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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Clare County > Ennis
Ennis (Irish: Inis, meaning Island) is the county town of Clare in Ireland. Situated on the River Fergus, it lies north of Limerick and south of Galway on the main N18 road connecting these two cities. Its name is a shortening of the original Inis Cluain Ramh Fhada ("Long Rowing Meadow Island"). The town is located only twelve miles from Shannon and Shannon Airport, which provides a large tourist business in the town.

The 2006 census indicates that Ennis had a population of 24,253 making it the largest town in Munster and the sixth largest town in Ireland. It is the 11th largest urban centre in the country. Ennis has a large number of foreign national people living in the town with nationalities including Polish, Slovakian, Czech, Nigerian, and Latvian.

Ennis grew up around the Franciscan friary. The large building was an important seat of learning at its peak and was built by the O'Brien family in approximately 1242. It was a religious centre until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Ennis is an historically important market town. The market square today is still home to market stalls on each Saturday through the year, although the practice has steadily decreased over the past few decades.

The Town Centre consists of narrow streets and laneways dating back to medieval times, and many fine old buildings. Of the main thoroughfares, Parnell Street has been pedestrianised, while the others, O'Connell Street, Bindon Street and Abbey Street are one way. The Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul can also be found in the town.

Ennis has several major shopping centres and the Town Centre itself (consisting primarily of O'Connell, Parnell and Abbey Streets and the Market area) contains numerous shops, restaurants and pubs.

Ennis has become an important centre of Irish traditional music over the last fifteen years, and hosts the Fleadh Nua in late May each year, the second largest traditional music festival in Ireland.

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In: Clare
People: 24,253
Speak: English, Irish
Type: Market Town
GPS: -8.9807, 52.8463