Clare County Library
Clare Places: Towns & Villages
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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.
  • COURTHOUSE: 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 playing pitches.
  • CUSACK PARK: The County G.A.A. grounds, scene of many thrilling hurling and football matches.
  • 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 here.
  • 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.