Kilrush

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Name Kilrush County Clare Nearest Town Kilkee Access Road N68 About Kilrush is a picturesque heritage town of about 8,000 people located at the mouth of the River Shannon in south County Clare.


It is an ideal location for exploring the Shannon Estuary and the Loop Head lighthouse is well worth a visit some 15 miles away.

Kilrush is on the N68 Ennis to Kilrush road and is about 1 hour from Limerick and 45 minutes from Shannon Airport.

From the south there is a car ferry from Tarbert in County Kerry to Killimer, which is just five minutes drive from Kilrush.
Crossing time is 20 minutes.


Kilrush was once one of the twin termini of the famous West Clare Railway from Ennis; the neighbouring town of Kilkee being the other.

The railway closed in 1961 although plans are being considered to re-open the link again.

Kilrush Creek Marina is the first stopping point at the Atlantic Ocean end of the Shannon Estuary, with its lock gates providing protection from the tidal estuary.

Kilrush has existed since the 16th century but it was not until the 18th century that it underwent major development.

This development coincided with the succession of John Ormsby Vandeleur as the wealthiest landlord in the district.

Of Dutch origin, the Vandeleur Family was the most prominent landlord family in West Clare.

They designed the layout of the town and many of the present day street names derive from Vandeleur family names.

John Ormsby Vandeleur built the large family home, Kilrush House in 1808 and by that stage he practically owned Kilrush.

With wealth achieved from a financially beneficial marriage and some political skulduggery, he decided to develop the town.

A Scots businessman James Patterson, who had been a gunboat lieutenant until 1802, assisted him in this project.

Patterson entered the oats trade in West Clare and in 1802 he got a site on the square from Vandeleur and erected a six-storey building.

Kilrush has a good range of modern hotels and all types of accommodation from hostels upwards.

There are plenty of amenities and good restaurants and pubs in and around the town.

Sailing is also very popular.

Classes and instructions on boating are available at the town marina.

The Western Yacht Club has in the last decade been rejuvenated, being one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world.

Tennis, football (soccer) and athletics are catered for at the Cooraclare Road complex.

The rugby club is based on the Doonbeg Road.

There is a testing 18-hole golf course on the Ennis Road.

Also one of the newer great attractions of the area is the Greg Norman designed golf links at Doonbeg, quickly gaining a reputation as being one of the most demanding and spectacular courses in Western Europe.

The course and luxury 5-star hotel are only 10 kilometres from Kilrush.

Kilrush is a laid back easy going town that mirrors the gentle approach to life that the visitor will find all along the Clare coast and yet offers the activities that suit those seeking a more robust holiday.

You can chill out or splash out.

The choice is yours.

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