Cratloe stands on the Clare bank of the River Shannon, in the barony known as Bunratty Lower, and about 6 or 7 miles to the west of Limerick City.The word Cratloe has two meanings (1) Creath Saileóg meaning "the rough place where the little sallies grow" and this is indeed appropriate, as the locality consists for the most part of rough stony land, since the parish is situated on high ground over the river, and sallies, or osiers, grow plentifully in the locality. These were much used in the past in the manufactures of various kinds of baskets, e.g. potato baskets, market-baskets, and even cradles, and turf-baskets.(2) Cratloe can also be said to mean "the hump-backed mountain, or as the Gaelic has it Crot-shliab (Cratloe). Standing on the bank of the River Shannon where one get a fine view of the high-lands, it will be at once noted that the hills are certainly humped, hence the name.
For many centuries the highlands of Cratloe, as well as that of the entire territory of Upper and Lower Bunratty (Bunratty meaning the mouth or end of the Ratty river and the baronies of upper and lower Tulla formed the patrimonial lands of the Clan Cullen septs, including the McNamaras and their kindred clans.
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