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County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a
county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Robert Chambers (publisher bo ...

county
in
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
, in the Mid-West Region and the
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...

province
of
Munster Munster ( gle, an Mhumhain or ) is one of the provinces of Ireland Since pre-historic times, there have been four Provinces of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.ht ...

Munster
, bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
Clare County Council Clare County Council ( ga, Comhairle Contae an Chláir) is the authority responsible for Local government in the Republic of Ireland, local government in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. As a county council, it is governed by the Local ...
is the
local authority Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government ...
. The county had a population of 118,817 at the 2016 census. The county town and largest settlement is
Ennis Ennis () is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for ...

Ennis
.


Geography and political subdivisions

Clare is north-west of the
River Shannon The River Shannon ( ga, Abhainn na Sionainne, ', '), at in length, is the longest Rivers of Ireland, river in the British Isles.ESManage Project: Irish Freshwater Resources and Assessment of Ecosystem Services Provision - Environmental Protectio ...
covering a total area of . Clare is the 7th largest of Ireland's 32 traditional counties in area and the 19th largest in terms of population. It is bordered by two counties in Munster and one county in Connacht:
County Limerick County Limerick ( ga, Contae Luimnigh) is a Counties of Ireland, county in Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is located in the Provinces of Ireland, province of Munster, and is also part of the Mid-West Region, Ireland, Mid-West Region. It is nam ...
to the south,
County Tipperary County Tipperary ( ga, Contae Thiobraid Árann) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by Willia ...

County Tipperary
to the east and
County Galway County Galway ( ; gle, Contae na Gaillimhe) is a in . It is in the , taking up the south of the of . There are several in the west of the county. The traditional county includes, and is named for, the city of , but the city and county no ...
to the north. Clare's nickname is ''the Banner County''.


Baronies, parishes and townlands

The county is divided into the
baroniesBarony may refer to: * Barony, the peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary titles (and sometimes Life peer, non-hereditary titles) in a number of countries, and composed of assorted noble ranks. Peerages incl ...
of
Bunratty Lower Bunratty Lower is a baronyBarony may refer to: * Barony, the peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary titles (and sometimes Life peer, non-hereditary titles) in a number of countries, and composed of assort ...
,
Bunratty Upper Bunratty Upper is a Barony (Ireland), barony in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. This ancient geographical division of land is in turn divided into six civil parishes in Ireland, civil parishes. Legal context Baronies were created afte ...
, Burren,
Clonderalaw Clonderalaw is an historical Barony (Ireland), barony in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Baronies are geographical divisions of land that are in turn is divided into civil parishes in Ireland, civil parishes. Legal context Baronie ...
, Corcomroe, Ibrickan,
Inchiquin Inchiquin ( ga, Inse Uí Chuinn) is a Barony (Ireland), barony in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland.Islands An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is ...
, Moyarta, Tulla Lower and
Tulla Upper Tulla Upper (or Tullagh Upper) is a baronyBarony may refer to: * Barony, the peerage A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary titles (and sometimes Life peer, non-hereditary titles) in a number of countries, and co ...
. These in turn are divided into
civil parishes In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for Local government in England, local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts ...
, which are divided into
townland A townland ( ga, baile fearainn; Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ulstèr-Scotch'', ...
s. These divisions are
cadastral A cadastral map (shortened to cadastre or cadaster) is a comprehensive land recording of the real estate Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; imm ...

cadastral
, defining land boundaries and ownership, rather than administrative.


Towns and villages

*
Ardnacrusha Ardnacrusha ( ga, Ard na Croise) is a village in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North ...
* Ballynacally *
Ballyvaughan Ballyvaughan or Ballyvaghan () is a small harbour village in County Clare, Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain t ...
*
Barefield Barefield or Gortlumman () is a village and townland in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is located on the R458 road (Ireland), R458 road, with the M18 motorway (Ireland), M18 national primary road between Ennis and Gort skirting it ...
*
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...
*
Bridgetown Bridgetown (UN/LOCODE UN/LOCODE, the United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations, is a geocode, geographic coding scheme developed and maintained by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). UN/LOCODE assigns codes to ...
* Broadford *
Bunratty Bunratty () is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for Local government in England, local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lo ...

