1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ennis

ENNIS (Gaelic, Innis, an island; Irish, Ennis and Inish), the county town of Co. Clare, Ireland, in the east parliamentary division, on the river Fergus, 25 m. W.N.W. from Limerick by the Great Southern & Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 5093. It is the junction for the West Clare line. Ennis has breweries, distilleries and extensive flour-mills; and in the neighbourhood limestone is quarried. The principal buildings are the Roman Catholic church, which is the pro-cathedral of the diocese of Killaloe; the parish church formed out of the ruins of the Franciscan Abbey, founded in 1240 by Donough Carbrac O’Brien; a school on the foundation of Erasmus Smith, and various county buildings. The abbey, though greatly mutilated, is full of interesting details, and includes a lofty tower, a marble screen, a chapter-house, a notable east window, several fine tombs and an altar of St Francis. On the site of the old court-house a colossal statue in white limestone of Daniel O’Connell was erected in 1865. The interesting ruins of Clare Abbey, founded in 1194 by Donnell O’Brien, king of Munster, are half-way between Ennis and the village of Clare Castle. O’Brien also founded Killone Abbey, beautifully situated on the lough of the same name, 3 m. S. of the town, possessing the unusual feature of a crypt and a holy well. Five miles N.W. of Ennis is Dysert O’Dea, with interesting ecclesiastical remains, a cross, a round tower and a castle. Ennis was incorporated in 1612, and returned two members to the Irish parliament until the Union, and thereafter one to the Imperial parliament until 1885.