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Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1845


Kilkee or Doogh

A town, watering-place, and fishing-station, in the parish of Kilfieragh, barony of Moyarta, co. Clare, Munster. It stands on the shores of a beautiful little smooth circular creek of Malbay, 8 miles west-north-west of Kilrush, 28 miles south-west by west of Ennis, and 140 west-south-west of Dublin. Its site is part of the large estates of the Marquis of Conyngham; but is held under lease by J. Studdert, Esq., who has a lodge adjoining the town. Kilkee, previous to the introduction of steam-vessels into the Shannon, was scarcely known; but now it is a rising town, and a favourite sea-bathing resort of the citizens of Limerick, likely to bear comparison, at a brief period hence, with many of the watering-places of Great Britian. In 1837, the town and its neighbourhood contained no fewer than 305 lodges, some of which let for so large a sum as 30 per month. "But", says Mr. Fraser, "in the erection of the numerous little houses lately added to this attractive watering-place, no attention seems to have been paid either to comfort or arrangement. There are, however, a hotel, numerous lodging houses, and cars which run daily to and from Kilrush, in connection with the Limerick steamers." The coast scenery in the vicinity of the town is singularly grand, romantic, and imposing, and will be partly noticed in our article on MOHER: which see. But families desirous of knowing the advantages and attractions of the watering-place, may be gratified by referring to Mrs. Knott's recent little volume, entitled "Two months in Kilkee." A church was quite recently built at the town by means of a donation of 1,184 1s. 6d., from the funds of the Ecclestical Commissioners, and a contribution of 200 from private parties; and it contains accommodation for 400 persons. The harbour consists of the creek called Moore or Kilkee bay, has a depth of from 2 to 14 fathoms, and, though unprovided with pier or quay, enjoys the shelter of a ledge of rocks which acts as a strong natural breakwater against the assualts of the Atlantic waves. In 1836, the fishing craft within the district of the coast-guard station of Kilkee, consisted of 44 row-boats, manned by 190 men. The Carriagaholt and Kilkee dispensary is within the Kilrush Poor-law union, and serves for a pop. of 17,730; and, in 1839-40, it expended 109 18s. 5d., and made 4,036 dispensations of medicine. Area of the town, 66 acres; in 1831, 1,051; and in 1841, 1,481. Houses 238. Families employed chiefly in agriculture, 104; in manufactures and in trade, 118; in other pursuits, 68. Families dependent chiefly on property and professions, 31; on the directing of labour, 107; on their own mannual labour, 133; on means not specified, 19.

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland, 1845
Courtesy of Clare Local Studies Project

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