Bunratty
*
Carrigaholt Carrigaholt () is a small fishing village in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlant ...
* Carron *
Clarecastle Clarecastle (''An Clár'' or ) is a village just south of Ennis in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. From 2008 to 2016 the village saw a significant population increase due to its proximity to Ennis, Shannon, and Limerick. Name The to ...
* Clonlara *
ConnollyConnolly (from ''Ó Conghalaigh'') may refer to: People * Connolly (surname) Places * Connolly, Western Australia, a suburb in Perth, Western Australia * Connolly, County Clare, Ireland * Connolly Park in Collooney, County Sligo, Ireland * Dublin C ...
* Coolmeen * Cooraclare * Corofin * Cranny *
Cratloe Cratloe () is a village in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, situated between Limerick and Shannon, County Clare, Shannon in the mid-west of Ireland. It is possible that the name derives from ''Croit-shliabh'' meaning "hump-backed hill" ...
*
Cree (Creegh) Cree or Creegh () is a small village in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, ...
*
Cross A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two intersecting lines or bars, usually perpendicular to each other. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally. A cross of oblique lines, in the shape of the Latin letter X, is also termed a ...
*
Crusheen Crusheen () is a small village in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is s ...
*
Doolin Doolin () is a coastal village in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast. It is southwest of the spa town of Lisdoonvarna. It is a noted centre of traditional Irish music, which is played nightly in its ...
*
Doonaha __NOTOC__ Doonaha () is a small village on the Loop Head peninsula in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is located along the R487 road (Ireland), R487 road and close to the banks of the River Shannon. The ''Doonaha Battery'' was the n ...
*
Doonbeg Doonbeg () is a village in west County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland on the Atlantic coast. The surrounding natural environment has supported its development as a tourist resort. The area was officially classified as part of the West Clare G ...
*
Ennis Ennis () is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for ...

Ennis
*
Ennistymon Ennistymon or Ennistimon () is a country market town in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, N ...

Ennistymon
*
Fanore Fanore () is a small village in County Clare, on the west coast of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. The area was officially classified as part of the West Clare Gaeltacht, an Irish-speaking community, until 1956. Geography Location Lying on the r ...
*
Feakle Feakle (historically ''Feakell'' and ''Fiakil'', from ) is a village in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, in a Civil parishes in Ireland, civil parish and Roman Catholic parish of the same name. Location "Paroiste na fiacaile" means par ...
* Inagh *
Inch Measuring tape with inches The inch (symbol: in or ″) is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television s ...
* Kilbaha *
Kilfenora Kilfenora (, ) is a village and a civil parish in County Clare, Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its ...

Kilfenora
*
Kilkee Image:Kilkee2.JPG, 260px, none, A view of the bay from Hickie's pub Kilkee () is a small coastal town in County Clare, Ireland. It is in the parish of Kilkee (parish), Kilkee, formerly Kilfearagh. Kilkee is midway between Kilrush and Doonbeg ...
* Kilkishen * Kildysart * Killaloe * Killimer * Kilmaley * Kilmihil * Kilmurry McMahon * Kilnaboy * Kilnamona *
Kilrush Kilrush () is a coastal town in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is se ...

Kilrush
* Labasheeda *
Lahinch Lahinch or Lehinch ( ''or'' ) is a small town on Liscannor Bay, on the northwest coast of County Clare, Ireland. It lies on the N67 national secondary road, between Milltown Malbay and Ennistymon, roughly by road southwest of Galway and north ...

Lahinch
*
Liscannor Liscannor () is a coastal village in County Clare, Ireland. Geography Lying on the west coast of Ireland, on Liscannor Bay, the village is located on the R478 road (Ireland), R478 road between Lahinch, to the east, and Doolin, to the north. T ...

Liscannor
*
Lisdoonvarna Lisdoonvarna () is a spa town A spa town is a resort town based on a mineral spa (a developed mineral spring). Patrons visit spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word ''spa'' is derived from the name of Spa ...

