O'Brien's Tower was built in 1835 by Cornelius O'Brien a descendant of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland, as an observation point for the hundreds of tourists who even then, visited the Cliffs. The tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs of Moher. The tower was constructed as a Tea House and is also known as O'Brien's Folly.
Cornelius was a man ahead of his time, believing that the development of tourism would benefit the local economy and bring people out of poverty. He also built a wall of Moher flagstones along the Cliffs and it was said in the locality that "he built everything around here except the Cliffs". He died in 1857 and his remains lie in the O'Brien vault in the graveyard adjoining St. Brigid's Well.
O'Brien's Tower is a protected structure and Clare Co. Council recently carried out a repair project to the tower which included removal of cement pointing and re pointing of stone work in lime mortar, repairing modern concrete roof, refurbishing interior as retail outlet. This project presented major challenges of working in extreme weather conditions due to the buildings location.