said that Tom
Steele, a close friend of Daniel O'Connell, used to sit here hoping
to get a glimpse of the lady he loved, Matilda Crowe, who resided
in the big house across the river.
- TIM SMYTHE PARK was previously known as the Fair
Green. It covers an area of nine Irish acres. It was walled in by
1870 on the instructions of Lord Leconfield's agent, Wainwright Crowe.
The first fair was held in 1873. The green is now a recreation area
and in 1985 it was officially named Tim
Smythe Park, in honour of a great Clare athlete. The Park has
a sports field, children's play-ground, well-lit running track and
- CUSACK PARK:
The County G.A.A. grounds, scene of many thrilling hurling and football
- CATHEDRAL: Dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul, this
church is of limestone ashlar with high crenellations and a graceful
tower and spire. The foundations were laid in 1828 but because of
financial difficulties it was not opened for worship until 1842.
- FRIARY CHURCH: Gothic with heavy buttresses and
an attractive tower, this church is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.
- DRUMCLIFFE PARISH CHURCH: St. Columba's Church of
Ireland was built in 1871. It contains a number of memorials dedicated
to renowned families of County Clare. The side entrance has two stained
glass windows designed by Catherine O'Brien.
- DE VALERA LIBRARY: Originally erected as a Presbyterian
church in 1853, the building has been converted into a museum and
library. It also serves as a lecture and display centre. The Local
Studies Centre is a reference library and research centre and holds
a large collection of books dealing with the history and topography
of County Clare. Eamon de Valera's car, a 1947 Dodge, is on display
in the grounds of the library.
- THE O'CONNELL MONUMENT: This is an impressive Doric
column erected on the site of the old courthouse where Daniel O'Connell
was declared M.P. for Clare in 1828, an historic event which was later
to result in the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act. The statue
of the Liberator with a shamrock scroll around the base was executed
by James Cahill of Dublin and is considered to be his finest work.
- THE MARKET: A market is held in Ennis every Saturday.
In the centre of the market is a statue of Daedalus, a Greek mythological
figure. (Some claim that the statue is of Icarus,son of Daedalus.)
It is the work of John Behan and was presented to the people of Ennis
by Guinness Peat Aviation to mark the towns 750th anniversary in 1990.
- THE MAID OF
ERIN: Erected in 1881, this statue commemorates three Irish Nationalists
executed in Manchester in 1867. It is the work of P.J. O'Neill and
stands on a 23 foot single column. The life size statue represents
the personification of Erin.
- RIVERWALK SCULPTURE TRAIL: A recent development
of a pleasant walk by the River Fergus where some fine pieces of sculpture
have been erected.
- DRUMCLIFFE: On this monastic site, 3kms from Ennis,
is located the remains of an early church with a 40 foot high Round
Tower adjoining. For centuries it has been the main cemetery of Ennis
and many impressive memorials to local families of note can be found
- BALLYALLA LAKE: This recreation and public amenity
area is located 4km. from Ennis, off the Gort Road. It is a wildlife
preserve and lakeside walking area.