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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Clare County
County Clare (Irish: Contae an Chláir) commonly referred to as simply Clare, is a county of Ireland and part of the wider province of Munster. Clare is one of the 26 counties within the Republic of Ireland and it provides a basis for local government, in the form of its own constituency within the Dáil Éireann. The county system has existed since the 16th century; as well as its governmental usage, the counties form a significant part of local identity and culture within the country. Located on the west coast of Ireland, Clare is northwest of the River Shannon covering a total area of 1,215 square miles (3,147 km²). The most populated town and county seat is Ennis.

County Clare succeeded the district of Thomond (which was part of Connacht), and when first created it was sometimes called County Thomond. Its nickname is the Banner County, which may refer to a former local tradition of carrying banners at political meetings and public occasions.

There was a Neolithic civilisation in the Clare area — the name of the peoples is unknown, but the pre-Celtic peoples left evidence behind in the form of ancient dolmen; single-chamber megalithic tombs, usually consisting of three or more upright stones. Clare is one of the richest places for these tombs in Ireland, the most noted is in the The Burren area, it is known as Poulnabrone dolmen which translates as the hole of sorrows. 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 with geographical features. Within his map Ptolemy names the Celtic tribes inhabiting it and the areas in which they resided; in the area of Clare he indentified a tribe known as the Gangani. Historians have found the tribes on the west of Ireland hardest to identify with known peoples, however Camden and O'Conor would later describe the Gangani as having been descended from the Concani, one of the eleven tribes in the confederacy of the Cantabri in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula

Bodies of water define much of the physical boundaries of Clare. To the southeast is the River Shannon which is Ireland's longest river, the border to the northeast is defined by Lough Derg which is the third largest lake on Ireland and to the west is the Atlantic Ocean. The only county which is physically connected to Clare by land is County Galway to the north, however there are several across-water bridges which connects it to eastwards County Tipperary and southwards County Limerick. Along with County Cork, County Kerry, County Waterford, County Limerick and County Tipperary, County Clare is part of Munster which is one of the four traditional provinces of Ireland.

County Clare contains The Burren, a unique 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 highest point in County Clare is Moylussa, 532m, in the Slieve Bearnagh range in the east of the county. The county's Southern border is the River Shannon, the longest river in Ireland. Along this estuary is the town of Shannon and the location of Shannon International Airport. This airport was the first airport to have a duty-free zone.

The Clare hurling team has one of the best records of success in the country in recent years with many cups such as the Liam McCarthy Cup having been won in 1995 and 1997 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 in North Clare.

Irish rugby internationals from Clare include Keith Wood, Anthony Foley & Marcus Horan.

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Clare County
Place: Munster
People: 110,810
Speak: English, Irish
Area: 3,147 km2
GPS: -9, 52.833333