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Clane is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°17′31″N 6°41′10″W / 53.29185°N 6.68612°W / 53.29185; -6.68612Coordinates: 53°17′31″N 6°41′10″W / 53.29185°N 6.68612°W / 53.29185; -6.68612
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Kildare
Elevation 70 m (230 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 6,702
Irish Grid Reference N872278

Clane (Irish: Claonadh) is a town in County Kildare, Ireland, 32 km (20 mi) from Dublin. Its population of 6,702 [2] makes it the eighth largest town in Kildare and the 78th largest in Ireland. It is on the River Liffey and in the barony of Clane.


Clane is located on the crossroads of the R403 and R407 regional roads, halfway between Maynooth and Naas in north Kildare. The town most probably owes its origin to the foundation of an abbey in the sixth century, from about 520 A.D., when Ailbe of Emly, Bishop of Ferns, founded an Abbey in Clane, and made St. Senchel the Elder its first Abbot. Saint Ultan Tua, who used to put a stone into his mouth to prevent him from speaking during Lent, and his brother Fotharnaise, are said to have been buried in Clane. They were brothers of Maighend, Abbot of Kilmainham, from whom the parish and church of Mainham, near Clane, were probably called. King Mesgegra's Mound claims links to the legendary first-century AD king Mesgegra of Leinster and was later used by Normans.

The ruins of the Franciscan monastery founded at Clane by Sir Gerald FitzMaurice, 3rd Lord Ophaly, in 1272 still exist. In 1542 Henry VIII’s Commissioner granted the site and precincts of this House of Friars, manor or preaching-house of the preaching Friars of Clane to Robert Eustace, Roger Roche and Ed. Brown for £177. Besides about 70 acres (28 ha) of land in the neighbourhood - its possessions consisted of a church, cemetery, chapter-house, dormitory, store, kitchen, two chambers, stable and orchard. The dormitory and other buildings probably stood on the north side of the Abbey Church, and have long since completely disappeared.

The parish of Clane has the distinction of being the place where the rebellion of 1798 broke out; for it was at Prosperous that the temporary barracks occupied by some of the North Cork Militia, and a Welsh cavalry regiment called the Ancient Britons, were attacked and burnt; and Captain Swayne and most of the soldiers were slain.[3]


Clane has two Liffey tributaries, the Butter Stream at the south west, with a small park, and the Gollymochy River at the eastern side.

Places of interest[edit]

Clongowes Wood College, a secondary school run by the Jesuit Fathers is located nearby; James Joyce was educated there. Other places of interest include the Wogan Mausoleum and churchyard at Mainham, and Clane College, a local educational institute.

Clane today[edit]

In recent decades Clane has developed as a dormitory town for Dublin which lies 32 km (20 mi) to the east. Outside of rush hour times the capital can be reached in 30 minutes.


A commuter railway station in Sallins, some 6 km (4 mi) from Clane, has a regular service to Dublin. The town is also served by Bus Éireann, which operates regular bus service between Edenderry and Dublin. A rapid town link service, provided by private operator J.J. Kavanagh and Sons operates hourly between Clane, Sallins and Naas, while a route to NUI Maynooth served by the same company operates on weekdays.


  • There are 10 golf courses within 16 km (10 mi) of the town, the most famous of which is the K Club, where the 1995 European Open was held, and which hosted the 2006 Ryder Cup.
  • Clane Rugby Club [2] boast 2 senior sides and a strong youth set up, with pitches situated on the Ballinagappa Road.
  • Clane GAA is located on Prosperous Road.
  • Clane United is the local soccer club.


  • Scoil Mhuire (Community School)
  • Hewetsons N.S. (Primary school)
  • Scoil Bhríde G.N.S. (Primary school)
  • St Patrick's B.N.S. (Primary school)
  • Scoil Naomh Mhuire NS, Staplestown (Primary school)
  • Clane College (private college)
  • Longtown Creche and Montessori
  • Clongowes Wood College


The town is a destination for residents of smaller areas located around Clane, boasting several stores such as Aldi, Lidl, Tesco Express, Spa and one of Ireland's largest SuperValu stores. Other smaller stores in the town include a Londis and a Centra for convenience.

Food & drink[edit]

Clane is home to several pubs and restaurants. There are six bars in the town, including the GAA club, Millicent Golf Club and the Oak Bar at the Westgrove Hotel. Popular restaurants include Zest restaurant and cafe, the Exchange restaurant at the Westgrove Hotel, the Flaming Wok and the Lemongrass.


The local Church of Ireland church is Church of St Michael and All Angels, Millicent (C of I parish of Clane and Donadea), a 19th-century building noted for its architecture and interior. Saint Patrick's & Saint Brigid's Church is the Catholic place of worship, part of the Catholic parish of Clane and Rathcoffey.

Clane in fiction[edit]

The town of Clane is one of the settings in the early life of Stephen Daedalus, the protagonist in James Joyce's novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Notable people associated with Clane[edit]

  • Willam Dongan, 1st Earl of Lymerick (ca. 1626-1698), Royalist and Cavalier, was a supporter of King Charles I of England during the English Civil War and the contemporary wars in Ireland; afterwards he worked for the restoration of King Charles II of England during his exile in Europe. He was a landowner in Clane barony with 32,000 acres (12,950 ha) in Ireland. Successor to Sir Walter Dongan, 3rd Baronet, he was 4th Baronet (cr. 1622/23), and was subsequently created 1st Baron Dongan of Castletown and 1st Viscount Dungan of Clane, both in 1661/62. He became 1st Earl of Lymerick (now spelled "Limerick") in 1685/86. Privy Councillor (I.); Knight of Alcantara, and governor and regimental colonel (Spain); Colonel, the Earl of Lymerick's Regiment of Dragoons; Governor of Limerick; and Lord Lieutenant of Co. Kildare[4]
  • Charles Handy, contemporary social commentator
  • Graham Hopkins, musician
  • Josef Locke, tenor
  • Charles Wolfe, poet
  • Theobald Wolfe Tone, patriot
  • Ronnie Wood, musician
  • David Fitzpatrick, poet, proven to have an eidetic memory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  2. ^ Census 2006 - Table 14A - Towns 10,000 population and over
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Dungan, Thomas P. John Dongan of Dublin: An Elizabethan Gentleman and His Family, Baltimore, GPC, 1996, esp. pp. 116-123, with mult. ref.


  • Hermann Geissel, 1996: The Shady Road to Clane
  • Bryan Sammon, Paddy Behan and Liam Burke, 2006: Clane: The Village We Knew
  • Journal the Kildare Archaeological Society, references include: Volume I: pp17, 25-33, 91, 168, 189, 292, 311, 312, 313. Volume II: pp50–51, 158, 370, 457(Corrigenda). Volume IV: pp35–46, 68, 460. Volume V: pp349. Volume VI: pp180, 302-303, 343, an on specific topics:
  • Bridge of Clane, Volume III: p106.
  • Clane Abbey Volume III: pp101–106.
  • Clane Abbeyland Volume XIII: p64.
  • Clane Priory Volume III: pp105–106. Volume XII: p393.
  • Clane Rangers Volume VI: p347.
  • Clergy of Clane, Volume IV: pp36, 44, 46, 169.
  • Moat at Clane, Volume I: pp27, 313, 405. Volume III: pp107–111.
  • Parish Register of Clane, Volume IV: pp40–41.
  • St. Brigid's thimble, chair, road and well Volume III: p269.
  • Union of Clane Volume XVII: pp118–120.
  • Clane & Rathcoffey Ecclesiastical History Committee, 2011: A History of Christianity in Clane & Rathcoffey

External links[edit]