Lisdoonvarna
* Lissycasey * Meelick *
Milltown Malbay Milltown Malbay (), also Miltown Malbay, is a town in the west of County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, near Spanish Point, County Clare, Spanish Point. The population was 829 at the 2016 Census. Name There is a townland on the southern edg ...
*
Mountshannon Mountshannon (, historically anglicised as ''Ballybolan'') is a village in east County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, and a Catholic parish by the same name. The village is on the western shore of Lough Derg (Shannon), Lough Derg, north of Ki ...
* Mullagh *
Newmarket-on-Fergus Newmarket-on-Fergus, historically known as Corracatlin (), is a town in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North ...
* O'Briensbridge * O'Callaghans Mills * Ogonnelloe * Parteen * Quilty * Quin *
Ruan Ruan may refer to: Places *Ruan, County Clare Ruan () is a village in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Di ...
* * Shannon *
Sixmilebridge Sixmilebridge (), colloquially The Bridge, is a small town in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Located midway between Ennis and Limerick city, the town is a short distance away from the main N18 road (Ireland), N18 roads in Ireland, r ...
* Toonagh *
Tuamgraney Tuamgraney (; archaically spelled ''Tomgraney, Tomgrenei''; ) is a village in eastern County Clare in the west of Republic of Ireland, Ireland and a civil parish by the same name. Situated a kilometre from the River Graney which flows into Lough D ...
* Tubber *
Tulla Tulla () is a town in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. The town is the commercial centre for Tulla parish and the surrounding area, and is around 15 km east of Ennis. Tulla church was founded about 620 by Mochuille and the town r ...
*
WhitegateWhitegate may refer to one of the following villages: *Whitegate, Cheshire, England *Whitegate, County Clare, Ireland *Whitegate, County Cork, Ireland *Whitegate, Greater Manchester, England See also

*Whitegates, Isle of Man {{geodis ...


Physical geography

Bodies of water define much of the physical boundaries of Clare. To the south-east is the
River Shannon The River Shannon ( ga, Abhainn na Sionainne, ', '), at in length, is the longest Rivers of Ireland, river in the British Isles.ESManage Project: Irish Freshwater Resources and Assessment of Ecosystem Services Provision - Environmental Protectio ...
, Ireland's longest river, and to the south is the
Shannon Estuary The Shannon Estuary ( gle, Inbhear na Sionainne) is a large estuary An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries form ...
. The border to the north-east is defined by Lough Derg which is the third largest lake on Ireland. To the west is the Atlantic Ocean, and to the north is
Galway Bay Galway Bay (Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom o ...
. County Clare contains
The Burren The Burren (; ) is a karst Karst is a topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially thei ...

The Burren
, a unique
karst Karst is a topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially their depiction in maps). Topography ...

karst
region, which contains rare flowers and fauna. At the western edge of The Burren, facing the Atlantic Ocean, are the
Cliffs of Moher The Cliffs of Moher (; ) are sea cliffs located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. They run for about . At their southern end, they rise above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and ...

Cliffs of Moher
. The highest point in County Clare is
Moylussa Moylussa is a mountainListed as an Arderin – a category of Irish mountains greater than 500m Ordnance Datum, high with 30m prominence. in the Slieve Bernagh range in western Republic of Ireland, Ireland, and the highest point in County Clare at ...
, , in the Slieve Bernagh range in the east of the county. The following islands lie off the coast of the county: * Aughinish, County Clare, Aughinish * Inishmore (or Deer) Island * Inishloe * Mutton Island * Scattery Island


Climate


History

County Clare hosts the oldest known evidence of human activity in Ireland. The patella of a bear, which was subject to butchering close to the time of death, was found in the Alice and Gwendoline Cave, near Edenvale House,
Clarecastle Clarecastle (''An Clár'' or ) is a village just south of Ennis in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. From 2008 to 2016 the village saw a significant population increase due to its proximity to Ennis, Shannon, and Limerick. Name The to ...
. The bone features a number of linear-cut marks, and has been dated to circa 10,500 BC, from the Paleolithic era. This discovery, publicized in 2017, pushed back Ireland's occupation by 2,500 years - what was previously regarded as the oldest site of occupation was the Mesolithic site of Mount Sandel Mesolithic site, Mount Sandel, County Londonderry. This bear bone was discovered in 1903 during an archaeological excavation but was not studied until over a century later. There was a Neolithic civilization in the Clare area – the name of the peoples is unknown, but the Bronze Age Europe, Prehistoric peoples left evidence behind in the form of ancient dolmen: single-chamber megalithic tombs, usually consisting of three or more megalith, upright stones. Clare is one of the richest places in Ireland for these tombs. The most noted one is in
The Burren The Burren (; ) is a karst Karst is a topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially thei ...

