New Claddagh Exhibition Now Open!

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A Triumph of Unconscious Beauty

The Claddagh village, which lends its name to the famous ring, developed on the western shore of the mouth of the River Corrib, outside the walls of medieval Galway. It derives its name from the Irish word cladach, meaning ‘a foreshore’. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this village of small thatched houses occupied by Irish-speaking fishermen and their families, and headed by an elected king, became a draw for artists and travel writers.

In 1927, the old village was declared ‘unhealthy’ due to overcrowded conditions and a lack of ‘sanitary accommodation or water supply’. And so, the Town Commissioners decided to demolish and rebuild the Claddagh. The British journalist and travel writer H. V. Morton (1892-1979), who visited the village on the eve of its demise, declared: “The Claddagh of Galway is one of the most remarkable sights in Europe”. Nonetheless, the thatched homes were gradually razed to the ground and replaced by rows of neat two-storied houses.

This collection of paintings, sketches and photographs of the Claddagh and the Fishmarket at the Spanish Arch, where the villagers sold their catches, gives a glimpse of Galway life between the 1820s and the 1930s. The exhibition is now open for viewing on the top floor of the museum, overlooking the Claddagh basin and Galway Bay.


MUSEUM OPENING TIMES
Galway City Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday

Visitors will have access to both the ground floor and first floor galleries.  The second floor will remain closed until the new Sea Science exhibition works have been completed.  Admission remains FREE but TICKETS will be an essential requirement. By clicking BOOK TICKET on this page, visitors can choose from one of four daily time slots, 10am; 11.30am, 2pm and 3.30pm. Tickets will need to be presented as a printout OR on your mobile phone at the main entrance.  Visitors are asked to review the museum’s reopening guidelines on Eventbrite when making their booking.

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