www.setdancingnews.net North County Clare, The Burren etc. How did County Clare get its name? It is often said that County Clare is named after the de Clares. However this is not the origin, rather, the name comes from the Irish word ‘Clár’, meaning a board or plank. A board was placed across the river Fergus outside Ennis, at a place which was to become known as Clare, (now Clarecastle town). This Clare was a place of some importance as early as the 12th Century – thus predating the arrival of the de Clare family to County Clare. Why is County Clare often called ‘The Banner County’? The custom of carrying banners goes back a long way in County Clare. There is little doubt but that the Dal gCais carried banners at the battle of Clontarf in 1014 or that the Clare Dragoons carried banners at Fontenoy in 1745 and in the many battles fought by the Clare Regiments on the continent during the eighteenth century. However, the name ‘the banner county’ would appear to be of far more recent origin. In the last century as population of the county became more politicized the custom of carrying banners to political meetings became widespread. Thus many banners welcomed Daniel O’Connell at the Clare election of 1828 and the freeholders of the county marched behind banners to the Ennis courthouse to cast their votes for O’Connell on that occasion. In Ennis most trade guilds had their own banners: bakers, butchers, brogue makers, coopers, nailers, dyers, masons, harness makers

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