County Clare

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County Clare (Irish: Contae an Chláir) is one of the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland and one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland, being located in the province of Munster. 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 population of the county is 126,194 according to the 2006 census.[1] Clare is the 8th largest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area and 19th largest in terms of population.

Contents

History

There was a Neolithic civilisation in the Clare area — the name of the peoples is unknown, but the Prehistoric 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 Burren area, it is known as Poulnabrone dolmen which translates as the hole of sorrows.[2] The remains of the people inside the tomb have been excavated and dated to 3800 BC.[2] 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.[3] Within his map Ptolemy names the Gaelic tribes inhabiting it and the areas in which they resided; in the area of Clare he identified a tribe known as the Gangani.[4] Historians have found the tribes on the west of Ireland hardest to identify with known peoples, however Camden and O'Conor speculated a possible connection between the Gangani and the Concani,[5][6][7] one of the eleven tribes in the confederacy of the Cantabri in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula.[8]

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