Events around Ennis
The narrow streets and lanes of Ennis represent a blend of its historic past and the active present. It is a tourist centre of major importance in County Clare, acting as a good base for the county’s other attractions as well as many attractions and sights within the town itself. Ennis was the first town in Ireland awarded the prestigious International Purple Flag Award as proof of Ennis’ claim to be the Friendliest Town in Ireland.
Walking around the centre of Ennis, you will see famous names from Irish history including O’Connell, the nineteenth-century patriot and great Catholic Emancipator, who keeps vigil over the town from his Doric column on O’Connell Square. From here you can explore in several directions, along narrow streets, a lively market square and bridges crossing the River Fergus.
Ennis Trad Festival
A variety of traditional pubs provide traditional and contemporary evening entertainment, but in November, the Ennis Trad Festival brings together the most accomplished Irish traditional musicians, singers and dancers in a relaxed and informal atmosphere for five days guaranteed to be the best entertainment and culture.
The second largest traditional music festival in Ireland is held in Ennis in late May each year. Launched in 1974, this 8-day festival welcomes guests to more than 120 events including album launches, recitals, Irish dance competitions and street entertainment. The idea of the festival is to bring together concerts, céilithe, music, song and dancing workshops and much more. This winning formula has continued throughout the years, entertaining thousands of visitors.
The County Show
A major agricultural, equestrian and social event for the whole of County Clare for over 100 years, the county fair place at the Ennis Show Grounds in early July, continuing to play an important part in the agricultural heritage of the county. The show attracts many competitors and spectators. With classes in horticulture, cattle, horses, dogs, jumping, driving, arts and crafts, the show provides a platform to showcase the best of horticulture and agriculture in County Clare.
Events hosting facilities
The Glór Theatre Ennis is the premier events venue on the West Coast of Ireland. Since opening in 2001 the venue has become a setting for a wide range of acts including stand-up comedy, drama performances, art exhibitions and a variety of concerts.
The Clare Museum
A permanent exhibition, The Riches of Clare, has a wide visitor appeal and comprise a large loan of artifacts of Clare provenance from the National Museum of Ireland, the de Valera Museum collection, and artifacts collected locally. There are colourful display panels, audio visual and computer interactive presentations, models, some replicas and specially commissioned art pieces.
Ennis Friary, established in the thirteenth century, was once renowned across Europe as a centre of learning. The O’Briens were the principal patrons of these Franciscan friars which likely led to their settlement in Ennis. Now the site is a well-preserved set of ruins consisting of a nave, chancel, bell-tower and an arcaded cloister. Highlights include the statue of Saint Francis displaying his stigmata, a tomb from 1470 with elaborately carved scenes from the passion of Christ, numerous fifteenth and sixteenth century sculptures made from the local hard limestone, and some fine medieval windows.
The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul
Another Ennis landmark with an impressive spire, the Gothic-Revival Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul was originally built to be the parish church of Ennis, built on a site donated in 1828 by Protestant landowner Francis Gore. However, building was delayed by the Great Famine and other events and was only completed in 1874. It was inaugurated as a pro-cathedral in 1890 and rededicated as a cathedral in 1990.
The De Valera Public Library & Gallery
The library and gallery includes the 1856 Presbyterian church which is now used as a lecture and display centre. Here you can see a 1947 Dodge once owned by Éamon de Valera on display in the grounds.
The former Sisters of Mercy Convent
The Sisters of Mercy Convent, founded in 1861 with six nuns, expanded to include two schools, an orphanage and several small industries.
The main building was demolished in 1995, while the surviving parts of the complex were restored and put to new uses, including a wing which now houses the Clare Tourism Centre.