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Houses and their occupiers in Lahinch, County Clare

The Houses of Marine Parade and Ennistymon Road, Lahinch

By Tomsie O’Sullivan

Marine Parade is to many residents the hub of life in Lahinch for the past 85 years. We were told it had a Town Hall, 2 Dance Halls, 3 Hotels and of course, a wealth of stories.

Marine Parade is the street on the north side of Lahinch and the present area has the entrance to the Seafront Car Park, Sea World, Amusement Arcade etc. It starts on our left with what all locals call Hessions Corner.

O’Connor’s Shop and Amusement Arcade is the first 2 story building we see. Up to 1940 this was the home of Miss Egan. After 1940 it was leased by many families, the Tobins, Paddy O’Connor who later purchased it and also it was home for a short time to Gerard O’Sullivan and Family, Vincent McCormack and the Styles. In the 1960s it was purchased by Frank O’Connor, Ennistymon who converted it to a shop. Later his son, Lorcan re-constructed it to a three storey premises and extended the business. Today Lorcan’s family run the business.

The next house is the Private Residence of Mrs. Rush, a local lady who has retired from business. The previous owners were the late Mr & Mrs Mike Scanlon.

Then we have the house of the Butterfield Family. Mrs. Butterfield’s parents, the late Mr & Mrs John O’Connell also lived here and reared their family from the mid 1930s. The house was then owned by the Flynn family.

Enzo’s Fast Foods is the next business house which up to the 1990s was a Grocery Shop and Bakery of the Rush Family for over 50 years.

There is a lane beside it which was called McLysaght Lane and has access to houses of Marine Parade, Main St. etc. Up to the 1940s we were told that Jack Garrahy, a local tradesman of that time, had a 2 storey business property here which had exit to the Prom. On the ground floor he had Sea Water Baths and on the second floor he had a Dance Hall which also was used for card games, local drama and in turn staged such travelling shows as Anew McMaster, McEntee, Baileys, Sonny Cool, to recall but a few.

The next 3 storey building is now a block of Apartments since late 1980s. This was at one time, St. Anthony’s Boarding House, built around 1912 and was owned by the Family of the late John McInerney, Ennistymon. It was rented for a short time in 1929 by Mrs. Lysaght whose house was washed away one night by high seas. Mr. & Mrs. Clement O’Looney took over the lease of St. Anthony’s in 1933 and developed it to St. Anthony’s Hotel which they operated until their retirement in the mid 1980s. The present complex retains the name of Lally’s, because we understand that Mr. Lally was the owner of the property in 1912 and also was owner of a Pub across the street called St. Rocks. At his death Mr. Lally gave the two properties to his nieces Miss Costello and Mrs. Maher. The Maher Family still own and operate the apartment complex.

At the opposite side of Marine Parade on the Prom where there is now a seating area property of Antoin O’Looney, there was up to the 1940s a Sea Water Bath House which was owned and operated by John Reidy, Lahinch.

Next on our way back to Main St., we have O’Looney’s Bar & Restaurant which has seen changes of ownership and structure over the past number of years. It was owned as we were told by Mr. Lally who left it to his niece who later sold it to Mr. Peter McCormack and leased to a Mr. Ryan in the 1940s for a time. Then in the 1960s Mr. McCormack’s daughter, Mrs. Conlan retired and sold it to Tom Brewster Sullivan. He sold to Jack Farrell who in turn sold it to its present owner, Antoin O’Looney.

The next space will be remembered by many locals. It was where the old Town Hall stood. It is the present entrance to the Car Park on the Prom where we have McDonald’s Amusement Arcade, and below that the new Sea World Aquarium and Swimming Pool Complex.

Across this wide entrance was at one time the Marine Hotel and Ball Room run by the Collins sisters. In the 1940s it was leased to the Fitzgeralds of Kilkee and in the 1950s sold to the late Col. Paddy Brennan who changed its name to “The Gastoff” and made it into a large ground floor bar and lounge with limited guest accommodation upstairs. Later he sold it to Mt & Mrs O’Hanlon and in the late 1950s it was purchased by the then Lahinch Development Company for the purpose of building a Dance Hall and Cinema! Following support of Bord Failte, the Lahinch Golf Club and Clare County Council, the plan moved down to the present structure of Sea World and a new Prom and Car Park were built.

The new Dell Complex we next see was also a Hotel and in the 1930s and 1940s was run by Tom Blackwell and called the Victoria Hotel. It too had a Ball Room and was popular to the music of Madigan’s Dance Band. It was purchased in the late 1940s by Mick O’Loughlin, Ennistymon, who re-structured it extensively and operated it as a Guest House, Bar, Lounge, etc and called it “The Dell”. In the 1970s it changed owners and again in the mid 1980s Gus Hayes, New York and Ennistymon purchased it. He later purchased O’Sheas’s one storey house next door and shortly after, demolished it all for new development. A few years ago he sold it all to MI. Lynch, Building Contractor, Ennis, who in 1996/97 built the present structure called “The Dell” which is now operated by a Limerick Company.

We now enter the area of Ennistymon Road and its worth noting that in 1955 there were 18 houses from here to Thynne’s Cross. In 1997 it has over 50 houses. The first house is home of the Skerritt Family for three generations. In the early 1900s it was owned by the Reynolds Family who had a Public House and Private residence. Later the late Mike Skerritt married Susan Reynolds and continued to run the business up to their retirement from business. Their family still live there now.

Next is the home of the Walsh family since early 1910s and the family still live here with Susan a regular visitor and the other members in England and USA, Canada coming home each year to meet many friends.

