Clifden

Clifden

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Clifden is a town on the coast of 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,...

 and being Connemara
Connemara
Connemara is a district in the west of Ireland consisting of a broad peninsula between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in the west of County Galway.-Overview:...

's largest town, it is often referred to as "the Capital of Connemara". It is located on the Owenglen River where it flows into Clifden Bay. The town is linked to Galway
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...

 city by the N59 and is a popular tourist destination for those touring Connemara
Connemara
Connemara is a district in the west of Ireland consisting of a broad peninsula between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in the west of County Galway.-Overview:...

.

History


The town was founded at the start of the 19th century by John D'Arcy (1785–1839) who lived in Clifden Castle (which is now a ruin that can be seen from the Sky Road west of Clifden). The Sky Road in Clifden is one of the best tourist attraction
Tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....

s in the entire Connemara region. The circular route is 11 km long and takes you out west from Clifden.

It is the birth place of Jon Riley
Jon Riley
Jon Patrick Riley , also known as John Patrick O'Riley, , a United States Army private, was one of the several hundred immigrant Catholic Irishmen who defected from the US Army and formed the Saint Patrick's Battalion to fight for Mexico in the 1846-48 Mexican-American War...

, Saint Patrick's Battalion
Saint Patrick's Battalion
The Saint Patrick's Battalion , formed and led by Jon Riley, was a unit of 175 to several hundred immigrants and expatriates of European descent who fought as part of the Mexican Army against the United States in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848. Most of the battalion's members had...

's commander, who fought for Mexico in the Mexican-American War the 19th century.

Clifden gained prominence in the early 1900s when Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand...

 built his first high power http://www.connemaraview.com/marconi%20july.htmtransatlantic long wave wireless telegraphy
Wireless telegraphy
Wireless telegraphy is a historical term used today to apply to early radio telegraph communications techniques and practices, particularly those used during the first three decades of radio before the term radio came into use....

 station] four miles (6 km) south of the town to minimize the distance to its sister station in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

. The first point-to-point fixed wireless service connecting Europe with North America opened for public service with the transmission of 10,000 words on 17 October 1907 and ceased operation on 25 July 1922 after suffering serious damage in the Irish Civil War
Irish Civil War
The Irish Civil War was a conflict that accompanied the establishment of the Irish Free State as an entity independent from the United Kingdom within the British Empire....

. Transatlantic wireless service formerly provided by the Clifden station was transferred to the more modern Marconi wireless station near Waunfawr
Waunfawr
Waunfawr is a large village on the outskirts of the Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd, in North Wales, south of Llanrug. Its population is roughly 1,500...

, Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. At peak times, over 400 people had been employed by the Clifden wireless station, but none more famous than Jack Phillips, who later died as the heroic chief Radio Operator on the Titanic.

Clifden is near the landing place (53°26′N 10°01′W) of the first transatlantic flight by Alcock and Brown
Alcock and Brown
British aviators Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. They flew a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland...

 on 15 June 1919. The plane crashlanded in Derrygimla bog, close to Marconi's
Guglielmo Marconi
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor, known as the father of long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and indeed he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand...

 transatlantic wireless station.

In "the burning of Clifden" in 1921, 14 suspected Republican homes were burnt by the Black and Tans
Black and Tans
The Black and Tans was one of two newly recruited bodies, composed largely of British World War I veterans, employed by the Royal Irish Constabulary as Temporary Constables from 1920 to 1921 to suppress revolution in Ireland...

.
Communications
Dialing Code: 095
Coast Guard: channels 16,26 and 67
RNLI Lifeboat:

Road


The N59 road from Galway (77 km away) to Westport, County Mayo
Westport, County Mayo
Westport is a town in County Mayo, Ireland. It is situated on the west coast at the south-east corner of Clew Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean....

 (64 km) passes through the town.

Coach


Regular coach services are provided by Bus Éireann
Bus Éireann
Bus Éireann provides bus services in Ireland with the exception of those operated entirely within the Dublin Region, which are provided by Dublin Bus. Bus Éireann, established as a separate company in 1987, is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann. The logo of Bus Éireann incorporates a red Irish...

 and Citylink
Scottish Citylink
Scottish Citylink Coaches Ltd is a long distance express coach operator in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland . The company was formed as a subsidiary of Scottish Transport Group in June 1985...

, connecting Clifden with Galway city.
Some bus services operate through Oughterard
Oughterard
Oughterard is a small town on the banks of the Owenriff River close to the western shore of Lough Corrib in County Galway, Ireland. The population of the town in 2006 was 1,305...

, to the south of Lough Corrib
Lough Corrib
Lough Corrib is a lake in the west of Ireland. The River Corrib or Galway river connects the lake to the sea at Galway. It is the second largest lough in Ireland . It covers 178 km² and lies mostly in County Galway with a small area of its northeast corner in County Mayo.The first canal in...

, while others operate via Clonbur
Clonbur
An Fhairche is a Gaeltacht village in County Galway, Ireland.The village of Clonbur sits between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. Two kilometres to the west rises Mount Gable where, according to legend, the hordes of Firbolg gathered on the hilltop before their clash with the Tuatha Dé Danann at the...

 / Headford
Headford
Headford is a town in County Galway, located 26 km north of Galway city in the west of Ireland. The N84 national secondary route from Galway to Castlebar passes through the town. The R333 road travels from Headford to Tuam. There are many other 'boreens' and third-class roads on the...

 to the north of Lough Corrib.

Rail


From 1895 to 1935 Clifden was the western terminus of the Midland Great Western Railway
Midland Great Western Railway
The Midland Great Western Railway was the third largest Irish gauge railway company in Ireland. It was incorporated in 1845 and absorbed into the Great Southern Railway in 1924. It served part of Leinster, County Cavan in Ulster and much of Connaught...

