On a Sunday in mid August near the feast of The Assumption of Our Lady, crowds come to Claddagh for the age-old blessing of Galway Bay. With an escort of many boats, hookers, trawlers and smaller boats, a Dominican priest sails out into Galway Bay aboard a Galway Hooker. 


The ringing of the bell is the signal to form a wide circle around the boat that carries the altar boys' choir from the Claddagh Church and the Dominican priest. The priest stands at the mast of the boat in the centre of the circle of ships and prays. 

When the blessing is over, the boats usually take a trip around the bay before turning for home.

Nowadays, popular song can also be heard, like "Galway Bay", and " Here's a toast to you Claddagh". Traditionally, there would be a large number of Claddagh Hookers but sadly there are not so many nowadays. More modern boats have replaced them. Even though the original Claddagh fleet has long since disappeared, the tradition of blessing the bay is still carried on.