The Burren
area; it is known as ''Poulnabrone dolmen'', which translates to "hole of sorrows". Retrieved on 2 October 2008. The remains of the people inside the tomb have been excavated and dated to 3800 BC. Ptolemy created a map of Ireland in his ''Geographia'' with information dating from 100 AD; it is the oldest written account of the island that includes geographical features. Within his map, Ptolemy names the Celtic tribes, Gaelic tribes inhabiting it and the areas in which they resided; in the area of Clare, he identified a tribe known as the ''Gangani''. Historians have found the tribes on the west of Ireland the most difficult to identify with known peoples; however, historians William Camden and Charles O'Conor (historian), Charles O'Conor speculated a possible connection between the Gangani and the ''Concani'', one of the eleven tribes in the confederacy of the Cantabri in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. During the Early Middle Ages, the area was part of the Connacht, Kingdom of Connacht ruled by the Uí Fiachrach Aidhne. In the Middle Ages, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Munster to be settled by the Dalcassians. It was renamed Thomond, meaning North Munster. Brian Boru became a leader from here during this period, perhaps the most noted High King of Ireland. From 1118 onwards the Kingdom of Thomond was in place as its own petty kingdom, ruled by the O'Brien Clan. After the Norman invasion of Ireland, Thomas de Clare, Lord of Thomond, Thomas de Clare established a short-lived Norman lordship of Thomond, extinguished at the Battle of Dysert O'Dea in 1318 during Bruce campaign in Ireland, Edward Bruce's invasion. There are two main hypotheses for the origins of the county name "Clare". One is that the name is derived from Thomas de Clare, Lord of Thomond, Thomas de Clare who was deeply embroiled in local politics and fighting in the 1270s and 1280s. An alternative hypothesis is that the county name ''Clare'' comes from the settlement of Clare (now
Clarecastle Clarecastle (''An Clár'' or ) is a village just south of Ennis in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. From 2008 to 2016 the village saw a significant population increase due to its proximity to Ennis, Shannon, and Limerick. Name The to ...
), whose Irish name (plank bridge) refers to a crossing over the River Fergus.


English colonization

In 1543, during the Tudor conquest of Ireland, Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Thomond, Murrough O'Brien, by surrender and regrant to Henry VIII, became Earl of Thomond within Henry's Kingdom of Ireland. Henry Sidney as Lord Deputy of Ireland responded to the Desmond Rebellion by creating the Lord President of Connaught, presidency of Connaught in 1569 and Lord President of Munster, presidency of Munster in 1570. He transferred Thomond from Munster to Connaught, which he shired, Thomond becoming County Clare. About 1600, Clare was removed from the presidency of Connaught and made a presidency in its own right under the Earl of Thomond. When Henry O'Brien, 5th Earl of Thomond died in 1639, Lord Deputy Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford decreed Clare should return to the presidency of Munster, but the Wars of the Three Kingdoms delayed this until Restoration (England), the Restoration of 1660. Clare's List of Irish county nicknames, county nickname is the ''Banner County'', for which various origins have been suggested: the banners captured by Clare's Dragoons at the Battle of Ramillies; or the banner of "Catholic emancipation" raised by Daniel O'Connell's victory in 1828 Clare by-election, an 1828 by-election for County Clare that led to Parliament passing the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829. Scattery Island, in the Mouth of the Shannon off the Clare coast, was transferred to Limerick Corporation and the county of the city of Limerick after the dissolution of the monasteries in the mid-16th century. It was assigned to County Clare after the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840. Under the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, part of the judicial county of Galway (Drummaan, Inishcaltra North and Mountshannon electoral divisions) was transferred to county Clare. This area contains the village of
Mountshannon Mountshannon (, historically anglicised as ''Ballybolan'') is a village in east County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, and a Catholic parish by the same name. The village is on the western shore of Lough Derg (Shannon), Lough Derg, north of Ki ...
on the north-western shore of Lough Derg.


