Dear KDHS members and friends,

Your committee has spent much of the summer waiting for our politicians to figure out what sort of gatherings are and are not permissible and/or safe under the rules and regulations put together by said politicians.

One piece of good news is that, after a much longer than anticipated wait, we have recently received the keys to the Turret Lodge.

This is National Heritage Week, during which The Heritage Council has invited organisations like ours to open the door to heritage.  For more, see

We will be delighted to open the doors of the Turret Lodge to the public for free tours between 2pm and 5pm on this coming Saturday 21 August, when we hope to see some of our members in person for the first time in over a year.

Booking is not necessary.  We would like to advise that tours will take approximately 15 minutes and the number of persons on each tour will be limited.

Please respect anti-COVID-19 public health guidelines.  Face coverings are essential in order to gain entry.

Built in 1845, the Turret Lodge is a notable landmark in Kilrush town, controlling access between the town and the Vandeleur estate demesne.  Given that Kilrush House, the home of the Vandeleur family, burned down in 1897, the surviving lodges, walled garden, and stable block have added significance as surviving links to the town's past built heritage.

The tours will introduce the public to the beautifully renovated building thereby "Opening the Door to Heritage."

This project received funding under the Historic Towns Initiative 2019, which is a partnership between The Heritage Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with Clare County Council providing match funding.

The delivery was based on a collaborative approach between Kilrush and District Historical Society, Clare County Council, and the Heritage Council alongside the design team, architectural conservation professionals, and contractors.

KDHS would like to acknowledge the generous funding from the bodies listed above and from Clare Local Development Company (LEADER) that made the renovation of the Turret Lodge possible.

For those who don't know where the Turret Lodge is (adjoining the Teach Ceoil and Kilrush Churchyard, to the south), it now even has its own Eircode, which you can use in your navigation devices: V15 E773.


The relaxation of anti-COVID-19 measures has allowed the Remembering The War of Independence in West Clare Group to belatedly organise a number of small outdoor events to commemorate those who participated in the War of Independence just over a century ago.

The next of these events will take place in Labasheeda village at 1pm on Saturday 21 August, also as part of National Heritage Week.  Full details can be found at

You can keep up to date with all the activities of the War of Independence group via its Facebook page:


The KDHS committee has not been inactive over the summer and our photographic publication, entitled "Kilrush: Memories of an Irish Market Town, 1879-1979", is being proof-read will soon be going to the printers, thanks to the invaluable assistance of John Glynn.


Our monthly lectures will resume on Tuesday 28 September.  Whether that will be in person or via Zoom will be decided later due to the continuing uncertainty concerning the spread of COVID-19.  At the moment, Damian Shiels is scheduled to talk about Recovering West Clare Voices from the American Civil War.


New members and donations are always welcome!  The annual membership fee (July-June) is EUR20.  Many thanks to those who have already paid their subscriptions for 2021-22.

There are links to the membership renewal form, to the ongoing fundraiser for the Kilrush WW1 memorial, and to our PayPal account from our website home page at

Paddy Waldron

Copyright © 2021 Kilrush and District Historical Society, All rights reserved.

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