Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Clare, a county in S.W. Ireland, comprised within the province of Munster, and bounded N.W. by the Atlantic, S. by the Shannon and Limerick, E. by Tipperary, and N. by Galway. The area is 1,293 square miles. Much of the surface is rugged and mountainous, with rocks in the N. and bogs in the W., but along the courses of the Fergus and Shannon are strips (corcasses) of the richest alluvial soil. The coast is deeply indented, and generally rocky and precipitous. Liscannor Bay is the only safe anchorage on the Atlantic, but the estuary of the Shannon, with its many recesses, affords great facilities for navigation. Kilrush, a port at the base of the long promontory of Loop Head, intercepts much of the trade of Limeeick. The river Fergus traverses the county, and at the head of the deep bay that forms its mouth in the estuary of the Shannon stands the town of Clare, but Ennis, a little higher up the river, is the capital. Kilrush, Killaloe, and Kilkee are the only other places of importance. Grazing is more profitable than tillage, and but a small proportion of the acreage is under cultivation, the people depending much on potatoes for their food. Fishing is carried on with some success as far as the heavy Atlantic seas permit, and the Shannon supplies plenty of salmon. The soil is rich in minerals such as lead, iron, and manganese, but these are little worked. Coal, flagstones, slate, and marble are also valuable products. The only manufactures are flannels, friezes, and coarse cotton goods. The primitive name of the district was Thomond, or Tuadmin, and the present appellation is derived from Thomas de Clare, a settler in the reign of Henry III. Clare sends two members to Parliament.