Clare County Library
Clare Places: Towns & Villages
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Places of Interest

  • Lahinch BeachTHE PROMENADE: Lahinch is fronted by a fine one mile stretch of golden beach. The sea wall, promenade and the strand offer a choice of walks. High tides and Winter storms have always been a regular occurrence at Lahinch and in 1883 the village was battered by a severe storm. The sea wall and promenade were destroyed and many buildings were damaged. A local government official, William Edward Ellis, lived in Lahinch at the time. He instigated many improvements in the village. He was involved in the construction of a sea wall and a new promenade. It was officially opened by the wife of the Viceroy, Lady Aberdeen, in July 1893.
  • Lahinch SeaworldSEAWORLD: Lahinch Seaworld and Leisure Centre opened for business in the Summer of 1996. It houses an Aquarium, a twenty five metre indoor swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, childrens pool, café and souvenir shop.
  • LAHINCH GOLF CLUB is famous for its championship course amongst the sandhills. It dates back as far as 1892. Officers of the Scottish Regiment, The Black Watch, who were stationed in Limerick, decided to establish a branch of the Limerick Golf Club here. It was officially inaugurated on Good Friday 1893. The original course was mainly east of the Liscannor Road but in 1907 the committee decided that the sandhills would prove more challenging. In 1927 Dr. A McKenzie designed the present Lahinch lay out.    Today Lahinch is a mecca for golfers from all over the world with its eighteen hole championship course coupled with the nearby Castle Course which caters for the overflow of golfers, particularly during the peak holiday periods. Each July the club hosts the South of Ireland golf championship, now the oldest in the country, having started in 1895.
  • Lahinch ChurchLAHINCH CHURCH: The Catholic church in the village centre is similar in design to Ennistymon church. The architects were Corr and McCormack and the builders were Farmer Brothers of Dublin. An earlier church had been built by Fr. Keane during the period from 1830-1840. The present church, the Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, was built on part of the original church. The cornerstone was laid in November 1952 and the church was opened in March 1954. The cost was £38,000.

  • SOME HOTELS AND DANCE HALLS: The Golf Links Hotel was constructed in 1896. It was taken over by the British Military in 1917 and used for the training of British conscripts. The British vacated it in 1919. In 1933 the building was destroyed by fire. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the public dance hall became an important part of the social life in the area. The first Town Hall was used as a dance hall, accommodating up to three hundred people. It closed when two other dance halls opened. Between 1885 and the late 1930's the Ballroom at the Victoria Hotel was used. The Royal Marine Hotel, owned by the Collins family was a popular venue for dances during the 1890's. Jack Garrahy's Hall had room for approximately one hundred and twenty people. Dances went on from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., sometimes continuing until 6 a.m. This Hall closed in the 1940's, shortly after the death of Jack Garrahy. During the 1930's the Claremont Hotel was sometimes used as a dance venue.  An Army Barracks was built in Lahinch in 1939 and the dining hall there soon became a dance venue known as the Sluagh Hall. In the late 1950's and early 1960's Marquee dances became popular during the Summer months and the Showband era had begun. At the end of the 1950's Lahinch Development Company constructed a modern complex containing a cinema, ballroom, café, shop and swimming pool, as well as a childrens play area and outdoor tennis courts. By 1964 the Entertainment Centre ballroom was licensed to hold sixteen hundred people. Concerts were also held here. The disco era followed the decline of the showbands but by 1991 the Lahinch Centre Ballroom was closed. Seaworld now stands on the site, the Aquarium occupies the entire area of the old ballroom.
  • DOUGH CASTLE: North of the village on the Liscannor Road may be seen the remains of Dough Castle. It was originally founded by the O'Connors in 1306. Its old name "Dumhach Ui Chonchuir" would translate as O'Connor's Sandbank and it was an O'Connor stronghold until they were ousted by the O'Briens in the days of Queen Elizabeth 1 of England. It is referred to in 1422 but none of the present ruin dates from that period. By 1584 the castle was held by Sir Donal O'Brien's family. In 1654 Colonel Stubber, a Cromwellian officer, saved the castle from the "Commissioners for overthrowing and demolishing castles in Connaught and Clare" and it was described as a tall battlemented tower with a two-storey dwelling house attached to one side in 1675. The present ruin is the result of poor foundations (mainly sand) rather than the ravages of war. The building collapsed at various times, mainly during the nineteenth century. Only one wall now remains of Dough Castle. The sandhills are supposed to be the haunt of Donn Dumhach, the Fairy King, and the sandhill Crughaneer near the bridge is also supposed to be haunted.
  • KILMACREEHY CHURCH or the Church of St. MacCreiche is an early twelfth-century parish church with nave and chancel built on the site of MacCreiche's famous sixth- century school. In the nave there is a holy water font beside the door. The recess on the north wall is probably a tomb, with a carved-stone head topping the archway. The monument on the south wall, reconstructed on paper by T.J. Westropp, showed two Gothic arches, or fluted or corded pilasters, with further branching from the central shaft. A carved head with flat medieval head-dress topped the pointed hood which terminated here with serpents of different styles. One of these serpents which looks as if it were holding a bone or bar cross-wise in its jaws has been associated by people with the legend of a corpse-eating eel from the sea. The small porch is of sixteenth-century origin. Hugh MacCurtain, the writer, is buried here in an unmarked grave.