The venue for Éigse 2018 will be on the grounds of Clara House, Co. Offaly. The land is located on the River Brosna, and was built in the 1770s by the Armstrong Family. Clara is a fitting place for our annual Éigse. It is located in the centre of Ireland, on the ancient Esker Riada, the route that connected the east and west coasts of Ireland in prehistoric times. The land includes a beautiful walled garden, woodland, and a riverside walk.
How to get there
By Train from Galway or Dublin
Clara House is a 10 minute walk from Clara Train Station.
Find details of rail connections from http://www.irishrail.ie/travel-information/clara
Driving from Dublin
- Take M4 out of Dublin (usually signed for the West / Galway / Sligo)
- Stay on motorway pass the toll & at Kinegad it splits into two, stay on the left side sign posted for Galway.
- This motorway brings you all the way to Kilbeggan (motorway ends)
- You come off at a roundabout and take the last exit(right) into Kilbeggan town
- When you come into Kilbeggan turn left and go straight through town
- On the way out of the town there is a left turn sign posted for Clara
- Take this road and 5 mins will have you in Clara
- When in Clara drive through the town & past GAA centre & under the Railway Bridge
- Keep going until the road turns up to the right but take the slip road straight ahead beside the Mill Bar
- You come to a tiny roundabout, turn right here and 20 metres up that hill our entrance is on the left Clara House Go up the drive & around to the courtyard at the back where you will see the Aspire building.
The History of Clara
“While the town as we know it today was established by Quakers in the mid-18th century, there is evidence of community habitation for some time. Situated on the Esker Riada, the ancient thoroughfare which connected the east and west coasts of Ireland, numerous ring forts are to be found in the countryside surrounding the town suggesting that the early settlement may have been an important staging post for travellers. Just outside the town in Kilbride, the remnants of a 12th-century monastery testify to the existence of a vibrant religious presence. According to tradition this monastery was founded by St Brigid of Kildare (d.c 525 AD) and is linked by an ancient road to Durrow Abbey founded by St Colm Cille (St Columba). St Brigid’s original monastery, founded shortly after her religious profession – her first foundation, would have been constructed in wood and consisted of a number of buildings surrounding a central church. These buildings were replaced by stone structures in the 12th century. The original parish was named after St Brigid: Kilbride (from Cill Bhride: the Church of Brigid). The ruins of an ancient church are to be found not far from the monastery at the foot of a hill (Chapel Hill) and this may have been the original parish church.” – From Wikipedia