The Houses of Marine Parade and Ennistymon
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
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
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
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 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
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.
Parish Magazine 1998