Kilfenora public meeting (Tuesday, 7pm) on proposed ‘Burren Drive’

Fáilte Ireland are proposing to create a ‘Burren Drive’ – a tourist driving route linked, but separate to, the Wild Atlantic Way.

A public meeting is being staged to consult the North Clare community about this on Tuesday 13 November at 7pm in the Burren Centre. (A duplicate meeting is being held in the Wild Atlantic Lodge on Wednesday in Ballyvaughan.)

 Anyone is welcome, although Fáilte Ireland would appreciate being told if you are coming by sending an email to

The meeting will be attended by Hogarths – a landscape architect consultancy hired by Fáilte Ireland to help design the ‘Drive experience’.  In their words, they wish to be able to tell a story that will make a drive through the Burren come alive for visitors and increase benefits to local people by encouraging responsible engagement with this unique place”.

Hogarths are seeking advice from the community about what those who may use the drive – whether  tourists or locals – might need and expect.

  • What will interest and intrigue them?
  • What is essential or valuable for them to know about the environment, history and folklore of the Burren?
  • What information and pictures do we have in the community that could be used to tell this story? (Please bring anything along you may feel will be useful.)
  • Members of the Community may also need to advise Fáilte Ireland and its consultants of things NOT to do if designing a tourist drive through the Burren.

This meeting is connected to the consultation Fáilte Ireland undertook last year in Kilfenora and elsewhere about extending the marketing of the Wild Atlantic Way inland.

An important question for the Kilfenora Community is how WE should communicate about our village to attract the kind of visitors that we want – ideally people who will stop and stay and spend money, rather than pass through briefly in large coaches (typically on their way to the Cliffs).

Come and make your views heard – we don’t often get consulted about significant tourism initiatives that affect our daily lives!

Some useful facts

Since the inauguration of the Wild Atlantic Way, Clare’s performance in terms of revenue per visitor to Co Clare has actually declined as has its position in comparison with the other counties on the Way – Cork, Limerick, Kerry, Galway, Mayo and Donegal. The numbers of visitors is increasing but revenue is not – particularly in respect of foreign visitors, ie the ones most likely to use the proposed Burren Way. The figures below are the latest available from official sources.

  • Clare had the lowest spend per overseas visitor (€211) in 2017, down 5 % from 2016. By comparison the figure for Cork in 2017 was €393, Limerick €403 – and Galway’s income increased 100% to €352. This is despite a 20% increase in Clare’s overseas visitor numbers.
  • As regards domestic visitors (who on average spend more than overseas tourists), Clare fell from first place to third (2017 vs 2016), with a drop of 18% in revenue to €238 per head. Numbers of visitors fell by 14%. Again, this compares badly with the other coastal counties.

Why is Clare doing so poorly, given all the wonderful tourism features the county possesses?  Is this a failure in marketing of Co Clare? Why in particular are overseas visitor numbers increasing fast and revenue declining just as fast?

The answer in part is obvious to anyone living in North Clare. As Fáilte Ireland knows, there has been a vast surge in coach traffic to the Cliffs of Moher, deriving from Dublin and Galway. No surprise then that the income per head in Galway has rocketed. Possibly the actual decline in domestic visitors has something to do with being put off by this traffic increase – although that is speculative as no analysis has yet been undertaken by Clare Council or Fáilte Ireland.

Thus the challenge for the proposed Burren Drive is this – will it either help or make worse the tourism revenue figures for Co Clare? Will this just mean more people staying and spending in Galway, Limerick and Kerry having driven through the Burren on a day trip? How can Clare Co Council and Fáilte Ireland genuinely help local communities reverse the clear downward trend?

Kilfenora Post Office petition – please sign now

As explained at an emergency community meeting in Kilfenora Hall on Tuesday evening (25 September), a petition and outline business plan is to be submitted to An Post by Friday (28 September).  PLEASE sign the petition – the more community members sign, the more likely An Post will agree to continuation of the service. The deadline for signatures is 2pm on Thursday.

Forms can be found in O’Gormans and Howleys shops and in the village Post Office.

All individuals in families are urged to contribute their names and signatures – including children (bearing in mind that this issue is about their future too).

A crucial development is that The Burren Centre has volunteered to provide a space for a new post office counter. This has made it possible to submit an appeal to An Post.

If Kilfenora is successful in retaining a Post Office – which of course is vital for many community members and businesses over a wide area of North Clare – it is important that people understand and use the very wide range of services that the Post Office provides , including all the bill paying, social welfare and banking facilities (and soon mortgages). It is clear that many people have underappreciated this in the past. Hopefully Kilfenora (and its surrounding areas) will succeed in retaining a facility that is essential for the future economic health of the Burren communities.

See http://www.anpost.ie/AnPost/MainContent/Personal+Customers/  and http://www.anpost.ie/AnPost/MainContent/Business+Customers/ for more details.

Kilfenora Post Office

Kilfenora Post Office

A meeting in Kilfenora community hall is being convened on Friday 7 of September at 8pm. This will discuss issues raised on last Friday night (31st August) regarding the future of Kilfenora Post Office.

There will be no public representatives invited to this meeting.  All members of the community are asked to attend as this is an issue of vital importance to the village.

The recent meeting on Friday 31st August 2018 saw possibly the largest collection of Clare political representatives ever to visit Kilfenora at one time.

Tom O’Callaghan from the independent postmasters’ group and Gerry Duddy of the Irish Public Banking Forum were listed speakers. However, most of the evening was taken up by contributions from three Clare TDs – Pat Breen, Dr. Michael Harty and Timmy Dooley – followed by an array of councillors.

The meeting concluded with the proposal of a local working group to examine what might be done to retain postal services in Kilfenora.

