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Adare - Limerick - Desmond Castle

circa 1910

Adare is a major tourist destination with many tours of Ireland's south-west stopping off in the village. The local heritage centre, which gives a deep insight into the history of the village, also hosts a number of craft shops. Adare is also a popular wedding and conference venue.


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Photo Details

  • County: Limerick
  • Town: Adare
  • Scene: View of Desmond Castle
  • Date: circa 1910


  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black & white if preferred.
  • Read about Adare below


Adare (Irish: Áth Dara) (Population 2,592 (CSO, 2006)) is a village in County Limerick, Ireland.

General Information

The name Adare is derived from Áth Dara, meaning 'the ford of the oak' and was historically a crossing point on the river Maigue.

Renowned as one of Ireland's prettiest villages, Adare is designated as a Heritage Town by the Irish government.

The N21 main Limerick-Kerry road goes through the village (although a bypass is planned). Adare is located 16 km/10 miles from Limerick City.


Adare is a major tourist destination with many tours of Ireland's south-west stopping off in the village. The local heritage centre, which gives a deep insight into the history of the village, also hosts a number of craft shops. Adare is also a popular wedding and conference venue. Adare is becoming a major golf destination with two 18-hole courses, the Adare Golf Club, which incorporates a driving range and which is set to be the site of the 2007 Irish Open, the Adare Manor Golf Club and a Pitch and Putt course. Adare has two equestrian centres: Clonshire and Adare Manor. Adare is home to a number of world-renowned stables. A railway lineto Foynes passes through the town, but Adare Railway Station has been closed for decades.

Accommodation, Food, Drink and Entertainment

The village offers three Hotels: the Adare Manor, Dunraven Arms and Woodlands House.

Adare has six public houses. In the village: Bill Chawke's, Collins', Seán Collins' and Lena's. In the outlying areas are The Thatch and Neville's. Additionally each of the three hotels and the two golf courses have bars/restaurants. Many of the pubs and bars serve food.

There is five restaurants: The Wild Geese, The Inn Between, The Abbots Rest, The Aches Restaurant, The Blue Door Cottage Pantry and The Pink Potato.

There are also cottages for rent and numerous B&Bs.


The main street combines quintessential Irish architecture with the English styled buildings and infrastructure purpose-built for the Dunraven estate. Examples of the latter architectural forms include the thatched cottages near the entrance to Adare Manor


St. Joseph's National School (boys), Our Lady's Abbey NS (girls), St. Nicholas' primary school (mixed) and Scoil Seán tSraide (mixed)


Adare is derived from Áth Dara, 'the ford of the oak'. The town was first settled near a ford (crossing point) on the river Mague in the region known as Ardshanbally (derived from ard sean bhaile, 'high old town'), near where the Desmond castle stands today. Historically a market town, in the middle ages Adare was a major settlement and boasted three monasteries and a castle.

Augustinian Priory

The Augustinian Priory was founded in 1315 by John, Earl of Kildare. The Priory was suppressed in the reign of Henry VIII. In 1807 the church of the Priory was given to the local Church of Ireland congregation as the parish church. In 1814 the refectory was rooved and converted into a schoolhouse. Between 1852 and 1854 a second restoration of the church was undertaken by Caroline Countess of Dunraven.

Franciscan Abbey

The Franciscan friary was founded in 1464 by the Earl of Kildare and completed two years later. It is currently a ruin and is located inside the Adare Manor Golf Club. Every Easter Sunday a dawn mass is celebrated in the Abbey.

Trinitarian Abbey

The Trinitarian order established their only monastery in Ireland in Adare in 1230. The Abbey was restored in 1811 by the first Earl of Dunraven as the Catholic Parish church.

Desmond Castle

Said to have been built originally by the O'Donovans, and afterwards to have passed into the possession of the Kildare branch of the Fitzgeralds. Desmond castle, as it is popularly known stands on the north bank of the Mague. An extensive renovation is being carried out on the castle since 1996.


Gaelic Games, especially hurling is popular in Adare. The hurling team finally won its first county hurling championship in 2001 and successfully defended their title in 2002 only to be denied a 3 in a row in 2003 after narrowly losing the county final to great rivals and neighbours Patrickswell.

In Football Adare haven't traditionally been successful, however in 2002 they reached their first county final, where they drew the first game, and lost the replay by just a point.

The village regularly enjoys success at underage level in both codes.

The local soccer team is known as Adare United AFC.

Golf is also popular in Adare. There are two 18 hole golf courses in the village. One is on the grounds of the Adare Manor and the other - which, confusingly, is actually called Adare Manor Golf Club - is on the northside of the river Maigue. From 2007 to 2009 the Irish Open will be held at Adare Golf Club.


  • Adare was national winner of the tidy towns competition in 1976.
  • Cape Adare (Antarctica) was named in honour of Viscount Adare by his friend Captain Ross in January 1841. The title is derived from the village.
  • Past visitors include John Travolta, Tiger Woods and President Bill Clinton (who visited Adare in september 1998).