Video of Milltown Malbay, County Clare, Republic of Ireland
Milltown Malbay (Irish: Sráid na Cathrach, meaning "street of the stone ringfort")
is a town and parish in the west of County Clare, Ireland, near Spanish Point.
There is a townland on the southern edge of the town called Poulawillin or Pollawillin
(from Irish: Poll a' Mhuillinn, meaning "hole/pool of the mill"). There is evidence
that this name was once applied to the town – for example, in the Parish Namebook
of the Ordnance Survey (1839) there is a reference to "Baile an Mhuillinn anciently
Poll a’ Mhuillinn, Milltown Malbay".
The town has only existed since about 1800 but grew rapidly: by 1821 it had a population
of 600. During the Great Famine (1844 - 1848) many farmers were evicted by the unpopular
landlord Moroney. In the years after the famine the (protestant) Moroney family went
on with rack renting and evictions. At one time the population had enough and started
a boycott. The government did not like that and imprisoned al pub-owners and shopkeepers
who refused to serve the family or their servant. So at the end of 1888 most pub-owners
and shopkeepers were in jail.
Milltown is also home to the site of the Rineen Ambush which is located near Rineen
on the main road to Lahinch and Ennistymon. On September 22, 1920 a RIC tender was
ambushed there by Mid-Clare Brigade IRA mainly in retaliation for the killing of
Martin Devitt at Crow's Bridge earlier in the year. The ambush led to the deaths
of six policemen. In reprisal for Rineen Ambush, the RIC ran amok in Ennistymon,
Lahinch and Milltown Malbay killing six people and burning 26 buildings, including
Ennistymon and Lahinch Townhalls.
The Atlantic Hotel was one of the victims of the War of Independence. Owned by the
Moroney family and mainly visited by English gentry it had no future and closed down
Spanish Point Airfield is a privately owned airfield between Milltown Malbay and
Spanish Point. The airfield, located on Sandhill Road in the townland Leagard South,
was established by three local pilots in 1991, and the original clubhouse was opened
by then Irish Minister for Defense Mr. Brendan Daly that year
The town is home to the annual Willie Clancy Summer School and Festival. The Willie
Clancy Summer School (Irish Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy) is Ireland's largest traditional
music summer school held annually since 1973 in memory of and to honour the uilleann
piper Willie Clancy.