Coordinates: 52°56′19″N 9°23′38″W / 52.93851°N 9.394000°W / 52.93851; -9.394000
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Irish: Lios Ceannúir
Panoramic view of Liscannor
Panoramic view of Liscannor
Official seal of Liscannor
Liscannor is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°56′19″N 9°23′38″W / 52.93851°N 9.394000°W / 52.93851; -9.394000
CountyCounty Clare
0 m (0 ft)
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish grid referenceR064884

Liscannor (Irish: Lios Ceannúir, meaning 'ringfort of Ceannúr')[7][8] is a coastal village in County Clare, Ireland. It is located on the R478 road between Lahinch and Doolin, close to the Cliffs of Moher. As of the 2016 census it had a population of 113.[1]


Lying on the west coast of Ireland, on Liscannor Bay, the village is located on the R478 regional road between Lahinch, to the east, and Doolin, to the north. The Cliffs of Moher are about 5 km (3.1 mi) north west of the village. Between Lahinch and Liscannor lies the small village of Moymore. Liscannor is located in the civil parish of Kilmacrehy.[9]


Liscannor Castle

Liscannor probably takes its name from an old fort that was located here.[8] Lis meaning a "fort" and Cannor a corruption of the name "Connor".[10]: 66 

The area around Liscannor was part of the Barony of Corcomroe, controlled by the O’Connor family.

At least 30 ships of the Spanish Armada, sent to invade England in the summer of 1588, were lost along the coast of Ireland, mainly along the western seaboard. The oar-powered galleass Zuñiga was damaged, and anchored off-shore of Liscannor. The ship came under surveillance by the High Sheriff of Clare and by crown forces, and those Spanish sailors who had come ashore had to withdraw to their ship. One captive was taken and sent for interrogation. The Zuñiga escaped the coast with favorable winds, and later reached Le Havre.[11]

The village of Liscannor is of late 18th century origin. According to an 1814 survey there were nearly 200 houses in it at the time, and about ten of them had flag roofs. 40 houses were used by fishermen.[10]: 66 

While there was once a Gaeltacht (Irish-spealing area) around the Liscannor area, by 1956 the loss of native speakers meant that it could no longer be considered a Gaeltacht area.[citation needed]

Points of interest[edit]

Cliffs of Moher[edit]

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's top visitor attractions, and include a protected colony of cliff-nesting seabirds. The area was designated as a Refuge for Fauna in 1988, and as a Special Protection Area for Birds (SPA) under the EU Birds Directive in 1989.[12]

Kilmacreehy Church and graveyard[edit]

Kilmacreehy Church

Cill MacCreiche (Kilmacreehy Church) is first documented in the 14th century, but some of the church's structures, including its Gothic ornamentation, are later additions.[13]

Liscannor Castle[edit]

Liscannor Castle was an O'Connor stronghold which, like Dough Castle, later passed to the O'Briens. In 1712, the Earl of Thomond let the estate to William Fitzgerald (annual rent £14). Under the Fitzgerald family, the town began to grow in the later 18th century.[10]: 68 

The ruined remains include a six-story tower with a spiral stairway to the east and a lower main building next to it. This latter was described in some detail by Thomas Johnson Westropp in the late 19th century, who noted that it had five floors.[10]: 68–9 

St. Brigid's Well[edit]

Entrance to St. Brigids Well

Located at a site of pre-Christian Lughnasadh celebrations,[10]: 74  Dabhach Bhríde (or Brigid's Vat) is located near the Cliffs of Moher. Behind the well, on a higher level to which steps lead, is an ancient cemetery. There is a large cross here and a circular path around it, and part of the Rite of the Holy Well is performed in this area known as the Ula Uachtarach or upper sanctuary.

The well, dedicated to Brigid of Kildare, is in the lower ground, the Ula íochtarach or lower sanctuary, enclosed in a little house which contains votive offerings left by pilgrims.[14]

The well has been a pilgrimage site since at least the 1830s, when following a personal cure which he attributed to the waters of the well, Cornelius O'Brien had the well house built.[10]: 74  Pilgrims from elsewhere in County Clare and from the Aran Islands came to Liscannor. Pattern Days on which large groups attended included St Brigid's Day (1 February) and Garland Sunday (late July).[10]: 74 

Liscannor Harbour[edit]

Panoramic view of Liscannor Harbour
Old photo of Liscannor Harbour

The harbour was built between 1825 and 1831 for £2,900, of which £2,000 was a government grant.[15]

In modern times, the harbour has a number of fishing vessels moored there as well as smaller boats using it is a launching site for sea fishing/recreational sports. During summer months there is also a ferry service to the base of the Cliffs of Moher as well as to the Aran Islands.

In the past the harbour was a hub for fishing vessels as well as a location to export locally quarried Liscannor Stone and to receive in coal supplies. Some historical documents note that due to the silting of the harbour, ships could only carry approximately 380 tonnes into port. At low tides ships had to be winched into harbour. A currach would bring the rope out to the ship. Locally quarried flag was cut and polished beside the harbour and winched onto ships by steam crane. These slabs were transported to several British cities.[citation needed]

John P. Holland memorials[edit]

The engineer John Philip Holland (1841–1914), who was born in Liscannor, developed some of the first submarines commissioned by the US Navy, Japanese Navy and Royal Navy.[16] Castle Street, on which Holland was born, was renamed 'Holland Street' in his honour.[17][18]

There are several memorials to Holland in the area, including one erected on the 50th anniversary of his death in 1964.[17] A further memorial, donated by the Submarine Veterans of the US Navy,[10]: 66  was erected in Liscannor in 1977.[19]

