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Clonakilty

4.3
Clonakilty, sometimes shortened to Clon, is a town in County Cork, Ireland. The town is located at the head of the tidal Clonakilty Bay and is surrounded by hilly country devoted primarily to dairy farming. The town's population as of 2016 is 4,592. It is an integral part of West Cork's tourist attraction and noted for its vibrant culture and night life.HistoryClonakilty is rich in ancient monuments and dwelling places of early and pre-Celtic settlers. The Normans made the area their home and their castles and surnames survive to the present day. In 1292, Thomas De Roach received a charter to hold a market every Monday at Kilgarriffe (then called Kyle Cofthy or Cowhig’s Wood), close to where the present town now stands. The area was abundant in woods, as the Irish names of the town and surrounding townlands indicate.In the 14th century, a ten-mile strip of fallow woodland called Tuath na gCoillte (the land of the woods) divided the barony of Ibane (Ardfield) and Barryroe and reached the sea at Clonakilty Bay. Here a castle called Coyltes Castell was recorded in a 1378 plea roll. This was subsequently referred to as Cloghnykyltye, one of the many phonetic spellings for Cloch na gCoillte (meaning the castle of the woods, from ‘cloch’, the Irish for stone or stone building, and ‘coillte’ meaning woods).Clonakilty benefited greatly from the patronage of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork ('the Great Earl'), who may properly be regarded as its founder. It was this Lord Cork who obtained its charter from King James I of England in 1613 with the right to return members to the Irish House of Commons. The borough of Clonakilty returned two members from 1613 to 1801; it was disenfranchised when the Act of Union came into force in January 1801.
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