Locals have expressed their confusion as to how future plans for Cahiracon House can be put in place when the property continues to be in private ownership.

As part of Heritage Week, a presentation and community engagement looking at potential uses for Cahiracon House going forward took place at Kildysart Community Centre where approximately 123 people were in attendance. Three of the four consultants carrying out a feasibility study on the site which is funded by The Heritage Council were present at the gathering, they were tourism development consultant Alan Hill, conservation architect Richard Rice and ex Shannon Heritage CEO John Ruddle who is now a tourism consultant.

In existence since the 1760s, Cahiracon House which locally is spelt Cahercon, was built by the McMahons. They were responsible for the construction of 17 tower houses in West Clare and were described by architectural conservationist, Dick Cronin as “a very influential family”. Having inspected the property recently, he noted, “The conservatory is in very poor condition but is not beyond repair. Some of the plaster work is amazing. The house is in quite good condition”.

Former councillor, Oliver Garry questioned if there was an urgent need to carry out works at the property. Security and weather proofing the location were the top priorities according to Ruddle who confirmed there were leaks in the house, “It is in need of urgent repairs to the roof”. Senior planner of Clare County Council, Brian McCarthy was in attendance and interjected at this stage, “We have to be very conscious when talking about somebody else’s house”. Ruddle added, “It is limited what we can do. Any pressure that can be put on is being put on”.

Questions were put to McCarthy on how any work can be conducted if the property is in private ownership. He stressed the local authority’s commitment to rural, social and economic development within the county. “We are committed to finding a use of the house, as of now we don’t own it, it is our intention to find a use”. The Cork native emphasised that the purpose of the meeting was about gaining respect and buy-in from the community.

Alan Hill expressed his delight with the “amazing response” to a survey focused on Cahiracon, the most recent census showed Kildysart had a population of 386, there were 201 respondents to the nine questions. Data obtained showed 75 percent of the survey participants were from Clare, just under 60 percent defined themselves as local with 10 percent of the engagement from outside Ireland. One third of the people surveyed were under the age of forty which Hill observed as “very encouraging”.

Preliminary findings of the survey showed that three in four people that took the survey admitted to having a personal connection to Cahiracon. The house and full community access were rated with “full commitment” when it came to the facilities of importance. Two thirds “strongly disagreed” that Cahiracon is in fine condition and can be left as is.

Among items listed in the findings that individuals wished to see in the coming decade at the location included jobs, restoration, public access, walking trails, local festivals, men’s shed, courses, accommodation and events.

Personnel at the public meeting put forward numerous ideas of what they would like to see at Cahiracon. A museum with a study on nearby islands, third level education “bringing it to the regions” as a 2019 equivalent to the NIHE, horse-riding, a sports hall, arts and crafts workshops, a spa and walking trails were some of the ideas voiced from the floor.

“It is quite humbling and enriching to be here. You have made a huge contribution to this. This community is behind this project, that’s clear to see. Be patient, there are people involved with the best will in the world that want to see big things happen that will benefit for generations,” Alan Hill said as he concluded the two hour meeting.

Related News

DSC01362 copy
John-Joe setting a high Banner with support for Clare
gerard gunning
Ennis plumber pleads guilty to careless driving causing death of Broadford GAA coach
STC Courtyard picture (1)
Shannon Town Centre to celebrate local hurling stars with big screen event
hotel room 1
Connemara man jailed for 'vicious' Shannon hotel room assault on girlfriend where victim lost two front teeth
Latest News
DSC01362 copy
John-Joe setting a high Banner with support for Clare
shandrum céili band 1-2
Pre match banter hitting a high note among Clare & Cork members of the Shandrum Céilí Band
clare v cork 28-04-24 niall o'leary mark rodgers 1
The Water Break: Start as you mean to go on to decide whether Clare or Cork are All-Ireland champions
11-160A7188
Devo comes out of retirement to pen Banner ballad for All-Ireland final
gerard gunning
Ennis plumber pleads guilty to careless driving causing death of Broadford GAA coach
Premium
gerard gunning
Ennis plumber pleads guilty to careless driving causing death of Broadford GAA coach
clare v tipperary 26-05-24 shane o'donnell 3
Everything has changed since 2013 for star man O'Donnell
donie fitzpatrick medal
Stories behind medals of Clare's 1914 heroes captivates attention 110 years on
barry murphy family 1
Ex Clare hurler Barry outnumbered in Murphy household but confident of getting bragging rights
clare v cork 04-02-24 david reidy 2
Clare's use of the ball 'key' to All-Ireland final outcome - Reidy

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top