A visitor centre, the John P. Holland Centre, opened in 2016.[20] A statue of Holland, originally on public display on Liscannor's Main Street,[21] was moved into the centre,[22] alongside displays about his life and work with submarines.[22][23]


St. Brigid's Church[edit]

St. Brigids Church
Inside of St. Brigids Church 1960s

St Brigid's Church in Liscannor was built in 1858. It is a single-cell, four-bay church built of rubble masonry. A new roof was later added but the gallery, y-mullioned windows and semi-Tudor door were retained. Although the construction of a round tower was suggested in the 1920s, this Touheran tower which would have housed the bell as well as cottage industries on the lower floors was never built.[10]: 68 

Liscannor has been referred to as "the Pope's Own Parish". Located in the Diocese of Kilfenora, of which the Pope is the Bishop and the Bishop of Galway is the Apostolic Administrator, Liscannor is a mensal parish, i.e. directly under the direct authority of the bishop.[10]: 68 

Moymore Church[edit]

Interior of Moymore Church

The church of Moymore was built in 1877, on an elevated site overlooking the bay. There was no church previously at this location. Before that the people of the area attended Mass in a small thatched chapel a quarter mile to the east in Caheraderry (Derry).[citation needed]

Derry Church[edit]

Derry Church Ruins

The Caheraderry (Derry) church probably dates from the 17th century penal times, built either to facilitate travelling friars or possibly as an out-chapel or hermitage for Kilmacreehy Church. Beside the ruins stand two small one-room attached cottages. According to local tradition, one of these cottages was a sheebeen known as Gleeson's and the other a schoolhouse, where a hedge-schoolmaster taught.[citation needed]



Bus Éireann route 350 links Liscannor to several locations: Ennis, Ennistymon, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, Lisdoonvarna and Galway. There are a number of journeys each way daily. Onward rail and bus connections are available at Ennis and Galway.


Liscannor GAA[edit]

Liscannor won a county title in 1940 – with a combined team from the broader North Clare area. Liscannor GAA Club was reformed in 1985 as a separate entity after players from the area had played with The St Michaels team for a number of years. Liscannor were promoted to Intermediate ranks after winning the Junior title in their first year after reforming in 1985. Liscannor also won the league title in 1985. An intermediate title followed in 1988, but Liscannor were to revert to the Intermediate grade after one year at Senior level.[citation needed] It would be 12 years later, in 2000, before Liscannor returned to the Senior Grade.[citation needed]

Moher Celtic[edit]

Moher Celtic is the local football club. They have reached two Clare Cup finals in their history but have been edged out on both occasions.[24]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Sapmap Area: Settlements Liscannor". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office. 2016. Archived from the original on 20 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Home". CSO – Central Statistics Office.
  3. ^ "Histpop - The Online Historical Population Reports Website". Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  4. ^ JJ Lee (1981). "On the accuracy of the pre-famine Irish censuses". Irish Population, Economy and Society: 54.
  5. ^ Mokyr, Joel; Ó Gráda, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review. New Series. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.2307/2596554. hdl:10197/1406. JSTOR 2596554.
  6. ^ "SAPMAP Data – Settlement Liscannor (CSO Area Code ST 16032)". Census 2011. Central Statistics Office. 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  7. ^ Mills, A. D. (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford University Press.
  8. ^ a b "Lios Ceannúir / Liscannor". Irish Placenames Commission. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Liscannor Townland, Co. Clare". Townlands Ireland. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cunningham, George (1980). Burren Journey West. Shannonside Mid Western Regional Tourism Organisation. ISBN 0-9503080-2-1.
  11. ^ "The Spanish Armada and the fate of some of its ships off the West Clare coast". Clare County Library. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Nature in all its glory: wonder of Cliffs of Moher captured". Independent News & Media. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  13. ^ Simon Large (2011). A Church And Graveyard Survey In County Clare (PDF). (Report). Clare County Council. p. 77−79. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 June 2021.
  14. ^ "St Brigid celebrated at famous Liscannor well". Clare Herald. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Lords Sitting – Petitions – Liscannor Harbour, County Clare – Hl Deb 18 July 1901 Vol 97 CC795". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 18 July 1901. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  16. ^ a b McGee, Owen; Breen, Aidan (2021). "Holland, John Philip". Dictionary of Irish Biography. Royal Irish Academy. doi:10.3318/dib.004063.v1. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  17. ^ a b Murphy, Colin (2012). The Most Famous Irish People You've Never Heard Of. O'Brien Press. ISBN 9781847174468. In 1964, the village of his birth, Liscannor, erected a plaque to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his death. The town also renamed Castle Street, calling it 'Holland Street' in his honour
  18. ^ Spellissy, Sean (2003). A History of County Clare. Gill & Macmillan. p. 60. ISBN 9780717134601. John Philip Holland (1841-1914) was born in Castle Street , now Holland Street , Liscannor
  19. ^ "Holland Plaque Unveiling Liscannor 1977". Clare Champion. 10 July 1977. Archived from the original on 29 August 2023. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  20. ^ Seascapes Friday 20th May 2016. RTÉ Radio. 20 May 2016. Event occurs at 26m 50s. Retrieved 24 November 2018. a new John P Holland centre has opened in his birthplace of Liscannor in County Clare
  21. ^ "John Phillip Holland - Shane Gilmore". Clare Public Art. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  22. ^ a b "The John P Holland Centre". Archived from the original on 13 August 2020.
  23. ^ "John P. Holland Centre - Resources and Information". Archived from the original on 22 January 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  24. ^ "Clare District Soccer League – Cups". Archived from the original on 30 September 2013.
  25. ^ McIntyre, Perry (2007). "Cornelius O'Brien and the Cliffs of Moher". History Ireland. Vol. 15, no. 2.

External links[edit]