The White Sisters

Annual Visitors

Two regular visitors to the holiday resort of Kilkee after WWII stayed for 3 months each summer and continued their visits up until the early 60s.  These ladies fascinated the locals and holidaymaker alike due to their dress and unusual behaviours.  They dressed in a ‘nun-like’ habit which was different to what the locals were used to as it was all in white with a large head gear that protruded out over their faces.Some locals said while they did not converse with anyone but sometimes stopped young girls and advised them against a confined life in religion.  This made locals uneasy as they saw it as a threat to the catholic religion.They were biological sisters from Enniskillen Co Fermanagh and their names were Evelyn and Ann Dundas.

Holiday Homes

They first stayed in Brews Lodge Victoria terrace and shopped in Kents shop in O’Curry St (now the Central Stores).  They later stayed in O’Doherty’s house in O’Doherty’s Terrace (beside Methodist church) and shopped in what was later known as the West End Stores.’

West End Stores. Courtesy Clare Library


Sean Carney worked in Talty’s shop all his life and remembers them well.  He describes their accents as funny and hard to understand but said they were always very nice to him and always gave him a tip before leaving Kilkee.  He describes the all-white outfits as spotless with white shoes, gloves, shopping bags and one year they even had 2 small white dogs with them.  Sean also described how they loved bad weather and during a thunder storm would dance and sing outside under the storm with outstretched arms looking up to the thunder clouds even at night. 

If the sea was rough they would stay in Kilkee for longer and the waves crashed over the pier and against the sea wall they would dance and sing in joyous manner.They had a brother who took them to Kilkee and collected them at the end of the season.  He also took care of any outstanding bills.

Comments about this page

  • Lucy Ann
    The name of the photographer was Mickey OKane. He died many years ago as did his wife. The little shop from where he sold the photographs he took is also long gone. He was a common sight around Kilkee taking photographs. Of course at that time photographs were a novelty as very few people had a camera. If you are looking for a copy I don’t know where you will get it as none of the family live in Kilkee and even if they did it was so long ago that I doubt whether they would have copies of the thousands of pictures which he took.

    By John Williams (24/06/2023)
  • I remember seeing the white sisters walking off to the West End. We lived on the Strand Line and I played out on the beach with neighbourhood friends.
    On a different topic, I wonder if anyone remembers -the photographer who used to take photos of visitors and their children on the beach. We used to have a lovely one of my brother when he was very little with a huge-brimmed straw hat.

    By LucyAnn Curling (27/05/2023)
  • MY BROTHER EDMUND HOWARD when he holidayed in Crowley’s lodge, about 1959, kicked his ball regularly into the adjacent garden.
    Having done it several times the ladies in the white attire ran out and confiscated his ball.
    Our father went in to retrieve the ball with little Eddie, who was barely up to his Dad’s waist. When my father was getting nowhere with his entreaties, Eddie exclaimed, “but Miss Whitey, but Miss Whitey” which was enough to have his ball thrown at him in a hot temper.Yound Eddie left happily to continue his game. Subsequently, we always knew them as the
    ‘Miss Whiteys’

    By Henry Howard (14/04/2022)

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