Clare Roots Society is marking the end of Ennis Town Council link with Waterpark House with the publication of a booklet on the building and its people. In April 1989 the Urban Council moved its administrative headquarters from No. 1 Bindon Street to Waterpark House, Drumbiggle. In choosing Waterpark House as the location for the new Town Hall, the Urban Council was strongly influenced by the desire to conserve one of the town’s fine vernacular buildings and to provide tangible evidence of the Council’s strong commitment to the renewal and conservation of the town’s historic core area.
The house construction dates back to 1819 with the families of Dulhunty, Pilkington, O’Brien, Russell, Lane, Connellan, Hardwood and Moody associated with the house. The first recorded residents of Waterpark house were the Dulhunty family where in September 1819 Mary Dulhunty was born to Montrose Dulhunty & Mary O’ Donnell. The last resident of the house was Lily Moody who died at Cahercalla Hospital on the 31st December 1993. Lily lived prior to her hospitalisation all her life at Waterpark.
The Booklet will include details on the Waterpark Riots, which took place in 1855 when at Waterpark gate more than 100 persons assembled, who were shouting; yelling and crying ‘souper’. This was as a result of the denouncement of Scriptural teachers by the Ennis priests, which was considered so violent as to endanger the lives of Protestant missionaries who stayed at Waterpark at the hands of an Ennis mob.
As part of the research the final publication will also include details on the Butter Market building which is now part of the Civic Building associated with Waterpark. The Plot of ground where the Butter Market is situated was purchased in 1860. The owners the Macbeth Family used the building as a weigh house & butter market along with the yards for tolls, customs, fares & markets. The Butter market closed in 1945. In 1920 a Company of British Infantry used the yard as a Transport Park. Ennis Badminton Club & The Boxing Club used this building between 1933 and 1950 while in the ownership of Ennis Urban District Council. The building was also owned by the building firms of Garvey Solan & Co. Ltd. & Ryan Brothers. It was refurbished for the Town Council offices in 2001.
The booklet is being edited by Larry Brennan in collaboration with Declan Barron (Newpark House, Ennis) & Katrina Pilkington Vincent (Australia). Katrina is the great great granddaughter of Thomas Pilkington one of the previous owners of the house.
The Society is appealing to those who may have any information, memorabilia, photos, letters or contact details to make contact with firstname.lastname@example.org or Larry Brennan at email@example.com or (087) 2308100
Waterpark 1968: Miss Moody with Nan Pilkington from Australia & Norah Pilkington of Dublin, both grand-daughters of Thomas Pilkington. Photo taken in 1968 when Nan Pilkington travelled to Ireland for a visit.