Doonbeg ( ) is a village in
Clare in Ireland.
situated on the N67 between the towns of Kilkee and Miltown Malbay. The nearest large towns are Kilrush and Kilkee which are
both approximately 7 miles away.
The central point of the village is an architecturally significant
seven arched stone bridge which crosses the Doonbeg river and
divides the village. This is famous as a lady called Mary Belfast
used to live under one of the arches and the remains of her
dwelling exist to this day. The crossing is overlooked by the
remaining fortifications of Doonbeg castle.
The village is located in Killard parish and in the diocese of
Killaloe. There is a modern Roman Catholic church located in the
village built inthe 1970s and noteworthy for the stain glass
windows that are uniquely designs so that the various colours
illuminate the altar throughout the day. There are also several
pubs (Magidan's, Tubridy's, Comerford's, Morrisey's and the Igoe
Inn), Doonbeg National School, two shops, a post office and a
village hall and tourist office.
Doonbeg is sometimes referred to as "The Long Village" due to the
length of its main street. It is reputed to be one of Ireland's
Gaelic football is popular in Doonbeg. The main playing area is the
Shannahon Mc Namara Memorial grounds which are located outside the
village. Doonbeg GAA is the second most successful gaelic football
club in the history of Clare county football having won 17 county
titles.Doonbeg's football team is known as "The Magpies" as a
result of the black and white shirts which are traditionally
The prestigious Greg Norman
golf links Doonbeg Golf club is situated outside the village.
Doonbeg is home to one of Clares best surf beaches known locally as
"Doughmore". The beach includes hazards such as strong rip currents
and has been signposted as "dangerous for bathing" by Clare County
Council. It is popular among local intermediate surfers as it picks
up the smallest swells when none of the surrounding beaches will
and due to its tranquility. The beaches tranquility is mainly due
to the difficulty of access. The beach runs parallel to Doonbeg
Golf course which must be crossed in order to get onto the
A settlement has existed at the current river crossing since
medieval times. The village name Dunbeag or small fort possibly
refers to Doonbeg castle or an earlier fortification located at the
river crossing . The castle was built in the 16th century, it has
been historical associated with the MacMahon and O'Brien
Doonbeg is surrounded by farmland the majority of which is used for
. There is also extensive
bogland area near the village. The best areas to visit are in
Tulliher and Derryard. The Doonbeg River flows through the village
and enters the Atlantic
Ocean at the nearby Doonbeg Bay where there is a fishing
pier located beside the ruins of Doonmore Castle.
Traditional music and dancing are popular in the pubs of Doonbeg.
Special events include the Willie Keane Memorial Weekend in
October. In addition to this, there is also a jazz festival on Whit
Weekend in June. The village is also host to the West Clare Drama
Festival which was established in 1962.
In the outlying parish, popular scenic areas are the cliffs of
Baltard and Killard and the popular White Strand beach which is
located in the townland of Killard. Surfing has become popular in
recent times along the northern coastline of the parish.
The White Strand beach in Killard attracts lots of visitors during
the summer due to the availability of two beachs for safe swimming
and the cleaniness of the water. Nearby there is a monument to Pat
McDonald who was born in Millard and won an Olympic Gold Medal
representing the US in Men's Shot Put. When he won his Olympic gold
medal in 1920, he was aged 42, making him the oldest Olympic track
& field champion ever.
There are picnic areas on the banks of the river near the bridge;
it is also possible to fish in this area. Fishing is also possible
around the coastal area of Doonbeg and shore fishing from the Blue
Pool in Baltard is popular but dangerous in bad weather.
There are many famous tourist sites in West Clare; most are within
30 minutes drive from Doonbeg. These include The Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, the Aillwee Caves, and the Poulnabrone dolmen.