Towns of Clare
Liscannor —County Clare
It derives its name from 'Lios Ceannuir', meaning O'Connor's Fort. The ruined castle above the village is another O'Connor stronghold which was granted to the O'Brien's by Elizabeth I. Ships of the Spanish Armada sought aid in the bay.
Some 3km north west of Liscannor on the road to the Cliffs of Moher stands a tall pillar, O'Brien's monument, erected in 1853. Near this monument lies St. Brigid's Well, the waters of which are believed to have currative powers. Visitors still travel to the well on pilgrimages from Clare and the Aran Islands.
John Philip Holland, inventor of the first submarine, was born here in Castle Street, now renamed Holland Street, in Liscannor in 1841. Holland was fascinated by the sea and particularly with models of underwater vessels. In 1873, he moved to America where he continued teaching and designing his submarine, motivated by the hope that his vessels might one day sink British warships! The Irish Republican Brotherhood financed Holland's one man model, and continued with the necessary finance until the launching in 1881 of the Fenian Ram, a 31 foot long, 19 tons displacement submarine with a three man crew. The Fenian Ram 'the intended scourge of the British Navy', never saw warfare but survives intact as a museum piece in Patterson, New Jersey. After many near hits, the Liscannor man finally perfected his design with the launching of the Holland in 1898; this was to provide the prototype for the first mass-produced submarines. John Holland, the father of the modern submarine, died in August 1914, a few days before the outbreak of World War One in which his perfected underwater weapons played a major role.
Today, a headstone, commemorating his career, presented (1977) to the town by the U.S. Navy, can be viewed at the harbour.
Worth visiting in the area is the Moher Hill Farm and Leisure Park.