Ennis is a very busy market town which is also a popular overnight stop with visitors to Ireland, especially those arriving or departing from nearby Shannon Airport.
The town grew up around Ennis Friary, now a particularly lovely ruin, which was established by the Franciscans around 1242.
The friary itself was built under the patronage of the O’Brien Family of Thomand, a once powerful family you will come across again and again as you tour the Limerick and Clare region.
In the early 1400’s the town, which was mainly comprised of wooden buildings, was completely destroyed by fire and rebuilt, so that the place you see now with its narrow winding streets mostly dates from Medieval times
What to see in and around Ennis
While not overly full of attractions, Ennis really is a very pleasant town to wander about, and it makes a very good base for touring in this region. Aside from Ennis Friary, a visit to the Clare Museum is well worthwhile, it’s one of the best local museums in the country and the Riches of Clare exhibition is especially good.
Ennis, and indeed all of Co Clare, has a particularly rich tradition in Irish music, and you will find sessions, both organised and impromptu, in many of the local pubs each night. Some of these are a bit overly aimed at tourists and can drift into kitsch, but ask locally and you’ll be directed to the best of them.
Ennis in the News