Local government and Dáil Éireann representation

The county seat is at Ennis, which also serves as a major regional hub for County Clare. Among its emergency services, it contains the Ennis Hospital, the HQ of the Clare Divisional Garda, the Clare Fire Brigade and Civil Defence. Since independence in 1921, Clare (Dáil constituency), Clare is represented by its own parliamentary constituency in Dáil Éireann, the powerful lower house of the Irish parliament, known as Oireachtas. Clare is currently served by four Teachta Dála, Teachtaí Dála, representatives referred to as TDs. Briefly a small area of Clare was in the Clare–South Galway (Dáil constituency), Clare–South Galway constituency during the 1970s before its Electoral (Amendment) Act 1974, abolition. The second tier of Local government in the Republic of Ireland, local governance is represented by the Town Councils in the Republic of Ireland, town councils—Clare has four in the form of
Ennis Ennis () is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for ...

Ennis
,
Kilrush Kilrush () is a coastal town in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is se ...

Kilrush
,
Kilkee Image:Kilkee2.JPG, 260px, none, A view of the bay from Hickie's pub Kilkee () is a small coastal town in County Clare, Ireland. It is in the parish of Kilkee (parish), Kilkee, formerly Kilfearagh. Kilkee is midway between Kilrush and Doonbeg ...
and Shannon, County Clare, Shannon. The constituency has historically been a Fianna Fáil stronghold. However Fianna Fáil lost its overall majority on the council in 2004. As of the 2009 Irish local elections, 2009 local elections, Fine Gael is the largest party, controlling 12 seats. It won 40% of the vote in the Clare constituency in the 2011 Irish general election. Prominent historic TDs for Clare include Éamon de Valera, who became Taoiseach and President of Ireland, President, former president Patrick Hillery, and former Cabinet Minister Brendan Daly (politician), Brendan Daly.


Demography

The population of Clare was 118,817 people at the 2016 census. The main urban areas are
Ennis Ennis () is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for ...

Ennis
with a population of 25,276 and Shannon, County Clare, Shannon with 9,729. The demographic profile for Clare in general is fairly young: 22% are under age 14, while 12% are over 65, compared to the national average of 20% and 11%, respectively. There is a slightly higher percentage of males with 50.5%, while females number 49.5%. English is the main language spoken in Clare. The vast majority of the population are Irish people, accounting for 86%. Most immigrants are Europeans, totalling an additional 7,520; there is also a small African minority of 1,124 people, while other ethnic groups are very small in number. In addition, Clare had a large Irish diaspora, diaspora due to vast emigration during the 19th century. There are millions of people around the world who can trace their family background to Clare; such descendants are found mostly in North America, Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand. Many people from the Irish diaspora visit the Clare area to trace their family roots and background. Most of the names in Clare are derived from sept members of the Dalcassian race of Gaels. Some of the most common examples are O'Brien dynasty, O'Brien, O'Dea, McMahon, McInerney, McNamara, McGarry (disambiguation), McGarry, Moloney (surname), Moloney, O'Grady (surname), O'Grady, Hogan (surname), Hogan, Considine, Griffin (surname), Griffey/Griffin and Lynch (surname), Lynch. Names of assimilated Normans, Norman origin include Burke (name), Burke, Dalton (surname), Dalton, and Clan Cumming, Comyn.


