Kilkee is a small coastal town in County Clare, Ireland. It is in the parish of Kilkee, formerly Kilfearagh. Kilkee is midway between Kilrush and Doonbeg on the N67 road. The town is popular as a seaside resort. The horseshoe bay is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by the Duggerna Reef.
During the early part of the 19th century, Kilkee was just a small fishing village but in the 1820s when a paddle steamer service from Limerick to Kilrush was launched, it began to attract visitors. It has been a resort since then and was featured on the front page of the Illustrated London News as the premier bathing spot in what was then the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. As the town was more accessible to people from Limerick rather than Clare, holidaying in Kilkee became more of a Limerick custom, due to steamboats travelling daily up and down the River Shannon. Gradually the town grew as wealthy merchants from Limerick wanted holiday homes by the sea, resulting in a building boom in the 1830s. As demand for lodgings in Kilkee grew, several hotels were built. Along with these, three churches were built, a Roman Catholic church in 1831, a Protestant church in 1843 and a Methodist church in 1900, reflecting the cosmopolitan feel of the town in that era.
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