Main Street, Adare
|Dáil Éireann||Limerick West|
|Elevation||5 m (16 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference||R460460|
Adare (/æˈdeɪr/; Irish: Áth Dara, meaning "ford of [the] oak") is a village in County Limerick, Ireland. Renowned as one of Ireland's prettiest villages, Adare is designated as a heritage town by the Irish government. Its population in 2006 was 2,454.
The River Maigue is tidal as far as Adare, with the settlement forming around the eastern bank of the Maigue overlooking the fording point from which the village gets its name. An annalistic reference is made in the medieval Annals of Inisfallen at AI982.4 "The Tree of Mag Adar was broken by Leth Cuinn". Owing to the strategic importance of the river crossing the Desmond castle was built overlooking the site near Ardshanbally (derived from Ard an tSeanbhaile - 'high ground of the old town'), and was first mentioned in 1226. Historically a market town, in the Middle Ages, Adare boasted three monasteries. Owing to the influence of the Earls of Dunraven, who built the Adare Manor (now a luxury resort hotel) a strict plan was laid out for the town.
A castle or fortress is said to have first been built with an ancient ring-fort, by the O'Donovans, rulers of the region into the late 12th century, and afterwards to have passed into the possession of the Kildare branch of the FitzGerald dynasty, who may be responsible for the majority of the remains of the present fortress (which occurred with Croom Castle, also on the Maigue). Desmond Castle, as it is popularly known, stands on the north bank of the Maigue. An extensive renovation has been in progress on the castle since 1996 and supervised tours are offered in the summer months. This is one of a series of significant Desmond properties, which also include the banqueting hall in Newcastle West, another castle in Askeaton and Castle Matrix near Rathkeale, further west in County Limerick.
The Augustinian Priory was founded in 1316 by John FitzThomas FitzGerald, 1st 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 roofed and converted into a schoolhouse. Between 1852 and 1854, a second restoration of the church was undertaken by Caroline, Countess of Dunraven.
The Franciscan friary was founded in 1464 by Thomas Fitz-Maurice, 7th Earl of Kildare and his wife Joan, 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.
The Trinitarian Order established their only monastery in Ireland in Adare in 1230. It is believed that the Trinitarian monks who came to Adare may have come from Scotland. The Abbey was restored in 1811 by the first Earl of Dunraven as the Catholic Parish church.
The main street combines typical 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.
Historic surnames in Adare
According to the census of Ireland in 1901 and 1911 some common surnames include: Blake, Brennan, Carmody, Chawke, Hickey, McNamara, Kelly, McMahon, Ryan, Smith, Hogan, Lyons, Masterson, O'Donnell, O'Regan, Switzer, Fitzgerald, Walsh.
Adare is a tourist destination and the local heritage centre, which gives insight into the history of the village, also hosts a number of craft shops. The village is a popular wedding and conference venue. Adare has two 18-hole golf courses - the Adare Golf Club, which incorporates a driving range and which was the site of the 2007 and 2008 Irish Open, the Adare Manor Golf Club and a pitch and putt course. Adare also has an equestrian centre, located in Clonshire.
Adare has many fine restaurants and bistros such as 1826 Adare, the Arches, the Blue Door, the Good Room, and the Wild Geese. In addition to the restaurants the hotels and pubs offer food, and a number of cafés, Chinese, and other takeaway restaurants exist in the village.
There are four primary schools in Adare: St Joseph's National School (Catholic, boys), Our Lady's Abbey National School (Catholic, girls), St Nicholas' National School (Church of Ireland, mixed) and Shountrade National School (Catholic, mixed). The village's secondary school, Adare CBS, closed in 1973.
The main Limerick-Tralee road, the N21 passes through the village, causing heavy congestion. In late 2015 a corridor for the long-delayed bypass was chosen that realigns national route 21 north of the village as part of a new dual carriageway planned to link Foynes port to Limerick.
Adare is a stop on Bus Éireann's Limerick-Tralee/Killarney bus service and Dublin Coach's Dublin-Tralee/Killarney service. Both run hourly.
The abandoned "Limerick-Foynes" railway line passes half a mile to the north-west of the town. Adare railway station, opened on 12 July 1856 by the Limerick & Foynes Railway company, was closed to passengers on 4 February 1963 and to freight on 2 December 1974. The line to Foynes continued to carry freight traffic until it was mothballed in 2001 and has seen no trains since 7 May 2002 when the annual Irish Rail weedspray train visited the line. The line, designated an engineers siding, is still officially open for traffic.
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- Gaelic games, particularly hurling, are popular in Adare. The Adare GAA club was founded in 1929. The senior hurling team has won the county championship in 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2008. In football, Adare have been less successful, although in 2002 Adare only narrowly lost out on the county title in the Limerick Senior Football Championship.
- The local soccer team is known as Adare United AFC. They currently play at Deer Park Field, situated just off the Blackabbey Road in the village. Founded in 1937, Adare has one of the oldest soccer clubs outside Limerick city. Adare United participate in the Limerick Desmond Schoolboys/Girls League at Under 8, U10, U12, U14 and U16 age groups and in the Limerick Desmond League at Junior (adult) and Youth level. The 2006/07 Season saw the club form its first ladies team, who compete in the Limerick Desmond Ladies League. In the 2009/10 Season, the ladies were runners up in the League Cup, losing on penalties to Glin Rovers FC. The team were also cup finalists the following year, this time in the Desmond Cup but were beaten by Murroe FC. The Under 10 team were Division 3 Champions in the 2008/09 season and Division 4 winners in 2010/11. The Under 8 team completed a league and cup double in 2010/11. The Junior team won promotion from Division Two in the 08/09 season and immediately gained promotion to the premier league the following year. Adare Ladies won the Desmond Cup in the 2011/2012 season and were runners-up in League Div. 1.
- The Irish Open golf championship was staged there in 2007 and 2008. There are two 18-hole golf courses in the village: The Adare Golf Club which is on the grounds of the Adare Manor Hotel, and the Adare Manor Golf Club, which is a separate entity.
- The Limerick Cricket Club play in the manor fields complex to the south of the village.
- The town also plays a role in the West Limerick athletics scene, with it hosting the Adare 10K run every February since 1994.
- Adare was national winner of the Irish Tidy Towns Competition in 1976.
- Cape Adare (Antarctica) was named in honour of Viscount Adare by his friend Captain Ross in January 1841.
- "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
- Historical Notes on Adare By Thomas Edward Bridgett
- Shannon Region Tourism - Shannon Development Archived 14 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- "History", Adare Village
- Woulfe, Jimmy (9 June 2015). "Thatcher's sadness at Adare cottage fires". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
- Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel
- Scoil Naomh Iosaf Web site Archived 29 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Our Lady's Abbey web site
- St. Nicholas' National School website Archived 21 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- Industrial Heritage Ireland - Adare Railway Station photographs
- "Adare station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- Lonely Planet Travel Guide: Antarctica
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Adare.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adare.|
- Adare Heritage Centre
- Shannon Region Tourism's page on Adare
- General Information on Adare
- Obituary of the 7th Earl of Dunraven, Thady Wyndham-Quin
- Index of the Earl of Dunraven Papers at the University of Limerick
- Adare local area plan (Limerick County Council)(2002)
- The Tidy Towns of Ireland "Celebrating 50 years"
- Knockpatrick Gardens