A Handbook to Lisdoonvarna
and its Vicinity:
About the Author
Courtesy Clare Champion, 1998
A handbook to Lisdoonvarna and its vicinity
first published by Hodges, Foster and Co., Dublin in 1876 has recently
been made available in a new edition by CLASP Press. This book, out of
print for over 100 years, is now published with a delightful introduction
by author and poet, Cyril O Ceirin.
In his introduction Cyril discusses
the identity of the author who was reluctant to give his name to the book
and instead the initials ‘P.D.’ appear on the title page.
He favours the school of thought that the author was Rev. Canon Dwyer,
then Church of Ireland vicar cum rector of the important parish of Drumcliffe,
Ennis from 1864 to 1883 and author of “The Diocese of Killaloe from
the Reformation to the 18th Century”. Recent speculation suggested
that ‘P.D.’ was in fact Pender Downes, a notable journalist
with the Clare Journal at the time.
Every effort was made by CLASP to identify
‘P.D.’ prior to the publication but the local newspapers of
the time proved unhelpful and the catalogue of the National Library identified
the author as ‘P.D.’ although someone had written Philip Dwyer
on the title page in pencil.
Recent correspondence from Mrs. Vivian
Lloyd of Yorkshire to county Librarian Noel Crowley, has finally solved
the puzzle. Mrs. Lloyd is in fact the great grand-daughter of Canon Philip
Dwyer and had made contact with local historian Sean Spellissy on the
hope of acquiring copies of Canon Dwyer’s books.
Sean passed on the contact to Noel Crowley
and Mrs. Lloyd has forwarded a 1927 newspaper cutting containing the obituary
of Mrs. Anne Stather Dwyer, the widow of Rev. Canon Philip Dwyer. The
obituary identifies the Canon as author of “A guide to Lisdoonvarna”.
Mrs. Dwyer was the grand-daughter of Thomas Crowe of the Abbey, Ennis
and was survived by three sons and five daughters, twenty grand-children
and twenty two great-grandchildren.
to A Handbook to Lisdoonvarna and its Vicinity