We are profiling all the towns to enter this year’s National Enterprise Town Awards. Today we are looking at Adare in Co Limerick.
Adare is a village in Co Limerick that is renowned for being one of the prettiest villages in Ireland. It is also designated as a heritage town by the Irish government.
The village is located on the Limerick to Killarney national primary road (N21), which is the main tourist and traffic route serving the southwest. The River Maigue, a tributary of the River Shannon, flows to the east and north and forms an important element in the local landscape. The population of Adare in the 2016 census was 1129.
With its picture postcard main street of thatched cottages and medieval buildings, the village is rich in ancient and archaeological remains with a history dating back to 1200 AD. It has a unique attractiveness which has made it a major tourist destination in particular for overseas visitors, which has included many A-list celebrities.
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.
In 1832, the second Earl of Dunraven began rebuilding the village’s original 18th century Manor House, eventually replacing it with a Tudor manor.
Adare has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland and the local heritage centre, which gives insight into the history of the village, also hosts a number of craft shops. The village is also famous for weddings and conferences.
Adare Community Trust (ACT) exists to promote co-operation and communications between all organisations in Adare towards a communal goal of making Adare a better place to live, work and visit. ACT works with local groups and the residents of Adare to develop an overall strategic plan for the village, which will enhance the area and surrounds greatly.
The village has three hotels including the newly refurbished Adare Manor Hotel, four schools, three Abbey’s, Adare Town Park and an excellent choice of restaurants, cafés and pubs.
Adare has two 18-hole golf courses – the Adare Golf Club, which was the site of the 2007 and 2008 Irish Open, and the Adare Manor Golf Club and a pitch and putt course. Adare also has an equestrian centre, located in Clonshire.
As previously mentioned, Adare has become a destination for brides-to-be, and the village offers visitors an excellent choice of bridal shops and fashion boutiques, stocking exclusive brands. Adare village is fast becoming the fashion centre of the mid-west.
The community and voluntary sectors are very strong in Adare. A good example of this is the setting up of a first responders group, who are researching a recreational project on the River Maigue.
Written by Stephen Larkin
Published: 17 September, 2019