Clare ( Irish: County Clare ) is a county ( county ) in the province of Munster Republic of Ireland. The name of the county is derived from the Irish word Clár ( plank ). In the 12th century there was a transition from planks over the River Fergus at the site of the present village of Clarecastle. This river crossing had a relatively great importance, so that the name was derived from it for the whole area at that time. Clare also bears the nickname Banner County. In the 18th and 19th century it was common practice to carry at public rallies banners and flags. In Clare, this tradition was particularly strong and stayed there even longer than in other parts of the country, so that the epithet at the beginning of the 20th century was a common practice.
The county is located between Galway Bay and the mouth of the River Shannon. The Shannon and Lough Derg form the eastern border. In the northeast it borders the county of Galway. The center of Clare is a lowland of Karbonkalken. In the East there are some low ridge with heights of 300 to 500 m ( highest peak is the Glennagalliagh 530 m). Here you will find a number of peat bogs, while the north-west is dominated by the unique karst landscape of the Burren.
In County Clare early human settlement is traced back to the Stone Age. Many places have the traces of ancient settlement, as reflected in particular in Duns, basements, menhirs and Wedge tombs.
In the 1650s, a large-scale settlement from other parts of Ireland and England was held to consolidate English rule final. The first half of the 19th century is characterized by an explosive increase in the population. Between 1800-1820, the population doubled to 208,000 inhabitants. A crop failure in 1822 led to a major famine in Clare. It led to a first wave of emigration. After the Great Famine in Ireland in the 1840s, which hit the county particularly hard, it came in the decades to a steady stream of emigrants. Between 1850 and 1880 about 100,000 people left the County. By 1966, the population fell to 73,500 in order to rise slowly since then.
The main sectors in County Clare are agriculture and tourism. About 90 % of the farms operate cattle or dairy farming. In recent years the number of farms is but an overall decline. Another unusual feature is the high percentage of forest cover. Take a 16 % of the total, twice as much as the national average. The forest areas are mainly concentrated in the eastern part of the county. A large part is used for forestry.
In recent decades, efforts have been made strengthened to locate industry. By far the most important project is the so-called Shannon Free Zone. It is located at Shannon International Airport. Through tax incentives lured here about 120 international companies have settled and created about 7,500 jobs. So here are concentrated two-thirds of all manufacturing jobs in the county.
To the main industry of tourism has developed in recent years. The still largely unspoilt and varied scenery and numerous preserved archaeological sites attract many visitors. Between 1993 and 1999 the number of visitors increased by 52%. Most foreign visitors from the UK and North America, but also the number of domestic visitors has increased significantly. By far the most visitors recorded Bunratty Castle and Aillwee Cave.
Clare sends four deputies to the Irish Parliament ( Dáil Éireann ); The last election took place in 2011.
The distribution of seats in Clare County Council after the local elections of June 5, 2009:
Due to the relatively low population density, the transport infrastructure is poorly developed. The most important transportation hub is the largest city in the County, Ennis. This is where all major national roads together: the N18 from Galway to Limerick, the N85 to Ennistymon and N68 by Kilrush. The N67 runs mostly along the coast and connects the resorts located there together. From Killimer there is a ferry across the Shannon to Tarbert in County Kerry. It saves about 140 kilometer detour via Limerick.
In the south of Clare, equidistant from Ennis and Limerick (24 km ) is the Shannon International Airport, today - to Dublin - Ireland second most important airport. Previously, he was an important starting or stopping point for transatlantic flights. Although he has lost importance, he still has many international connections, especially to North America.
The only remaining railway line leading from Ennis to Athenry over Limerick. The section Athenry - Ennis was taken on March 30, 2010 after more than 34 years back in operation. Between the larger towns operate intercity buses of Bus Éireann. From Doolin Quay on the west coast there is a boat service to the Aran Islands in Galway Bay.
Cities and towns
- Miltown Malbay
- Newmarket-on- Fergus
- The prehistoric monuments ( Ballyallaban, Ballykinvarga, Cahercommaun, Cahermore, Fanygalvan and Cahermackirilla, Poulaphuca, Poulnabrone dolmen ).
- Various Bullauns, Castles, forts, Celtic crosses, churches and monasteries ( Corcomroe Abbey ), round towers and basement.
- Famous are the Cliffs of Moher, a steep escarpment on the Atlantic coast of up to 200 meters in height. Nearby is the town of Doolin, which is known for the Irish folk music is.
- In the northwest corner is the karst landscape of the Burren with The Burren National Park and the Burren Centre in Kilfenora. The Burren is the stalactite cave Aillwee Cave and probably the best known of all dolmens, the Poulnabrone Dolmen Newtown Castle, Noughhaval and the churches of Oughtmama.
- Is Bunratty Castle, a museum developed Norman castle on the border with County Limerick.
- Northwest of the capital Ennis with old monastic history ( Ennis Friary ) you can visit the complex of Dysert O'Dea - a tower house dating from the 15th century with an archaeological park, High Cross and Round Tower. South-east of Ennis found in the village of Quin, the ruins of a Franciscan monastery, which in turn was built on a Norman castle ruins, the Quin Friary.
- The open air museum Craggaunowen is near Quin.
- In Tuamgraney is home to the East Clare Center and St. Cronan 's Church.
- From Mountshannon one can visit the church of Holy Island in Lough Derg Iceland.
- Scattery Iceland is a monastery, which you can visit from Cappa pier at Kilrush from (private).
- The McNamara and the O'Brian clan come from Clare.
- Daniel Vaughan, scientists
- Edna O'Brien, writer
- Michael Cusack, teacher and founder of the GAA ( Gaelic Athletic Association), was the model for the Citizen in Ulysses by James Joyce.
- Patrick Hillery, MP for Clare, Minister and President from 1976 to 1990.
- Steven Stapleton, musician, painter, illustrator and founder of the avant-garde band Nurse With Wound.