The McWilliam Park hotel got its name from the famous William the Conqueror when he defeated Strongbow as Chief Governor of Ireland. Also known as William de Burgo (Burke), the de Burgos received a huge amount of estates in Connacht from King Henry III of England in 1179. This Norman clan began to marry the Irish and so the saying evolved “more Irish than the Irish themselves.” Several other clans formed, MacWilliam Uachtar (Galway) and MacWilliam Iochtar (Mayo). Claremorris is part of the lands of the McWilliam Iochtar. The name McWilliam is an abbreviation of Mac, which means ‘Son of Gaelic’. There are approximately 1900 Burke’s or Bourke’s living in Ireland. The Earl of Clanrickarde, in county Roscommon, was a Burke and a descendent of William the Conqueror.
We stayed in the McWilliam Park hotel for three nights B&B in a family room. The hotel boasts a superb restaurant called John Gray’s, sumptuous pub grub in Kavanagh’s bar, a heated indoor swimming pool, luxurious four star spa treatments, a kids club and much more. Our room was situated in a quieter part of the hotel so sleep was not a problem and every morning we came down the stairs to feast on fresh pancakes, cooked breakfast and plenty of refills of tea and coffee.
After a well earned rest in our four star hotel, we drove to the Gaeltacht area of Achill. The journey took us about an hour and a half but the beautiful scenery along the way took our breadth away. A cycle track goes from Mulranny all the way to Achill and we spotted a lot of families making that journey. Who needs to step aboard a plane when this wonderful landscape is on your doorstep and the sun was blazing in the sky which even made it more appealing to the eye.
Claremorris has some really nice restaurants and one in particular was The Arch/Maxwells. An elegant bar/bistro that supplied mouth watering food, the staff were very hospitable and I tried the sumptuous cod casserole washed down with a nice glass of cabernet sauvignon. The kids tried the pasta and really enjoyed it. We strolled back through the town to our hotel and finished off with one last glass of wine and the kids watched a movie in the Busy Bees kids club, while the adults made a toast to a fantastic holiday.
For more information go to http://www.mcwilliamparkhotel.ie