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Cleggan

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Cleggan is a picturesque fishing village in County Galway, Ireland. The village lies 10 km northwest of Clifden and is situated at the head of Cleggan Bay.A focal point of the village is the pier, built by Alexander Nimmo in 1822 and extended in 1908. Ferries leave the pier daily for Inishbofin , and there is also a ferry to Inishturk.HistoryAn Cloigeann means head or skull, apparently referring to the coastal headland. Legend, however, provides a different origin of the name. St. Ceannanach is said to have been beheaded by a pagan chief. Lore has it that the chief then picked up his head and took it to the Holy Well in Clooncree where he washed it before lying down to die. At the top of Cleggan head, which gives a commanding view of the harbour, is the remains of a watchtower constructed during the Napoleonic wars.In 1927, in what became known as the Cleggan Bay Disaster, 25 fishermen from the local area drowned during a great gale which arose without warning while they were mackerel fishing in the bay. The nearby village of Rossadilisk lost sixteen men and was subsequently abandoned. Nine men from Inishbofin and twenty men from County Mayo were also lost. Due to the death of so many breadwinners, the area was devastated. The disaster and the devastation visited on the local families made international news and funds were raised from as far away as the U.K., U.S. and Australia. The disaster is remembered in stories, poems and on stone markers. It was recorded by local Marie Feeney in her book “The Cleggan Bay Disaster”, by TG4 Documentary "The Cleggan Disaster" / "An Bádhadh Mór" directed by Petra Conroy, and remembered in Richard Murphy's poem "The Cleggan Disaster", from his 1963 book "Sailing to an Island". Irish singer/songwriter Saoirse Mhór wrote the song "The Cleggan Bay Disaster" (Greenhill Media 2013) which was the title track of the 2013 release by the German/Irish Folk band Fleadh.
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