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    Clare (county of), a maritime county of the province of Munster, bounded on the east and south by Lough Derg and the river Shannon, which successively separate it from the counties of Tipperary, Limerick, and Kerry; on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the north-west by Galway bay; while on the north and north-east an imaginary boundary separates it from the county of Galway.
    The inhabitants of this tract, in the time of Ptolemy, are designated by him Gangani, and represented as inhabiting also some of the southern parts of the present county of Galway: in the Irish language their appellation was Siol Gangain, and they are stated, both by Camden and Dr. Charles O'Conor, to have been descended from the Concani of Spain. The present county formed from a very early period a native principality, designated Tuath-Mumhan, or Thomond, signifying "North Munster".

    Samuel Lewis, 1840

    Detail from the Lizars map of Ireland (1831).
    Above: detail from the Lizars map of Ireland (1831).
    Map © Cartography Associates, from the Rumsey Collection.

    Left: detail from satellite photo (click for larger version).

    Charon (MIT Project) 1989, James Coleman ©