Irish Name: an Clár - "Level land"
County Town: Ennis
Nickname: The Banner County
GAA Colors: Blue and Saffron
Famous People with Clare roots: Brian Boru, Former Irish President Patrick Hillary, Sen. Chris Dodd, Frederick William Burton, John Holland (inventor of submarine), Daniel O'Connell, Eamon DeValera, Archbishop Clancy of Melbourne, Michael Cusack
Jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean from the Shannon estuary is the county of Clare. Though the unique natural phenomenon that is the Burren provides much of its fame Clare has far more to offer than that. With a host of attractions to appeal to young and old of all tastes Clare is worth seeing no matter where your interests lie.
Craggaunowen Centre dedicated to interpreting Ireland's pre-historic and early Christian ears. The story is told of how they lived, farmed, hunted and died. Visitor can, for example, see a replica of a Crannog (Lake Dwelling), Ring Fort and "An Iron Age" roadway. A major feature is the "Brendan Boat" built by Tim Severin who sailed from Ireland to Greenland, re-enacting the voyage of St.Brendan, reputed to have discovered America centuries before Columbus.
But if the past is not to your taste Clare's position as a coastal county provides the chance to see a different world. One of the most dramatic new attractions in the county is Lahinch Seaworld where visitors can see the underwater life of the Atlantic Coast in a giant aquarium. Close to nature to are the famous Cliffs of Moher, 214 metres high and nothing better to give a feel for the wildness of the county and the power of the Ocean.
Perhaps the most noteworthy natural phenomenon in Clare is the Burren itself with its rich diversity of flora and fauna and unusual limestone landscape. The Burren centre located in Kilfenora introduces you to this fascinating and unique part of the Irish landscape.
The usual sporting attractions of rural Ireland are well catered to with golf, sailing and hill walking but the horse racing at Lisdoonvarna is well worth a look if you get the chance and Dromoland Castle Estate provides 2,000 acres for shooting with 30,000 birds released annually.
Clare's charming landscape and rugged Ocean lashed coast are among some of the most spectacular sights a visitor can see in Ireland. With a range of sporting and cultural places of interest as well Clare has truly earned its reputation as an essential stage on any tour of the island.
Common Surnames in Clare: McMahon, McNamara, O'Brien, Moloney, Ryan, Kelly, Mclnerney, O'Connor, Keane, O'Halloran, Egan, Hogan, Burke, Murphy, Lynch and Walsh
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