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The West Clare Railway

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A few kilometres north of Kilrush at Moyasta is the only extant section of the West Clare Railway, which opened in August 1892 and linked Ennis – via a roundabout route through Corofin – to southwest Clare until its closure in 1961. Much of the track was then sold to a Kenyan railway company, but the Moyasta station house and a two-kilometre stretch of the line have been restored and it’s possible to take an enjoyable trip back and forth (whttp://www.westclarerailway.ie).

The railway was immortalized by the composer and singer Percy French who in 1902, along with his troupe of music-hall entertainers, was due to play an engagement in Kilkee. Unfortunately, the train broke down in Miltown Malbay and French arrived late to discover that most of his audience had already left. He sued the railroad for damages, winning the princely sum of £10 and wrote the song Are Ye Right There Michael as an account of his experiences, the Michael in question being Michael Talty, who was the guard on the train when the incident occurred.

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