Milo Spillane (b.1936), Part 1
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Milo Spillane (b.1936), Part 1


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Scottish-born Ben Sayers designed the Dunraven Golf Links in 1896. The Golf Club was set up in 1900 and affiliated to the Golfing Union in 1932. Over the decades the links had its resident golf professional who lived close to the present clubhouse. Pat Smith was the last professional to live there in the 1950s. The golf links was set up as a private club by Windham Wyndham-Quin, the 4th Earl of Dunraven. It became an open club in 1932. The land was leased to the members in 1978 when five trustees were appointed, and sold to the club in 1982. Milo Spillane became a member of the club in 1964, and he is now the longest serving member. He has served as Club Captain and President and is now one of the Adare Manor Golf Club trustees. His father came originally from Rathcormac in Co. Cork, and he became a member of the Garda Síochána after the formation of the Irish Free State. Following postings to several areas he was appointed to Adare as Garda Sergeant and he lived in the village from 1953 to 1959. This recording was compiled on site. At the entrance to Adare Manor Golf Club Milo explains that the Manor walls were built in 1865, and it was at this time that the borders for the golf course were formed. While walking towards the Desmond Castle, close to the 1st green, he explains that the castle was occupied by the Earls of Desmond for approximately 50 years, and was built around the early 13th century. Later, the castle was occupied by the Fitzgeralds. Moving towards the 2nd green, he outlines the history of the Dunravens, explaining that the Quins first came to the area and settled in Kilmallock before relocating to Adare in c.1740. The Quins acquired their lands in Adare firstly by leasing. As the Kildare Fitzgeralds moved to Maynooth, the Quins later purchased the freehold of the lands. The Earldom of Dunraven and Mount-Earl was created in 1822, and the family alliance between the Quins and the Wyndhams is described. Work on the construction of Adare Manor was begun in 1852 and the building was completed in 1860. There are two ruins in St. Nicholas Old Graveyard which is now approached – the old parish church, Catholic until the Reformation, and a smaller ruin, sometimes called the Earl of Desmond’s Chapel of Ease, but in reality a Chantry Chapel. Earlier members of the Quin family were buried in or around the ruined Franciscan Convent and later in the altar area of the by then Protestant Church (Valentine Quin conformed to the Established Church in 1739). The church was abandoned after 1809, and in c. 1822 the burial place was removed to the cloister of the former Augustinian Monastery, the Protestant parish church of today. From c.1850, subsequent Earls were buried adjacent to the Estate Church. In 1969, the Estate Company added a new section to the old graveyard in the golf club and that became the family burial ground. The 6th and 7th Earls of Dunraven are buried here. Milo recounts a fascinating story about the nearby grave of the first cousin of Lord Kitchener. The Connolly family, which was involved in the building of the Manor, are recalled and an explanation of the American origin of the Fort Union name of the stud farm on the Estate is provided. This was one of the first sections of the Estate to be sold, Milo explains. Close to the 5th hole on the golf course, the place where once stood the old Methodist preaching house, built in 1797, is pointed out, and the fairway which follows the old turnpike road leads in the direction of the next historical sighting.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Adare Manor and Village Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

78.2 MB

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Product ID:



Adare Manor Golf Club traversed

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore