Kilkee Historical Society

This society was set up in 2012 by local history enthusiasts to study, record and publish aspects of the history of Kilkee and its Loophead hinterland. The intention is to reveal more details of the hidden history of the area and put flesh on the bones of the national narrative.

While parts of Clare have field monuments dating back to the Mesolithic period the area under study only has such evidence of human habitation going back to the Neolithic period (approximately 2000 BC) as proven by the recent identification of Neolithic/Bronze Age wedge tomb on Dunlickey Road, Kilkee. Bronze Age artefacts in the Clare Museum (on loan from the National Museum) from this area show the early culture of the early inhabitants. Field monuments such as promontory forts, ring forts, medieval ecclesiastical sites and tower houses show the rich history of the peoples of Loophead. More recent modern history such as the development of Kilkee as a prominent seaside resort, the devastation of the famine in the area, the influence of various landlords of the area, the arrival of the West Clare Railway, as well as the lives and customs of previous generations of local inhabitants as recalled from living memory are all worthy of more detailed study.

If you would like to join the group or if you have information or records of historical interest or a question regarding some aspect of the history of Kilkee and West Clare please contact us.

History Articles

The White Sisters By Tommy McGrath

  Two regular visitors to the holiday resort of Kilkee after WWII stayed for 3 months each summer and continued their visits up until the early 60s.  These ladies fascinated the locals and holidaymaker alike due to their dress and unusual behaviours.  They dressed in a ‘nun-like’ habit which was different to what the locals […]

Fooagh Races by Tommy McGrath

Foogagh Races By Tommy McGrath   This nostalgic visit to the once famous race course was made possible by the instant recall of Foogagh’s oldest resident, Timmy Carmody who gave me a detailed account of the races as told to him by his father and grandfather. “The Foogagh race meeting was one of the most […]

Sinn Fein Courts in West Clare

By Michael Nolan SINN FEIN COURTS IN  WEST CLARE – 1918/1925   The Proclamation of the Irish Republic issued by the 7 signatories in April 1916 made a Declaration.   “Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National Government,  representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected […]

Sea Serpent off KiIkee

An image of Co Clare’s sea-serpent – Victorian Ireland’s equivalent of the Loch Ness monster – has resurfaced after 144 years. The artist’s impression of the bizarre ocean creature, allegedly spotted off the coast of the resort village of Kilkee, has been found lurking in the depths of a London archive. The “monster” was the […]

The Crook Memorial Church Kilkee

by Michael Nolan The leaflet/flyer announcing the programme of arrangements for the opening and dedicatory services of the Crook Memorial Church , West End, Kilkee  on Sunday 3oth June 1901 was a source of curiosity leading me to ask who was the person to whom the church was dedicated, what was his relevance to Kilkee, […]

Coastal Architectural Survey

Survey carried out by Clare Co Council in association with the Heritage Council. The Clare Coastal Architectural Heritage Survey is an almost comprehensive survey of structures of vernacular, engineering and architectural value, constructed over the past three centuries.

Life of Eugene O’Curry

Eugene O’Curry was born in Doonaha in Co. Clare, on the bank of the Shannon some miles east of Loop Head, in November, 1794 . He had little formal education, but at an early age took an interest in Irish manuscripts.

A Flying visit to Bishop’s Island, Co. Clare

There can only be a handful of lrish church sites that have not been visited and described, however briefly, over the past 150 years. Until recently, Bishop’s Island belonged to this dwindling group.

Guarding Loophead

Around the coast of Ireland, in prominent positions, there are the remains of concrete look-out posts. When were they built? Why were they built? Who worked there? This paper attempts to answer these questions.

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