. Clifden station was opened on 1 July 1895, but finally closed on 29 April 1935. The station was later converted into the Station House Hotel, flats, shops and a museum.

Events

  • The Connemara Pony
    Connemara pony
    The Connemara pony is a pony breed originating in Ireland. They are known for their athleticism, versatility and good disposition. The breed makes excellent show ponies.-History:...

     Show, organized by the Connemara Pony Breeders Society and held on the third Thursday in August since 1924.
  • Clifden Community Arts Week in late September offers poetry reading, lectures, recitals and traditional music. The festival was first started by teachers in Clifden Community School
    Community school
    The term "community school" refers to types of publicly funded school in England, Wales, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand to a school that serves as both an educational institution and a centre of community life. A community school is both a place and a...

     in 1979 to bring creative arts into the classroom.
  • Omey Island
    Omey Island
    Omey Island is a tidal island situated near Claddaghduff on the western edge of Connemara in County Galway, Ireland. From the mainland the island is inconspicuous and almost hidden. It is possible to drive or walk across a large sandy strand to the island by following the arrowed signs...

     Races: horse racing on the beach.
  • Clifden Regatta.
  • In honor of Jon Riley, on 12 September the town of Clifden flies the Mexican flag.


Literature


James Mylet's debut novel Lex is set in Clifden. The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

newspaper in the United Kingdom reviewed the novel as being set in "the fictional town of Clifden on Ireland's west coast", leading to at least one letter pointing out this inaccurate statement.

Religion


Clifden lies within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tuam and the Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, and its Omey Union Parish. Clifden has two churches: St. Joseph's (Roman Catholic) and Christ Church (Church of Ireland).

Places of interest

  • Twelve Bens
    Twelve Bens
    The Twelve Bens, or Twelve Pins , is a mountain range of sharp-peaked quartzite ranges located northeast of Roundstone in Connemara in the west of Ireland. Dedicated fell runners attempt to hike all twelve peaks in a single day...

  • Connemara National Park
    Connemara National Park
    Connemara National Park is one of six National Parks in the Republic of Ireland that are managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. It is located in the west of Ireland within County Galway.-History:Connemara National...

  • Kylemore Abbey
    Kylemore Abbey
    Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I.- History :...

     a neo-gothic large country house built in 1868 by Mitchell Henry
    Mitchell Henry
    Mitchell Henry was an English financier, politician and Member of Parliament in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

    , in memory of his wife Margaret. Purchased by Benedictine
    Benedictine
    Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

     nuns in 1920.
  • Ballynahinch
    Ballynahinch, County Galway
    Ballynahinch or Ballinahinch is situated close to Recess in County Galway in the West of Ireland, on the road from Recess to Roundstone. It also lies on the route of the former railway line from Galway city to Clifden...

     Castle sporting estate of the Martin family, one of whose better known members is 'Humanity Dick' founder of the RSPCA.
  • Sky Road an 11 km drive along Clifden Bay and Streamstown Bay rising more than 150 m above sea level at Slyne Head, with views of the Atlantic, Clifden Castle, coast-guard station, the islands of Inishturk
    Inishturk
    Inishturk is an inhabited island off the coast of County Mayo in Ireland. It has a permanent population of about seventy people. There are two main settlements, both on the more sheltered eastern end of the island, Ballyheer and Garranty. Bellavaun and Craggy are abandoned settlements...

     and Turbot
    Turbot
    The turbot is a species of flatfish in the family Scophthalmidae. It is native to marine or brackish waters of the North Atlantic, Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.-Etymology:...

     and the town.
  • Derrygimlagh Bog: a natural wilderness of blanket bog
    Bog
    A bog, quagmire or mire is a wetland that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses or, in Arctic climates, lichens....

     6 km south of Clifden and the site of the Alcock and Brown
    Alcock and Brown
    British aviators Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. They flew a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland...

     crash-landing and the Marconi transatlantic wireless station.
  • Inishbofin
    Inishbofin, Galway
    Inishbofin is an island lying about off the coast of Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. It is about 5.5 km long and wide, and has around 200 inhabitants. The island is popular with artists. Inishbofin can be reached by ferry from the pier in Cleggan...

  • Slyne Head Lighthouse
    Slyne Head Lighthouse
    Slyne Head Lighthouse is located at westernmost point of County Galway, about southwest of Doonlaughan, Ireland and is maintained by Commissioners of Irish Lights . There were two lighthouses on this point built in 1836 but only the West one remains active.-External links:* by Jean Guichard*...


See also

  • List of firsts in aviation
  • List of towns and villages in Ireland
  • List of RNLI stations
  • Ballyconneely
    Ballyconneely
    Ballyconneely is a small ribbon development in west Connemara, County Galway, Ireland.Settlements are spread out north on the road to Clifden and south on the road to Roundstone...

  • Omey Island
    Omey Island
    Omey Island is a tidal island situated near Claddaghduff on the western edge of Connemara in County Galway, Ireland. From the mainland the island is inconspicuous and almost hidden. It is possible to drive or walk across a large sandy strand to the island by following the arrowed signs...

  • Goulane
    Goulane
    Goulane West or Gowlan West is a small village located two miles southeast of Clifden in County Galway, Ireland. It is beside the N59 national secondary road. It has a population of 100. To the north of the village is a hilly area which leads to the river. To the south is Killywongaun and a...

  • Jon Riley
    Jon Riley
    Jon Patrick Riley , also known as John Patrick O'Riley, , a United States Army private, was one of the several hundred immigrant Catholic Irishmen who defected from the US Army and formed the Saint Patrick's Battalion to fight for Mexico in the 1846-48 Mexican-American War...


External links