Claregalway is a village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

 situated about 10 km from the city of Galway
Galway or City of Galway is a city in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. It is the sixth largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland. It is also the third largest city within the Republic and the only city in the Province of Connacht. Located on the west coast of Ireland, it sits on the...

 in County Galway
County Galway
County Galway is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Galway County Council is the local authority for the county. There are several strongly Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county...

, Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

. Claregalway was founded on the banks of the River Clare, hence the derivation of its name: Baile Chláir na Gaillimhe meaning "town on the Clare, in Galway". Claregalway lies within the Gaeltacht
is the Irish language word meaning an Irish-speaking region. In Ireland, the Gaeltacht, or an Ghaeltacht, refers individually to any, or collectively to all, of the districts where the government recognises that the Irish language is the predominant language, that is, the vernacular spoken at home...

 and traditionally most of the locals would have only spoken English as a second language. An influx of new residents over the last thirty years has meant that most residents now rarely, if ever, speak Irish. The village sits at the junction of the busy N17 and N18 national primary routes and over 27,000 vehicles pass through the village everyday.


This village has an ancient heritage stretching back over a thousand years. It has many features of historical interest but two of the largest ones on the banks of the river include the Claregalway Friary
Claregalway Friary
The Claregalway Friary is a medieval Franciscan abbey located in the town of Claregalway, County Galway, Ireland.The abbey site features an east-facing, cruciform church with a 24 meter bell tower...

, founded in mid-13th century, and a Norman
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 watchtower (small castle) completed in the 16th century. This watchtower is currently being refurbished for use as a residence. During 2001, a restoration of an old bridge over the old course of the River Clare
River Clare
The River Clare is a river in counties Mayo and Galway in Ireland. The long river rises north of Ballyhaunis in Mayo and descends past Dunmore, where it flows west, then turns south past Milltown, continuing down through Kilbennan Church near Tuam...

 was completed. These nine stone arches are above the level of the current road.
Claregalway Parish is one of the largest in the county and includes a number of townlands (small clusters of houses) some of the bigger being Carnmore, Lydican, Loughgeorge and Cregboy. Lydican is notable as the origin of the Irish ancestors (Patrick Lynch
Patrick Lynch (Argentina)
Patrick Lynch, born 1715, was an Irish emigrant who became a significant landowner in Rio de la Plata, which is now part of Argentina. He was born in Galway and was the second son of Patrick Lynch of Lydican Castle and Agnes Blake...

) of Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

. Lydican was actually an O'Heyne Castle and the last of the chieftains, Connor Crone O Heyne, was living there in 1612. The lands of the O'Heyne chieftains was confiscated in the late 17th century and it was then that the Lynches took up residence there. The Lynches were actually Anglo Irish whose principal holdings were in the city of Galway.


Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 would once have been the main industry. In recent years the population has been expanding very rapidly since the village is within the commuter belt of Galway City. Many city workers are choosing to live outside the city environs in a more rural setting. However, the larger population has also led to the growth of the service and retail sector and has provided additional local employment.


Claregalway hosts a Drama Festival each year in March. The Festival has a large number of followers both locally and in Galway City. Compántas Lir is an amateur drama group which is based in Claregalway and Carnmore. Compántas tour nationally in the springtime as part of the All-Ireland Drama Circuit.


  • Claregalway CLG
    Claregalway CLG
    Claregalway CLG is a Gaelic Athletic Association club based in Claregalway, County Galway, Ireland. The club is a member of the Galway GAA. Underage teams up to U-16's play in the Galway league and championships, while the Minor, Under-21 and Senior teams compete in all further levels.Although not...

     is the local Gaelic Athletic Association
    Gaelic Athletic Association
    The Gaelic Athletic Association is an amateur Irish and international cultural and sporting organisation focused primarily on promoting Gaelic games, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball and rounders...

  • Claregalway Basketball club participate in local leagues at underage through to senior level.

Annals of Connacht

1469: O Domnaill led a great army into Connacht to meet Macwilliam Burke. They both proceeded to Claregalway and burnt the town in spite of Thomond and Macwilliam, spent a night encamped there and were refused battle then. The next day they burnt the whole of Machaire Clainne Taidc, killing many horses and many men, including Domnall, son of O Conchobair of Corcomroe.

External links

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