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Spiddal
An Spidéal
Location
Location of Spiddal
centerMap highlighting Spiddal
Irish grid reference
M130225
Statistics
Province: Connacht
County: County Galway
Elevation: 1 m
Population (2006) 1,357

Spiddal, (Irish: An Spidéal, the official name), is a village on the shore of Galway Bay in County Galway in Ireland. The town is 19 km (12 mi) west of Galway city on the R336 road. An Spidéal is located on the edge of the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking district), west of the city of Galway, and is a tourist centre with a scenic beach and shore fishing. Thousands of tourists visit the area every year.

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Bus route

It is served by Bus Éireann route 424 from Galway City.

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The town has two shops (one with a petrol station), and six restaurants (including a Supermacs fast food outlet). There are also a number of pubs in the town. On most weekend nights and sometimes during the week in summer time there is live traditional Irish music in the pubs. Hughes' pub in the centre of the village hosts traditional music sessions where famous musicians sometimes play. The pub An Crúiscín Lán was another music venue but it was recently transformed into a hotel by John Foye. The Boluisce, named after a local lake, is another popular seafood restaurant. Once a year, An Spidéal welcomes 25 American students spending a semester abroad at the nearby Park Lodge Hotel. The students, from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Collegeville Township, Minnesota, spend the autumn months studying Irish literature and culture.

An Spidéal pier.

Culture

Each summer groups of teenagers come to An Spidéal for 13 week Irish courses. Traffic signposts are in the Irish language exclusively, as elsewhere in the Gaeltacht, but unlike the rest of Ireland where bilingual Irish-English signs are the norm. English and Irish are widely spoken in the town, however Irish remains the community language and plenty of Irish is still to be heard in public daily. Since the town is so close to Galway city it has inherited many people from the city and this has led to a reduction in the use of the Irish language. Another reason for this reduction in the use of Irish is that many of the local people choose to raise their children with English.

An Spidéal main street.

Spiddal Pier (Lapwing Press, 2009) is a book of poems by Dierdre Kearney the grand-daughter of Felix Kearney, one of Tyrone's foremost songwriters and poets. The poems cover a diverse range of topics – from a visit to a death camp near Berlin, to a trip to a Beijing hutong, and from her memories of growing up in the North during the Troubles to a scene she witnessed at Shannon Airport when American soldiers suddenly filled the departure lounge.

The Irish folk-influenced Waterboys record Fisherman's Blues was partly recorded in An Spidéal.

Sport

The local GAA club is CLG An Spidéal. Gaelic football and hurling are the most popular sports in An Spidéal, however, there are also karate and sailing clubs in the town.

Television

The soap Ros na Rún is set in An Spidéal and shown on TG4.

Notable people

See also

External links

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

Spiddal is a small but important village in Connemara, County Galway, West Ireland.

Understand

Spiddal is situated 10 miles west of Galway . It is a holiday and cultural centre and looks out across Galway Bay to County Clare and the Aran Islands. Inland and westward from Spiddal is a wilderness of bog and mountain.

It is a pleasant place to spend a fine day or even a bad one and it can be a very congenial when the sun goes down. Many musicians have spent time here, notably the Waterboys and De Danann.

  • Regular buses from Galway

Drink

Locals tend to drink a lot. Popular pubs are Hughes (ask for Breda) and 'An Nead' (Irish for 'The Nest').

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