Benrue House

 

County Clare

 

County Clare (Irish: Contae an Chláir) commonly referred to as simply Clare, is a county of Ireland and part of the wider province of Munster. Clare is one of the 26 counties within the Republic of Ireland and it provides a basis for local government, in the form of its own constituency within the Dáil Éireann. The county system has existed since the 16th century; as well as its governmental usage, the counties form a significant part of local identity and culture within the country. 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 most populated town and county seat is Ennis.

County Clare on a bigger map

During the Early Middle Ages the area was part of the Kingdom of Connacht ruled by the Uí Fiachrach Aidhne, until it was annexed to the Kingdom of Munster to be settled by the Dalcassians in the mid-900s. It was renamed Thomond, meaning North Munster and spawned Brian Boru during this period, perhaps the most noted High King of Ireland. From 1118 onwards the Kingdom of Thomond was in place as its own petty kingdom, ruled by the O'Brien Clan. There was some Norman influence during the 14th century due to battles with the de Clare's for control. Sovereignty of Thomond was handed over to the Tudors in 1543 and the area joined the Kingdom of Ireland as a county. After the kingdom was merged into the United Kingdom, there were wars in the 20th century which resulted in secession of the Irish Free State. The conclusion of the pro-treaty, anti-treaty Irish Civil War confirmed its status — the state became the present republic Ireland in 1937.
County Clare succeeded the district of Thomond (which was part of Connacht), and when first created it was sometimes called County Thomond. Its nickname is the Banner County, which may refer to a former local tradition of carrying banners at political meetings and public occasions.
Reference: Wikipedia