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Claregalway

(4/5 based on 10 reviews for 1 attraction)
Things to do: historic sites
Baile Chláir or Baile Chláir na Gaillimhe is a Gaeltacht village about 10 km north of Galway in County Galway, Ireland. 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 and traditionally most of the locals would have only spoken English as a second language. An influx of new residents over the last 30 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.Irish languageThere are 1,536 people living in the Baile Chlair ED and 12% are native Irish speakers.HistoryThis 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, founded in mid-13th century, and a Norman 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 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) of Che Guevara. 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.
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