Religion

The great majority of the population follow Christianity; at least 92% of the people in the area polled as part of the Irish population analysis, Ireland Census 2006 identified as Christians. There are numerous List of monastic houses in Ireland#County Clare, abbeys and priories in Clare. Some of the ruins of such structures, such as Scattery Island Cathedral and Monastery, Scattery Island, Bishop's Island, and Drumcliff monasteries, are ancient, dating to the 6th century when Christianity was first introduced to Ireland. The former was founded by Saint Senan, who was born locally near Kilrush in 488 and is counted amongst the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. Numerous List of saints of Ireland, other saints came from Clare, such as Saint Flannan, Flannan, Mochulleus, Saint Molua, Moula, Caimin, Maccreiche, Munchin and more. In the present day, the Catholic Church still commands a large majority, with 88% of the populace declaring themselves as followers of the religion. This percentage is slightly higher than Religion in the Republic of Ireland, the national average. Most of Clare falls under the Catholic Roman Catholic Diocese of Killaloe, Diocese of Killaloe, which is part of the ecclesiastical province of Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly, Cashel and Emly. The Bishop of Killaloe is seated at the St Peter and St Paul Cathedral, Ennis, St Peter and Paul Cathedral in Ennis. A small portion of the north-western part of Clare falls under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora. As part of the local council's architectural conservation project, around eighty Christian churches have been designated as protected structures. Among the more notable structures are the ruins of Corcomroe Abbey, Quin Abbey, and Dysert O Dea monastery, Dysert O Dea Monastery. The largest religious minority is the Church of Ireland, which is part of the Anglican Communion. It has just under 2000 adherents in Clare. The county is part of the Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe, one of the three cathedrals of the diocese being St Flannan's Cathedral in Killaloe. Other religious communities in Clare are very small in comparison. A minority declare no religion.


Places of interest

Places of interest include: *Loop Head, The road out *
Cliffs of Moher The Cliffs of Moher (; ) are sea cliffs located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. They run for about . At their southern end, they rise above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and ...

Cliffs of Moher
*
Doolin Doolin () is a coastal village in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast. It is southwest of the spa town of Lisdoonvarna. It is a noted centre of traditional Irish music, which is played nightly in its ...
*Inis Cealtra (Holy Island) in Lough Derg * Kilbaha *
Kilkee Image:Kilkee2.JPG, 260px, none, A view of the bay from Hickie's pub Kilkee () is a small coastal town in County Clare, Ireland. It is in the parish of Kilkee (parish), Kilkee, formerly Kilfearagh. Kilkee is midway between Kilrush and Doonbeg ...
*Loop Head *Scattery Island *Spanish Point, County Clare, Spanish Point *
The Burren The Burren (; ) is a karst Karst is a topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially thei ...

The Burren
*Bunratty Castle


Gaeltacht

West Clare and some pockets in East Clare were recognised as part of the Gaeltacht, or Irish-speaking area, by the Irish Free State government in the original ''Coimisiún na Gaeltachta'' in 1926. The most prominent of these areas with native Irish language speakers were west of
Ennis Ennis () is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for ...

Ennis
in Kilmihil,
Kilrush Kilrush () is a coastal town in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is se ...

Kilrush
,
Doonbeg Doonbeg () is a village in west County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland on the Atlantic coast. The surrounding natural environment has supported its development as a tourist resort. The area was officially classified as part of the West Clare G ...
,
Doolin Doolin () is a coastal village in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast. It is southwest of the spa town of Lisdoonvarna. It is a noted centre of traditional Irish music, which is played nightly in its ...
, Ennistimon,
Carrigaholt Carrigaholt () is a small fishing village in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlant ...
,
Lisdoonvarna Lisdoonvarna () is a spa town A spa town is a resort town based on a mineral spa (a developed mineral spring). Patrons visit spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word ''spa'' is derived from the name of Spa ...

Lisdoonvarna
and
Ballyvaughan Ballyvaughan or Ballyvaghan () is a small harbour village in County Clare, Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain t ...
. However, by the time of the second ''Coimisiún na Gaeltachta'' in 1956, the decline in the number of Gaelic speakers had been such that West Clare was removed from the list. It remained covered by the Gaeltacht (Housing) Acts until 2001. Close geographic proximity to the Aran Islands (which were once part of Thomond) and local trade with fishermen from there meant that the language was used by residents of
Fanore Fanore () is a small village in County Clare, on the west coast of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. The area was officially classified as part of the West Clare Gaeltacht, an Irish-speaking community, until 1956. Geography Location Lying on the r ...
, Murroogh,
Doolin Doolin () is a coastal village in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast. It is southwest of the spa town of Lisdoonvarna. It is a noted centre of traditional Irish music, which is played nightly in its ...
and Quilty more than in other places. The last native Clare Irish speaker, the ''seanchaí'' Paddy Pháraic Mhíchíl Ó Sionáin (Shannon) of Fisherstreet, Doolin, died in the early 1990s. In the early 21st century, the pressure group ''Coiste Forbartha Gaeltachta Chontae an Chláir'' has sought to restore the official status of West Clare as a Gaeltacht area. They are encouraging immersion classes to revive use of the language.


