Cappagh Pier was one of the most important factors in the development of Kilrush. The oldest section near the shore was built in 1764. It has changed little since Samuel Lewis in 1837 described it as a pier of very solid construction protected by a sea-wall of great strength. It afforded a great facility for landing passengers from the steam vessels which plied regularly between west Clare and Limerick. The custom-house building near the quay was erected in 1806.
One emigrant of note said to have departed from Cappagh in the 1860's for America was Abe Grady who was born in Ennis in the 1840's and was Mohammed Ali's great grandfather. The harbour was frequented by vessels trading in grain and other commodities. Its particular advantage arises from its depth of water which enabled larger vessels to berth here. Today the pier is still used very occasionally by ships bringing timber to the local mill but you are more likely to find locals and visitors alike jumping off the pier enjoying the sea at the Shannon estuary’s only blue flag beach or playing at the playground at the back of the pier.