The Claddagh village was situated across the river from Galway City.


The Tale of the Ring

Claddagh ring story graphic

Claddagh village

The Irish word cladach means stony shore and this is how the area known as Claddagh got its name. Claddagh was once a fishing village on the western edge of Galway City, just across the river.

Claddagh was distinct community with its own king, who led the fishing fleet and made the big decisions. The fishermen sailed a particular type of boat known as a Hooker and they spoke Irish. Their fishing catches were sold at market in Galway beside the Spanish Arch. The age-old ceremonial blessing of Galway Bay and its fishermen still takes place today.

Nothing survives today of the thatched cottages where the fishermen and their families lived but Claddagh is still a clearly defined area around the Dominican Church of St Mary on the Hill. Claddagh homes are now much in demand as the area benefits from its proximity to both the sea and the city, and from wonderful views across Galway Bay.

Claddagh Church Galway
Galway Hooker Claddagh
Spanish Arch Galway
Claddagh swans Galway
Spanish Arch Galway

Photographs taken in the Claddagh area showing the Claddagh Church; Claddagh swans; a Claddagh fishing boat and the Spanish Arch.