Sport and social events

Here is just a brief mention of some of the social and other events that take place in Kilfenora throughout the year.

Kilfenora and sport
Kilfenora has a proud sporting history, even as a relatively small community in the context of County Clare as a whole.

Some details about Kilfenora’s gaelic football team can be found on:

Kilfenora’s home football ground is at the Deanery, a few hundred metres north-west outside the village on the road to Doolin. There is also a tennis court there.

Young sportsmen and women from Kilfenora and surrounding areas also feature in North Clare and county football sides.

Boxing is another sport in which both boys and girls from Kilfenora have excelled. Brothers James and Mark Clancy from Kilfenora are particularly noteworthy, having become professionals competing on the world stage at heavyweight and cruiser-weight respectively, following initial All-Ireland success.

In 1992, the Kilfenora Boxing Club – created by Mickey McCormack and now run by his son Patrick – was recognised as the best club in Ireland, an amazing feat for a small community. It remains highly active and successful in 2012. Kayleigh McCormack, Sharon Murrihy and Caolinn McCormack are among a number of talented young Kilfenora boxers now also competing and winning at Munster and national level. See here for pictures of Kayleigh winning the 54kg Irish championship in 2010.

Car rally
Kilfenora’s gentle pace was shattered briefly in 2003 when the Clare motor rally roared through the village and local roads.

St Patricks Day
Kilfenora is one of the finest spots in Ireland to celebrate March 17. After mass, the cream of local musicians gather at the graveside of Kitty Linnane – famed manager of the Kilfenora Céilí Band for 40 years – to play some tunes in her honour, and then move on to play a session in Linnanes Pub that lasts all day and night. 

Kilfenora’s parade is always colourful and witty. The parade starts behind Vaughans Pub and turns left after the sqaure and returns again, wheeling around the original roundabout that Father Dougal negotiated between Linnanes and Nagles pubs in his milkfloat in the “Speed 3” episode of Father Ted.

Kilfenora’s parade is always colourful and witty as can be seen in the photo gallery here. The parade starts behind Vaughans Pub and turns left after the sqaure and returns again, wheeling around the original roundabout that Father Dougal negotiated between Linnanes and Nagles pubs in his milkfloat in the “Speed 3” episode of Father Ted.

Wrenboys and Strawboys
Ancient country dance and music traditions still flourish in Kilfenora.

On St Stephens’ Day, a troupe of musicians and dancers travel the highways and byways around Kilfenora, visiting houses and collecting money for charity. The Kilfenora Wrenboys usually finish their journey at the ceili held that night in Vaughans’ Barn.

A particular local tradition is for the local Strawbows dancers – in weird masks and garb, as shown in the picture – to appear at the celebrations a newly-married couple have after their honeymoon. However tightly-packed is the crowd, typically in a local pub, the Strawboys always manage to dance a full 8 person set.