The Claddagh is an old fishing village in the heart of Galway City with a rich history and store of traditions. Its name comes from the Irish name An Cladach, meaning a stony shore.
The Claddagh is popular with tourists from all around the world, who come to see the lovely views of the River Corrib and Galway Bay, the local swans and the place that gave its name to the famous Claddagh ring.
Until the last century, fishing was the main business of the Claddagh. Local men sailed and fished using the famous Claddagh Hookers, while the women made and mended the fishing tackle, as well as crossing the bridge to sell the catch in the fishmarket. There are still several fishermen living in the area keeping the old traditions alive today.
Claddagh fishermen were very superstitious and if they met a red haired woman on their way out to sea they would turn back as they felt it would bring them bad luck. It was also believed that it was bad luck for a Claddagh man to hold a spade, plough or any other farming tool in his hands.
Every year, the Claddagh fishermen had their boats blessed by the local Dominican priors, and the blessing of the boats still takes place every summer. We even sing about it in our school anthem!