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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.

3km north west of Liscannor towards the Cliffs of Moher stands 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. The Fenian Ram 'the intended scourge of the British Navy', never saw warfare but survives intact as a museum piece in Patterson, New Jersey. Today, a headstone, commemorating his career, presented (1977) to the town by the U.S. Navy, can be viewed at the harbour.