Commemoration Event To Mark Ennis’ Darkest Day

A special commemorative ceremony is taking place this weekend to mark one of the biggest tragedies to ever hit Ennis.

Eight people died and over twenty were injured after the floor fell through in Carmody’s Hotel on Abbey Street sixty years ago.


The voice of Micháel Crimmins, recounting his shock on a day that would go down as one of the most horrific tragedies to ever happen in Ennis.

On a Wednesday afternoon in January 1958, 60 people were attending an auction at Carmody’s Hotel on Abbey Street, when the ground on the first floor gave way beneath them.

Eight people lost their lives and twenty others were injured, in what’s often described as the town’s darkest day.

Micháel was one of those who survived the events that unfolded that day, and as part of the 1998 Clare FM Documentary “As If Night Fell”, he spoke of his experience.

That documentary was produced by Fr Brendan Quinlivan, along with Matt Purcell and Gerry Quinn to mark the 40th anniversary of the tragic day.

But now, 20 years later, a book is being launched by John Bradley in association with the Clare Roots Society.

John says it’s a day he’ll never forget.

Ernest DeRegge, a Belgian National living in Ennis for 30 years at the time, was among those who died.

His daughter Ghislane will be among a number of family members descending on the county town this weekend for an event being held to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the tragedy.

She says the support from people in Ennis is overwhelming.

A mass of remembrance is taking place at Ennis Cathedral on Sunday, along with the launch of John Bradley’s book, while a wreath laying ceremony will also be held on Sunday afternoon near the Abbey Street car park, where Carmody’s Hotel once stood.