Music

County Clare has a strong history of Traditional music. It is the home of the Kilfenora Céilí Band, the Tulla Céilí Band, Stockton's Wing, Sharon Shannon, Noel Hill (musician), Noel Hill, Peadar O'Loughlin, Martin Hayes (musician), Martin Hayes and legendary tin-whistler Micho Russell. Ennis in County Clare is also the birthplace of Grammy-nominated songstress Maura O'Connell whose grandmother started a fish market in the town. The county has many traditional music festivals and one of the most well known is the Willie Clancy Summer School, which is held every July in the town of
Milltown Malbay Milltown Malbay (), also Miltown Malbay, is a town in the west of County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, near Spanish Point, County Clare, Spanish Point. The population was 829 at the 2016 Census. Name There is a townland on the southern edg ...
in memory of the renowned uilleann piper, Willie Clancy (musician), Willie Clancy. Andy Irvine (musician), Andy Irvine has written two songs celebrating County Clare: one is "West Coast of Clare" (recorded with Planxty in 1973), in which he mentions Spanish Point, County Clare, Spanish Point and Milltown Malbay. The other is "My Heart's Tonight in Ireland" (recorded on his solo album ''Rain on the Roof (Andy Irvine album), Rain on the Roof'' in 1996, and again on ''Changing Trains'' in 2005), in which he mentions several towns and villages in County Clare: Milltown Malbay, ,
Kilrush Kilrush () is a coastal town in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is se ...

Kilrush
,
Sixmilebridge Sixmilebridge (), colloquially The Bridge, is a small town in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Located midway between Ennis and Limerick city, the town is a short distance away from the main N18 road (Ireland), N18 roads in Ireland, r ...
, Kilkishen,
Lahinch Lahinch or Lehinch ( ''or'' ) is a small town on Liscannor Bay, on the northwest coast of County Clare, Ireland. It lies on the N67 national secondary road, between Milltown Malbay and Ennistymon, roughly by road southwest of Galway and north ...

Lahinch
,
Ennistymon Ennistymon or Ennistimon () is a country market town in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, N ...

Ennistymon
,
Liscannor Liscannor () is a coastal village in County Clare, Ireland. Geography Lying on the west coast of Ireland, on Liscannor Bay, the village is located on the R478 road (Ireland), R478 road between Lahinch, to the east, and Doolin, to the north. T ...

Liscannor
and
Kilkee Image:Kilkee2.JPG, 260px, none, A view of the bay from Hickie's pub Kilkee () is a small coastal town in County Clare, Ireland. It is in the parish of Kilkee (parish), Kilkee, formerly Kilfearagh. Kilkee is midway between Kilrush and Doonbeg ...
, and also makes two references to the music of Willie Clancy:
In the town of Scarriff the sun was shining in the sky When Willie Clancy played his pipes and the tears welled in my eyes Many years have passed and gone since the time we had there But my heart's tonight in Ireland in the sweet County Clare. ... Lahinch and Ennistymon, Liscannor and Kilkee But best of all was Milltown when the music flowed so free Willie Clancy and the County Clare I'm ever in your debt For the sights and sounds of yesterday are shining memories yet.
Milltown Malbay is home to Oidhreacht an Chlair, an institute for higher education in all aspects of Irish tradition, history and literature.


Sport

The Clare GAA, Clare hurling team has one of the best records of success in the country in recent years with many cups such as the Liam MacCarthy Cup having been won in 1914, 1995, 1997 and 2013 and also finalists in 2002. Clare won the Munster Final in football in 1992 beating Kerry. There is a strong Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) presence in County Clare with the founder of the GAA, Michael Cusack, having been born in Carron which is situated in the heart of
The Burren The Burren (; ) is a karst Karst is a topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially thei ...

