Kilrush has a rich history of being an industrial hub, dating from the days when it was an important milling centre in the 19th century with good transport links by sea and, later in that century, by rail.
Today, its legacy of cut-stone mills today form an important part of the architectural legacy of this Heritage Town and have been tastefully reintegrated into the town as apartment and office developments.
A large part of Kilrush’s modern industrial base is tied in with the ESB generating station at nearby Moneypoint. The biggest generating station in the country – with an output of 915 MW or a quarter of consumer demand – it employs over 200 people.
Also based in Kilrush is a branch of the international company, St Gobain Performance Plastics, the world’s largest processor of high performance polymer products. St Gobain Kilrush sponsors the Spirit of Kilrush Civic and the Spirit of Kilrush Entrepreneur awards, presented yearly at the Kilrush Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Dance.
It is fair to say, however, that the backbone of Kilrush’s economy continues to be the small and medium-sized enterprise sector, comprising the shops and businesses that, although employing small numbers, have been resilient in the employment over decades, surviving recessions while thriving in more economically buoyant times. The businesses have succeeded not just in a spirit of competition but also by co-operating and fostering a community spirit through Kilrush Chamber of Commerce.