Shillelagh, like Tinahely, has its origins in the former Fitzwilliam (Coolattin) Estate which extended over a vast area surrounding the village. The fine cut-stone former estate houses and the handsome courthouse with its clock tower are much admired features.
Shillelagh has a curious walking connection in the form of the traditional Irish fighting sticks or cudgels, called "shillelaghs". These were also often used as walking sticks, the use to which they are much more commonly put today. They are made from blackthorn wood, carefully selected for strength, straightness and weighted top. The traditional craft of making these sticks is still carried on today in the village.
Besides a good supermarket, Shillelagh has a restaurant, pubs, shillelagh shop and accommodation. Coolattin Golf Course is nearby.