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Video of Ennis, County Clare, Republic of Ireland

The 2006 census indicates that Ennis had a population of 24,253 making it the largest town in Munster and the sixth largest town in Ireland. It is the 11th largest urban centre in the country. In 2005 Ennis won the Irish Tidy Towns Competition. The town has maintained this high status over the years coming 2nd in 2008, an improvement on the previous year.

The 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 Abbey was built. The past of Ennis is greatly associated with the O'Brien family, who were descendants of Brian Boru. During 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 the then island. During 1240 King Donnchadh O'Brien ordered the construction of an extensive church grounds which he later donated to recently formatted followers of St. Francis. The centuries which followed bore great activity. The Friars keep 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. Because it never had town walls it became a location for many Catholic merchants from Limerick when Catholics were forbidden to reside in the walled towns by the Penal Laws, and much of its past prosperity is attributable to this influx.

The Town contains several old British military barracks, which were built over the centuries. The Clare Road and Clonroad areas contain terraced cottages, built in the Early 20th century to house soldiers. On Station Road, once stood a prison. Many Ennis men fought for the British Army during The First World War.

Politically, Ennis has always been considered a Fianna Fáil stronghold. Many of the Town's past councils are made up of members of this party.However in the 2009 Local Elections the party was reduced to just one member out of nine on Ennis Town Council. A monument to Éamon de Valera, founder of the party and former President of Ireland, stands outside Ennis Courthouse.


Ennis (Irish: Inis, meaning "island") is the county town of County Clare in Ireland. Situated on the River Fergus, it lies north of Limerick and south of Galway. Its name is a shortening of the original Inis Cluain Ramh Fhada ("island of the long rowing meadow").

The town is 19 km (12 mi) from Shannon and Shannon Airport. Geographically located near the mouth of the Fergus estuary, it is now a gateway to the West of Clare via the N85 Western relief road for people travelling from the Limerick and East Clare regions.

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