Opening of the West Clare Railway

2nd July 1887
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The West Clare Railway was officially opened on the 2nd of July 1887. The first sod was turned by none other than Charles Stewart Parnell himself. The railway line ran from Ennis to Kilrush, a journey which took a total of 3 hours from end to end. The railway was immortalised by Percy French in the song, 'Are you right there Michael' which tells of the issues with timekeeping experienced by the passengers. 

The railway was of huge importance to the people of West Clare, not only for the ease of transport which it provided, but also for the multitude of jobs that were created by the railway. In Ennis alone, some 70 positions were created. In 1952, the original steam engines were phased out of use, slowly being replaced by diesel models. The last steam train to use the line left Ennis station on the 15th of Mark 1952. 

The West Clare Railway was eventually closed on  the 1st of February 1961.