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10 things that make you a Sham

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KILRUSH – From Cappa pier to the cricket field and the handball alley to the woods, this West Clare town is a pretty special place to grow up.

Anyone who was lucky enough to spend their days here will instantly recognise every single memory on this list and plenty more besides.

Go on the Shams!


  1. Walking around the old convent grounds

Easily the eeriest building in Kilrush, the old convent has been closed now for about 20 years. Everyone was warned to stay away from it as kids, but that didn’t stop youngsters from wandering around the grounds, drinking in the overgrown gardens and generally getting up to mischief.


Kilrush Convent of mercy
Kilrush Convent of mercy


  1. Hanging out in the library after school

The library was the place to be after school back in the noughties. It was the best place to hang out and “do homework”, but really the school bags were piled at the door and great chats were had with friends. It was also where the internet was kept, as no-one had home computers in those days.


Kilrush Library
Kilrush Library
  1. The UNREAL sweet shops

Two of the best sweet shops in the whole world are located in Kilrush. Only open during the summer months, ‘Jimmy’s’ had an unbelievable collection of penny sweets. Poor Jimmy has since passed on, but his sweets will never be forgotten. O’Brien’s corner shop also had a fantastic stock; enough to empty any kid’s pocket money stash.


  1. Swimming in Cappa every summer

Ah, to be that fit again. Walking or cycling out to Cappa on the long summer days for a two hour swim with your friends and strolling back to town again without a bother. Jumping off the back wall was reserved for only the bravest.


Cappa Pier
Cappa Pier


  1. Walking home from a night out in the Galleon in heels

All of the ladies will relate to this one (and maybe even some of the guys). The Galleon is a great spot for a night out and many’s the shindig that was had there. After a few orange juices, it inevitably seems like a good idea to strut (stagger) the mile home to town in six inch heels. Bring the high viz jacket next time.


  1. Hooleys in the square

When you see that truck pulling up at the square and the massive floorboards going down, you know you’re in for an evening of mighty craic. Stand too close to the dancefloor and you could suddenly find yourself in the middle of the Siege of Ennis, giving it socks as you’re whirled around the place.


Set dancing
Set dancing


  1. Learning to drive in the woods

Every single person who grew up in Kilrush had a driving lesson with a parent/older sibling/person with no regard for their personal safety at some point in the Kilrush Woods. With perfectly smooth tarmac, gentle bends and low speed limit, it was the perfect place to learn (once you were insured of course).


Kilrush Woods
Kilrush Woods


  1. Christmas Eve mass

While many of us no longer regularly go to mass on a Sunday, the Christmas Eve mass in St Senan’s church draws a huge crowd without fail. The mass is legendary for the music provided by the stunning choir. It’s a beautiful way to start the Christmas season and everyone leaves the church floating on air.


St Senan's Kilrush
St Senan’s Kilrush


  1. Walking up the windiest street in the world

Frances St MUST be the windiest street of all time. With Kilrush Marina perched at the end of the street, it’s no wonder small children have been known to be carried away by the wind. Even on the balmiest days, one only has to stick their nose outside the post office to blow away the cobwebs.


Frances St
Frances St


  1. Coffey’s curry chips

‘Nuff. Said.

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