 

Garda Rural Information meeting, Kilfenora 30.11.17

Ennistymon Garda are hosting a Rural Information meeting in Vaughans Barn on Thursday 30 November at 8pm.

This is a follow up to the similar meeting held two years previously. These topics will be addressed.

  • Crime prevention
  • Farm safety and accident prevention (‘Embrace’)
  • Safeguarding vulnerable adults (HSE)
  • Public Service Vehicle (PSV) inspection
  • Citizen information (legal and other aspects)

There will be stalls with useful information, and in the light of the importance of heart disease prevention, public health nurses will offer quick and easy blood pressure tests.

There will also be spot prizes and a cupan tae!

Kilfenora ‘time capsule’ 2017-2067

The Kilfenora Timeline is creating a Time Capsule which is intended to be re-opened in 2067.

  • Every household is invited to contribute to a record of the village and parish in 2017, which will be opened by villagers in 2067 to reflect on what has changed (or not!)
  • Physical items entered by each household must be compact – for example, a family tree on an A4 page, up to 3 photographs, an account of each household (on 1 A4 page)
  • Alternatively or additionally, households can submit a USB memory stick (also known as a flash drive) with as much information as that can hold – photos, documents, music, video.

All contributions should be placed in an envelope indicationg teh name and location of teh household and given into teh Post Office in Kilfenora by Friday October 6.

The Time Capsule will include a copy of a film being made by John O’Donnell of the Kilfenora Culture Night held on 22 September.

If you have any questions about the Kilfenora Timeline Capsule, call Lisa Carkill (087 742 6757) or Nuala Mulqueeny (086 832 2099) or email

Annual Clay Pigeon Shoot

On Sunday 10th September at  12pm, Kilfenora Gun Club  will stage its annual Clay Pigeon Shoot at the usual location on the Kilfenora to Lisdoonvarna road. Competitions include

  • 15 Bird DTL (Down-the-line)
  • 15 Ball Trap
  • 20 Bird Sporting
  • 3 Cups
  • Novice Shoot

Big cash prizes are at stake!

Many thanks in advance to the sponsors for this year’s shoot – Nagles Bar, the Kilfenora Timeline, The Doolin Ferry Co (Bill O’Brien), Doolin-to-Aran Ferries (Garrihys) and Burke Masonry.

Details are also listed at https://www.facebook.com/KilfenoraGunClub

Fleadh Cheoil and Kilfenora

Kilfenora wil be hosting several music events as part of the Fleadh Cheoil, in addition to what happens in Ennis and around, featuring some of Clare’s finest musicians.

There will be a ‘Riches of Clare’ concert in Kilfenora’s ancient Cathedral on Thursday 17 August (1 to 2 pm) with Sean Vaughan, David Sanders, Pat Marsh and John Flanagan.

LInnanes Bar (Kilfenora Square) has a session on Wednesday night specialising in tunes played by the Kilfenora Ceili Band, featuring noted local musicians such as James Devitt, Siobhan O’Donoghue and JJ Conway.

Nagles Bar (Kilfenora Square) has sessions on several nights from 9.30 or 10 pm..

  • Friday evening (18 August) is hosted by the incomparable Des Mulkere and friends – songs, stories and rousing tunes.
  • Saturday evening – the great singer and accordionist Donie Nolan with flautist Seamus Hynes and more besides
  • Sunday evening – North Clare’s finest banjo player Kevin Griffin will appear with Pat and Fran Murnane.

Unfortunately,  CCÉ Cill Fhionnurach will note be appearing on the Gig Rig stage as listed in the Fleadh programme for Tuesday. However there will be plenty of Kilfenora and N Clare musicians performing in Ennis. That includes…

  • in concert: The Kilfenora Ceili Band; the group Moher; Sharon Howley with Mike Hanrahan; the Droneys; and more besides
  • JJ Conway with the Tulla Ceili Band at the opening ceremony and other appearances
  • in competition: Ada & Eva Kenny (Spiorad ‘s Spraoi half set mixed dancers) and Jessica Nea on piano – and all three are also competing as members of the 15 Inis Og CeIli band. Also look out for the Kennys and Laura Griffey dancing as Fuinneamh.

Wishing the best of luck to everyone taking part in the fleadh!

Charity tea at Clare Varden’s on Sunday 2 July

Clare Varden will be staging her annual charity tea-party at home on Sunday 2 July from 13.00, in aid of tackling Motor-Nuerone Disease.

Do bring a contribution – comestible or financial (or both).

As always there will be sumptuous food, great company and some fine music – bring an instrument if you are a musician.

All welcome…

For those who don’t know the house, turn left on the cross-road on the Kilfenora -Lickeen lake road and follow the balloons.

Kilfenora at Clare Fleadh 2017

The full results of the 2017 Clare Fleadh staged last weekend in Kilrush can be found here – https://sites.google.com/site/countyclarecomhaltas/

Well done to competitors from Kilfenora and congratulations to

  • Laura Griffey – first in 12-15 fiddle slow airs and sean-nos dance, and second in miscellaneous instruments
  • Adrian McMahon (Lyons) – first in senior flute
  • Cáit Ní Laogharnáin – first in newly-composed tunes (any age) and recommended in 12-15 accompaniment
  • Jessica Nea – first in 12-15 piano
  • Riona Davoren – first in U12 miscellaneous
  • Aidan O’Loughlin – 2nd in U12 melodeon and recommended in accordion
  • Eva Kenny – recommended in 12-15 whistle slow airs
  • Corcomroe Dancers – recommended in 15-18 full set
  • Spiorad ‘s Spraoi dancers – recommended in over 18 half set

Good luck at the Munster Fleadh!