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A Handbook to Lisdoonvarna and its Vicinity Book Cover
A Handbook to Lisdoonvarna and its Vicinity:
About the Author

Courtesy Clare Champion, 1998

A handbook to Lisdoonvarna and its vicinity first published by Hodges, Foster and Co., Dublin in 1876 has recently been made available in a new edition by CLASP Press. This book, out of print for over 100 years, is now published with a delightful introduction by author and poet, Cyril O Ceirin.

In his introduction Cyril discusses the identity of the author who was reluctant to give his name to the book and instead the initials ‘P.D.’ appear on the title page. He favours the school of thought that the author was Rev. Canon Dwyer, then Church of Ireland vicar cum rector of the important parish of Drumcliffe, Ennis from 1864 to 1883 and author of “The Diocese of Killaloe from the Reformation to the 18th Century”. Recent speculation suggested that ‘P.D.’ was in fact Pender Downes, a notable journalist with the Clare Journal at the time.

Every effort was made by CLASP to identify ‘P.D.’ prior to the publication but the local newspapers of the time proved unhelpful and the catalogue of the National Library identified the author as ‘P.D.’ although someone had written Philip Dwyer on the title page in pencil.

Recent correspondence from Mrs. Vivian Lloyd of Yorkshire to county Librarian Noel Crowley, has finally solved the puzzle. Mrs. Lloyd is in fact the great grand-daughter of Canon Philip Dwyer and had made contact with local historian Sean Spellissy on the hope of acquiring copies of Canon Dwyer’s books.

Sean passed on the contact to Noel Crowley and Mrs. Lloyd has forwarded a 1927 newspaper cutting containing the obituary of Mrs. Anne Stather Dwyer, the widow of Rev. Canon Philip Dwyer. The obituary identifies the Canon as author of “A guide to Lisdoonvarna”. Mrs. Dwyer was the grand-daughter of Thomas Crowe of the Abbey, Ennis and was survived by three sons and five daughters, twenty grand-children and twenty two great-grandchildren.

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