Newhall Estate
Commane primary residence for the next 100 years
Newhall House
Purchased by the Commane family (who originate ancestrally from Newhall) for the Preservation and Furtherance of Irish History
The Official Web Site for the 400-acre Newhall House & Estate a 17th Century 17-bed Irish gentry mansion of 15,000sqft with gate lodges, woodlands, parklands, lakes & Killone Abbey (founded 1190)

Newhall Estate, Ennis, County Clare, Ireland
Web Site Coming Soon... commane@newhall.ie
In 1650 the O'Briens refurbished the house. A hundred years later Charles McDonnell MP built the front section. President of the Irish Georgian Society, the Knight of Glin said "Newhall is considered to be one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the county. It is a two-storey house with a pink brick façade. The design is attributed to Francis Bindon." To the south east of the property a large dungeon exists and a tunnel runs down to the lake approximately 8 feet deep connecting the cellars.

History of Killone Castle on the grounds of Newhall and potential origin of the name Clare:

In 1169, a group of Norman soldiers and knights arrived in Wexford to help the Irish king of Leinster, Diarmuid MacMurrough. They were invited by Diarmuid to help him fight his enemies and regain his kingdom in Leinster. Diarmuid MacMurrough particularly wanted to defeat Tiernan O’Rourke, the ruler of Breffini (now Roscommon), and Rory O’Connor, the king of Connaught, because they had joined armies and had forced Diarmuid out of his kingdom.

Diarmuid MacMurrough knew that there were Norman knights and soldiers in England and he invited them to Ireland to help him. He first had to get permission from King Henry II, who at the time was the king of England and also the king of Normandy in France. In 1170, a Norman lord called Richard de Clare, nicknamed Strongbow, came to Ireland from Wales. Strongbow brought archers, knights and horsemen with him and helped Diarmuid to capture Waterford and Dublin. Strongbow later married Diarmuid’s daughter, Aoife. In 1171, when Diarmuid died, Strongbow became the King of Leinster. This meant that by 1170 AD the Normans had taken over much of the east of Ireland. By the 1300s, the Normans had castles and power in many parts of Ireland.

History of Killone Abbey

Around 1190 Domnall Mór O’Brien, King of Thomond, founded an Augustinian nunnery dedicated to St John the Baptist by the banks of Killone Lake. The house thereafter seems to have been under the care of successive members of the same family: in 1260 it was written that ‘Slaney, O’Brien’s daughter, abbesse of Kill Eoni, chiefs in devotion, almes-deedes and hospitality of all women in Munster, died. The King of Heaven be prosperous to her soule.’ Slaney was sister to Donchad Cairbrech, King of Thomond, founder of Ennis Friary. There are relatively few other references to the nunnery thereafter until it was dissolved in the 16th century and passed into ownership of the crown. A story from this period tells how Honora O’Brien had become a member of the religious community at Killone but then ran away with Sir Roger O’Shaughnessy of Gort, and by him had a son and daughter before receiving a papal dispensation for their marriage. Although the last nuns had gone before the end of the century, the site’s link with its founding family remained because by 1617 Killone and the surrounding land were in the possession of Dermod O’Brien, fifth Baron Inchiquin.

History of Irish Gentry at Newhall House (since c.1650):

Honora, the widow of Thomas Mathew of Annfield, County Tipperary left rents and arrears due from the farm at Newhall to her nephew David Geoghegan of Donore, County Westmeath in 1735. In 1747, Richard Burke of Newhall’s daughter married Donough O’Callaghan of Kilgorey (q.v.) as his second wife. New Hall was bought from Edward O’Brien of Ennistymon (his maternal uncle) by Charles McDonnell of Kilkee in 1764 (the McDonnells were living at Kilkee in 1671). The O’Briens had owned it since the seventeenth century. Charles McDonnell immediately set about building the present magnificent front of the house, and which was probably designed by Francis Bindon. In l760 he married Catherine, fourth daughter of Sir Edward O’Brien, Bart., of Dromoland. Their eldest son, Charles, Was born the following year. Charles was Colonel commanding a regiment of Volunteers in Canada during the American war. He was also a Member of Parliament for County Clare and for the borough of Great Yarmouth. His grandson, William E. Armstrong-McDonnell, J.P., D.L., M.R.I.A., High Sheriff in 1853, and Colonel commanding the Clare Militia, married the Honourable Juliana O’Brien, eldest daughter of Lucius, the 13th Baron Inchiquin, in 1858. He owned six thousand, six hundred and seventy acres in County Clare. His son, Charles Randal McDonnell inherited in 1883. His wife was Mary Stacpoole of Edenvale. It is reputed that the McDonnells were great cat lovers, and that at one time there were so many cats inhabiting the top floor of the house that it had to be boarded off. There is supposed to have been a mermaid in the cellars! This delightful house and estate is now in the hands of the Commane family who originate from Newhall, and who are lovingly restoring it to its original form, as the Commane family seat and primary residence. At one time during its long history a curse was placed on the house that no O’Brien would again reside in it!

County Clare folklore and the curse of the mermaid.
antoin Commane
Entrepreneur
Antoin Commane is an English-Irish entrepreneur and investor with 600k social media followers – he’s been featured in the Evening Standard, BBC News, The Times, Huffington Post, among other press for his entrepreneurial ventures.
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