The Burren
in North Clare. Irish rugby internationals from Clare include Keith Wood, Anthony Foley & Marcus Horan.


Transport

Clare is served by two national primary roads—a classification referring to the major routes between major urban centres roads in Ireland, in Ireland. This includes the N18 road (Ireland), N18 connecting Limerick to Galway, which passes through Ennis and by route of the N19 road (Ireland), N19—Shannon. These two roads are part of the wider Western and Southern Corridor connecting many of the major settlements right across the island in these areas. There are also some significant national secondary roads—across the coast, stretching from
Ballyvaughan Ballyvaughan or Ballyvaghan () is a small harbour village in County Clare, Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain t ...
, through
Ennistymon Ennistymon or Ennistimon () is a country market town in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, N ...

Ennistymon
and
Kilkee Image:Kilkee2.JPG, 260px, none, A view of the bay from Hickie's pub Kilkee () is a small coastal town in County Clare, Ireland. It is in the parish of Kilkee (parish), Kilkee, formerly Kilfearagh. Kilkee is midway between Kilrush and Doonbeg ...
, before arriving at
Kilrush Kilrush () is a coastal town in County Clare County Clare ( ga, Contae an Chláir) is a county in Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is se ...

Kilrush
is the N67 road (Ireland), N67. In addition to this the N68 road (Ireland), N68 connects Kilrush to Ennis, while Ennis is connected to Ennistymon via the N85 road (Ireland), N85. Mainland public transport is mostly limited to buses ran by Irish Government owned company Bus Éireann; there are around 25 buses running frequent routes which pass through the majority of large settlements in Clare. Clare Bus, runs a limited number of "accessible buslines". The Ennis railway station operated by government owned Iarnród Éireann is the most significant railway station in Clare today; it was opened on 2 July 1859. By route of Limerick the trains run from Ennis to Dublin Heuston railway station, Dublin and it generally takes 3 hours to complete the journey. There was previously a far more extensive local railway network in Clare, laid while part of the United Kingdom, the West Clare Railway was in existence from its opening in 1887 by Charles Stewart Parnell until 1961 covering much of the county. It was quite inefficient however, leading Percy French to write the song ''Are Ye Right There Michael, Are Ye Right There Michael?'' about his experience. Much of it was dug up and dismantled by the Irish government from the 1950s—1970s after being deemed uneconomic, however there remains local advocacy groups who wish to conserve and restore parts of it. The third busiest airport in Ireland is located in Clare with the Shannon Airport, which officially opened in 1945. Along with Dublin Airport and Cork Airport it is one of the three primary airports in the country, handling 3.62 million passengers in 2007. Shannon was the first airport in Ireland to receive transatlantic flights. Ryanair is the main airline handling flights with Great Britain and Continental European countries such as Spain, France, and Germany as the primary destinations. Much traffic from the United States is received, which Aer Lingus mostly handles; it is sometimes used as a military stopover which has caused some controversy in the country, but nonetheless has generated significant revenue for the airport. There are some local ferry services as much of the county is surrounded by water; there is one from Killimer to Tarbert, County Kerry, Tarbert Island in Kerry and also from
Doolin Doolin () is a coastal village in County Clare, Republic of Ireland, Ireland, on the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic coast. It is southwest of the spa town of Lisdoonvarna. It is a noted centre of traditional Irish music, which is played nightly in its ...
to the Aran Islands of Inisheer and Inishmore.


People

* Gerald Barry (composer), Gerald Barry, composer * Pat Breen * Joe Carey * Tony Killeen * Timmy Dooley * Síle De Valera * Shane O'Donnell * Naomi Carroll * Edna O'Brien


See also

* High Sheriff of Clare * List of rivers in County Clare * Lord Lieutenant of Clare * Wild Atlantic Way


Notes


References

* * *


External links


War Of Independence in Clare

Clare County Council

Clare County Library

Tourist Attractions
{{Coord, 52, 50, N, 9, 00, W, type:adm1st_region:IE_source:GNS-enwiki, display=title County Clare, Counties of the Republic of Ireland, Clare Local administrative units of the Republic of Ireland, Clare Munster, Clare