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    The territory which forms the present county of Clare, as stated in Charles O'Conor's Dissertations on the History of Ireland (p. 289), was taken from Connaught in the latter end of the third century by Cormac Cas, son of Oilioll Olum, king of Munster, or by Lughaigh Mean, king of Munster, in the third century, another descendant of Oilioll Olom, and added to part of Limerick under the name of Tuadh-Mumham, or North Munster, a word anglicised to Thomond (see O'Brien's Dictionary at the word Tuadh). The O'Briens of the Dalcassian race became kings of Thomond. Conacht, according to Keating, O'Flaherty, and others, derived its name either from Con, one of the chief druids of the Tuath de Danans, or from Conn-Cead-Cathach, that is Con of the hundred battles, monarch of Ireland in the second century, whose posterity possessed the country; the word iacht, or iocht, signifying children or a posterity, and hence Coniocht means the territory possessed by the posterity of Con. The more ancient name of Connaught, according to O'Flaherty and Charles O'Connor, was Olnegmacht, and was so called from Olnegmacht, an ancient queen of the Firbolgs; and hence the inhabitants were called Fir Olnegmacht.

    Michael O'Clery (trans. Owen Connellan, 1846)

    Detail from Johnston map of Ireland, 1861.
    Above: detail from Johnston map of Ireland, 1861.
    Map © Cartography Associates, from the Rumsey Collection.

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

    Charon (MIT Project) 1989, James Coleman ©