Cliffs of Dooneen is a traditional Irish ballad made
famous by the group Planxty.
The late Liam Buckley who was born in the cottage immediately
adjacent to the Cliffs of Dooneen has stated the poem was penned
by Jack McAuliffe who had travelled from Lixnaw to Beale to
visit his sister. Jack had spent time with locals in the fields
above and shore below the cliffs. He then visited Bill and Nell
Buckley's cottage, known as "99" a few hundred metres away - for
tea and scones. Liam was told by his mother (Jack's host) that
the poem was written at the kitchen window of the cottage. Liam
says the poem was put to music years later by a local musician.
Liam did not know the date the poem was written but he remembers
it from the 1930s.
The mention of the west coast of County Clare and the towns of
Kilkee and Kilrush have made the song a County Clare anthem,
with the words "Cliffs of Dooneen" often changed to "Hills of
Moveen", a location a few miles west of Kilkee. This has led to
confusion over the location of the cliffs which some assume to
be in Clare rather than in Kerry.
Dooneen Point is clearly marked on the historic Ordnance Survey
of Ireland map. The cliffs themselves can also be seen from