Clare, a maritime county in the province of Munster, Ireland, lying between Galway Bay and the Shannon. It has a length of 67 miles, a greatest breadth of 43, and an area of 1294 sq. m. In the east the hills reach a height of 1758 feet. The sea-line is high and rocky, in parts precipitous, and occasionally from 400 to 680 feet high, with many isles and fantastic detached rocks. The chief rivers are the Shannon and the Fergus. The county has about 100 small lakes. The southwest third of the county forms part of the Munster coalfield. There are lead-mines, slate and marble quarries, and many chalybeate springs. The chief towns are Ennis (the county town), Kilrush, Kilkee, Ennistimon, and Killaloe. Pop. (1841) 286,394; (1901) 112,129, nearly all Catholics. The county returns two members. There are many cromlechs, raths, remains of abbeys, and old castles, and several round towers, one at Kilrush being 120 feet high. Till Elizabeth's time the county was called Thomond; its present name comes from an English adventurer, Thomas de Clare, who received from Henry III. a part of all the land he might conquer from the Irish.
Clare, (1) one of the most interesting of the smaller towns of Suffolk, 19 miles SSW. of Bury. It has a fine old castle, and gives an earl's title to the British sovereign. Pop. of parish, 1657. - <2) A village of County Clare, on the Fergus, 23 miles NW. of Limerick. Pop. 590. - (3) Or Claremorris, a town of County Mayo, 14 miles SE. of Castlebar. Pop. 1119.