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Miltown Malbay

Milltown Malbay is a town in the west of County Clare, Ireland, near Spanish Point.NameThere is a townland on the southern edge of the town called Poulawillin or Pollawillin. There is evidence that this name was once applied to the town – for example, in the Parish Namebook of the Ordnance Survey (1839) there is a reference to "Baile an Mhuillinn anciently Poll a’ Mhuillinn, Milltown Malbay".Malbay is the name of the bay to the west of Milltown. The name Malbay is thought to come from the Irish meall-bhaigh, which roughly means "treacherous coast". It could also stem from the legend of the witch "Mal" who was drowned in the bay by Fionn mac Cumhaill.HistoryThe town has only existed since about 1800 but grew rapidly: by 1821 it had a population of 600. During the Great Famine (1844 - 1848) many farmers were evicted by the unpopular landlord Moroney. In the years after the famine the (Protestant) Moroney family went on with rack renting and evictions. At one time the population had enough and started a boycott. The government did not like that and imprisoned all pub-owners and shopkeepers who refused to serve the family or their servant. So at the end of 1888 most pub-owners and shopkeepers were in jail.Milltown is also home to the site of the Rineen Ambush which is located near Rineen on the main road to Lahinch and Ennistymon. On September 22, 1920 a RIC tender was ambushed there by Mid-Clare Brigade IRA mainly in retaliation for the killing of Martin Devitt at Crow's Bridge earlier in the year. The ambush led to the deaths of six policemen. In reprisal for Rineen Ambush, the RIC ran amok in Ennistymon, Lahinch and Milltown Malbay killing six people and burning 26 buildings, including Ennistymon and Lahinch Townhalls.
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