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Trip Planner Europe  /  Ireland  /  Province of Munster  /  County Clare  /  Ennis

Ennis

4.2
Rides & Activities · Architectural Buildings · Sacred & Religious Sites
Ennis is the county town of Clare, Ireland. The Irish name is short for Inis Cluain Ramh Fhada ("island of the long rowing meadow"). The town is on the River Fergus, north of where it enters the Shannon Estuary, 19 km (12 mi) from Shannon Airport. In 2016, Ennis had a population of 25,276, making it the largest town in Clare and the 12th largest in Ireland.HistoryThe name Ennis comes from the Irish word "Inis", meaning "island". This name relates to an island formed between two courses of the River Fergus on which the Franciscan Friary was built. The past of Ennis is closely associated with the O'Brien family, who were descendants of Brian Boru. In the 12th century, the O'Briens, who were Kings of Thomond, left their seat of power in Limerick and built a royal residence at Clonroad on what was then an island. In 1240, King Donnchadh O'Brien ordered the construction of an extensive church which he later donated to the Franciscans. The centuries which followed bore great activity. The Friary was expanded and students came in great flocks to study at the theological college. The Friars, who were free to move about, met the spiritual needs of the local population. It was a religious centre until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
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