County Clare - Religion

Religion

The most dominant religion in County Clare is Christianity; at least 92% of the people in the area polled as part of the Ireland Census 2006 identified as Christians. There are numerous abbeys and priories in Clare; some of the ruins of these such as Scattery Island, Bishop's Island and Drumcliff Monasteries are ancient, dating back to the 6th century when Christianity was first introduced to Ireland. The former was founded by Saint Senan who was born locally near Kilrush in 488 and is counted amongst the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. There are numerous other saints from Clare, such as Flannan, Mochulleus, Moula, Caimin, Maccreiche, Munchin and more. In the present day the Catholic Church are in the majority with 88% of the populance declaring themselves as followers of the religion, this is slightly above the national average.

Most of Clare falls under the Catholic bishopric of the Diocese of Killaloe which is part of the ecclesiastical province of Cashel and Emly. The Bishop of Killaloe is seated at the St Peter and Paul Cathedral in Ennis. A small portion of the north-western part of Clare falls under the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora. As part of the local council's architectural conservation project around eighty Christian churches are protected structures, some of the more notable structures include the ruins of Corcomroe Abbey, Quin Abbey and Dysert O Dea Monastery.

The largest religious minority is the Church of Ireland which is part of the Anglican Communion, with just under 2000 adherents in Clare. The county is part of the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe, one of the three cathedrals of the diocese being St Flannan's Cathedral in Killaloe. Other religious communities in Clare are very small in comparison, while there is also a minority who declare no religion.

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