The Public House of Tom Frawley is next and is one to the few remaining second generation business houses in Lahinch. In the early 1940s it was a popular Shop & Bar, Flour and Meal business with Guest House Accommodation.

We cross the laneway here and the residence of Mrs Conlan. This up to the 1940s was the home of Tom McNamara, a local carpenter.

The new Lahinch developments start next with the bungalow of Mary Clancy and behind it a summer house both built in the mid 1980s. It is worth remembering that here was the site of the last Thatched Cottage in Lahinch where the Walsh family lived.

The next house is the home of Matthew Barrett called “Green Lawn” (which speaks for itself) and was built in mid 1930s by his aunt, Margaret Barrett on her return from the USA.

The two storey house next door is home of Mr & Mrs Kevin Glynn and family. It was built back in the mid 1940s by his parents. The bungalow beside it is home of Mr. & Mrs. Paddy O’Sullivan and built in the late 1950s.

As you cross the road now we have the Sancta Maria Hotel, which was the first building development of this area of land in the 1950s when it started as a home and Guest House by Mr & Mrs Patrick McInerney and family. Over the years it has developed to a modern Hotel and is now managed by their son Tomás, the second generation in the business.

On up the hill is the Medical Centre of Dr. Michael Kelleher built in the 1980s and behind it is a number of summer houses built since 1970.

The Green Briar Guest House is a development built in 1960s for the late Miss Hegarty and now operated by new owner, Rene Cotter.

The 2 storey stone built house we next see is a landmark and house of memories to some old folks in Lahinch who recall the late Major Ross Rose, the owner in the 1930s. It was his summer house from his home in Limerick, the Ardhu House which is now the Limerick Ryan Hotel on Ennis Road. It was later purchased by Benie Farrell, then Mr. & Mrs. O’Hanlon and now home of Mr. & Mrs. J. Chambers (nee O’Hanlon) and family.

Next is the bungalow home of Mrs. O’Brien called Garryowen Lodge many years ago when it was the home of the Murphys of Dublin. The Lodge Field near these houses is now been developed for an estate of 26 or so houses. Then we have the O’Shea’s Cottage now the summer house of Mr & Mrs Michael O’Shea which was the house of his father and grandfather. The final building on this side of the Ennistymon Road is a new bungalow built in early 1990s by Donnie O’Shea and family (no relation to Michael).

At Thynne’s Cross we finish what locals accept as the Ennistymon Road and return again to Lahinch on left side where it is all new houses since about 1975. Mr. & Mrs. D. Curtin and family is the first bungalow at cross roads. Next is a new bungalow in course of building, then there is Mr & Mrs P. Walsh and family, Denis Creedon, Mrs C. Hurley, Mr & Mrs D. O’Regan, Mr. & Mrs. B. Slattery and family. Mr & Mrs M. Kennedy and family, the Wall family, Mr & Mrs. J. Fawl and family, Mr & Mrs J. Slattery and family, Mr. & Mrs P. Gleeson (recently purchased by Mr & Mrs. E. Vaughan and family), and Mr & Mrs. B. Murphy and family, the Creedon family, then summer houses, Mr & Mrs A. Clancy. Next is Mrs A. Gallery, the Brennan family, the Doyle family and Mr & Mrs. Glynn. Then we have the 2 storey house of the Chambers family, which was built in the 1950s by Mr & Mrs Christy Cullinan, Lahinch who later went to Limerick with his wife and family. Then 2 bungalow summer houses with a double bungalow next built in mid 1950s by Mary E. Rush on return from USA, now in one is Mrs F. Garry and visitors have the other for summer house. Then we have the 2 storey home of Dr. Joe Kelleher, his wife and family.

Next is again a 2 storey house built in 1938 by Paddy Vaughan late of Ennistymon and occupied to recently by his family. Present owners are Mr & Mrs Denis Cullinan, Ennistymon. We have the bungalow of Mrs. Anna Roughan next which was built in the late 1950s.

Behind it are the homes of Mr & Mrs Pat Conway and family, Mr D. McInerney and the De Courcy family. The Garda Station and residence of Sgt. D. Sheedy and family is next, built about mid 1940s. The next bungalow was built about 1985 and is home of Mary-Anne O’Shaughnessy. Then there is the home of Mr & Mrs Thomas McInerney rebuilt in 1994/95 on the site of the O’Looney house of may years. The next house is the summer house of T. Brennan and was before 1985 the home of the O’Shaughnessy family. Then there is the cottage built early 1900s and was residence of Mr Regan; it has changed hands a few times and is now owned by the O’Looney family. On the laneway beyond it there is now a new development of apartments. In front of them is the summer house of Mr R. White and next door is the 2 storey residence of Mr & Mrs T. Hogan, up to the late 1940s, this property was part of the William McNamara Estate.

The next property is now Lahinch Classics owned by Mrs M. O’Loghlen since early 1995. It was before that a bakery and restaurant of the Hehir family since 1970 or so. Up to the 1960s for 35 years on, it was home of Mr & Mrs J. Garrahy, who operated a grocery shop, tea rooms, accommodation and also sold paraffin oil.

The last house we have on the Ennistymon Road is Mr Eamons Restaurant since late 1980s and is run by Mr & Mrs E. Vaughan and family. This was also part of the Hehir property in the 1970s. Before that from 1950 to 1970s Mr & Mrs Talty had a shop here. It was built in early 1900 for Mr & Mrs Mikie Kelly who lived there up to the 1940s.

May I thank some of the older residence of these areas for their help in putting this information together and sharing happy moments with me.

Ennistymon Parish Magazine 1998


Houses on Station Road, Lahinch