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Spiddal

Located around 10 miles west of Galway city on the coast road, Spiddal is a small village, overlooking Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. It has two fine beaches, one by the roadside and directly visible from the village, the other behind the pier, accessible via a narrow road west of the village. The latter is known as Trá na mBan (Traw-na-man), meaning Ladies Beach, and is one of six Blue Flag (EU-approved) beaches in County Galway. Spiddal forms part of the Gaeltacht region of Connemara, where Irish (Gaelic) is still spoken. The name may have been derived from Ospidéal (Os-pi-jail), meaning hospital, as there was a hospital in the village several centuries ago. Each year, students from the rest of Ireland come to Spiddal's summer school, Coláiste

Spiddal forms part of the Gaeltacht region of Connemara, where Irish (Gaelic) is still spoken. The name may have been derived from Ospidéal (Os-pi-jail), meaning hospital, as there was a hospital in the village several centuries ago. Each year, students from the rest of Ireland come to Spiddal's summer school, Coláiste

Each year, students from the rest of Ireland come to Spiddal's summer school, Coláiste Chonnact, where they can learn the State's first language directly from native speakers. Summer is also a busy time for tourism in the region, as visitors from all over the world come to sample the region's scenery, culture, music, traditions and craic (a popular Irish slang word loosely translated as "fun"). On of the reasons the area is popular with visitors is because it has developed more slowly the county's urban areas, and has been less affected by the country's recent affluence and resulting social, cultural, commercial and infrastructural change. Activities enjoyed by visitors in the region include sailing,

On of the reasons the area is popular with visitors is because it has developed more slowly the county's urban areas, and has been less affected by the country's recent affluence and resulting social, cultural, commercial and infrastructural change. Activities enjoyed by visitors in the region include sailing,

Activities enjoyed by visitors in the region include sailing, windsurfing and shore fishing. Spiddal is also home to many skilled artisans, with many Government supported workshops in the area. Crafts practiced include candle making, pottery, screen-printing, weaving, Celtic jewellery making, bodhrán making, and wood-turning. Near Tra na mBan is Shannagarraun wood, designated a Special Area of Conservation by the Irish Government.

This peaceful, rural woodlands is rich in oaks, hazel, holly and birch, with ferns, mosses and lichens underfoot. Spiddal was also home to the renowned historian Roderick O'Flaherty, who died in poverty nearby in 1718.

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Boats in Spiddal Harbour. Image by deek_ay

 

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