Charlotte wrote of the hotel:
Here at our Inn - splendidly designated 'the West End Hotel' - there is a good deal to carp at, were in a carping humour - but we laugh instead of grumbling -for out of doors there is much indeed to compensate for any indoor shortcomings, so magnificent an ocean - so bold and grand a coast - I never yet saw.
Limerick Chronicle, 5 July 1854
WEST END HOTEL,
MRS. SHANNON begs leave to acquaint her friends and the Public, that she has fitted up her Hotel, in very
Superior Style for the accommodation of Tourists and Visitors to that beautifu watering place. From the long Patronage Mrs. S. has received fiom her Friends, she expects a continuance of their support. Families
requiring private apartments can be accommodated by application at Cruise's Royal Hotel, Limerick; or at
West End Hotel, Kilkee. This hotel commands a magnificent view of the Cliffs, Bay, and surrounding
Mrs. Shannon and her daughters had moved to Francis Street (modern Grattan St.) Kilkee. Here she
opened her 'Kilkee Boarding House. She was also the post-mistress of Kilkee. This 'Boarding House' changed its name to the 'Kilkee Board and Lodging House' by June 1831, which changed again to 'Kilkee
Hotel' in 1832, and like the two other hotels in the resort charged 25 shillings per week for full board in 1830. A letter headed 'Bubbles From Bathing Places' in a Limerick newspaper in 1840 stated:
'Katty Fitzgerald and the widdy Shannon have commodious an' cleanly accommodation, no doubt. Moderate charges an' great civility ...
This hotel in Francis St. was later taken over by a Michael McNamara of Limerick as a public house. By May 1841 Mrs. Shannon had moved to the West End. By May 1841 Mrs. Shannon had moved to the West End, Kilkee, where she had built a large house (now occupied by Mr. Gubbins of Limerick and Mrs. Jim Frawley of Kilkee). Here, with her daughters, she ran the 'West End Boarding House' which name she later, in 1844, changed to the 'West End - not to be confused with the later and larger building of the same name nearby. She continued as post-mistress until September 1854. This post-office stood on the Dunlickey Road adjoining the hotel. The drawing-rooms of her hotel were described as 'large and comfortable' and the bedrooms were 'spacious and airy. The Limerick Chronicle was able to state:
'Mrs. Shannon's new Hotel, or West End Boarding House, as well from its accommodation as its beautiful situation on the cliffs over the enchanting bay, and commanding a view of the village promise
every comfort to be desired at this delightful resort.
By the summer of 1843 she had 'made great and extensive improvements'" and in 1844, 1845, 1847,1848 built several additional rooms 'which with the entire Establishment are fitted up with the greatest elegance and comfort. These new additions later formed the nucleus of her private residence after 1870, and is now called 'West End House' (now owned by Mrs. Maureen McMahon of Limerick). In Charlotte Bronte's time it was part of the West End Hotel. Here Mrs Shannon supplied her guests with brandy, genuine malt whiskey, ale and Guinness's porter, 'all of the purest and best quality' and her terms were 'extremely moderate.
photos of Kilkee