Claregalway, Co. Galway

Claregalway (Irish: Baile Chláir na Gaillimhe or Baile an Chláir) is a village situated about 10km from the city of Galway. It 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". Baile an Chláir lies within the Gaeltacht 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 ruins of a Franciscan abbey built by John de Cogan in 1290 were one of the most beautiful of its kind in the country. The church consists of nave, choir, north aisle and transept, surmounted by a graceful tower, of which parts remain in good state of preservation. The archers under the tower are particularly beautiful, as are the windows and arcades. The old castle near by, with its massive square tower, was built by the de Burghs

Baile an Chláir hosts an annual drama festival and is home to numerous sporting clubs. 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, Lough George and Cregboy. Lydican is notable as the origin of the Irish ancestors (Patrick Lynch) of Che Guevara.


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