Clifden 2012 - Celebrating 200 years of Clifden
- for details please visit www.clifden2012.org

Clifden
© copyright Eugene Adams

Clifden is a town of about a 1,000 people and the hub of commerce, public administration and tourism for west Connemara. It is a thriving market town as well as a haven for visitors and holiday-home residents. It boasts a wide variety of pubs and restaurants to suit every taste and live music is a feature of the pub life year round

In the immediate vicinity there is abundance for the visitor to do. The area has always been a magnet for both fresh-water and sea-fishing. For the sailing enthusiast there is the Clifden Boat Club, which provides lessons during the summer months. The golf enthusiast can select from the Connemara Golf Club or go further afield to Westport and Oughterard. Hill walking and archeology have become especially popular in recent years thanks mainly to the work of local archeologist, Michael Gibbons, proprietor of Connemara Walking Center, who has established an international reputation as an expert on the archeology of Connemara. Day trips to the islands are also a great family favourite, as is pony trekking.

A unique experience awaits the visitor at Kylemore Abbey, home of the Irish Benedictine nuns, famed for the beauty of its neo-Gothic architecture and romantic setting and one of the most visited tourist sites in the country. En route the visitor passes through the historic village of Letterfrack, once famed for its notoriety as an industrial school but currently enjoying an extraordinary renaissance as home to the Connemara West Cooperative which houses, among its many functions, the Connemara Community Radio as well as the Furniture College; it is also the site of Connemara National Park where the visitor can see exhibits of natural history and hike the trails and foothills of Diamond Mountain. During the summer months there is a lecture series organized around the theme of Connemara history and culture. Ellis Hall hosts the local film club, which organizes weekly screenings throughout the year.

An event unique to Clifden is the Community Arts Week, which is held every September and has earned the enviable distinction of being the finest of its kind in the country. It attracts performers and visitors from all over the world and adds an eclectic and cosmopolitan air to the town and is enjoyed to the full by the local community. Writers like Seams Heaney, Kazuo Ishiguro and John McGahern have become familiar visitors to Clifden over the years.

The annual event for which Clifden is most famous is the Connemara Pony Show, usually held in the second week of August. The importance of the Connemara Pony has been recognized in the Museum located in the Station House Hotel complex. Many other events such as regattas and shows are organized throughout the year.

An excellent source of information for community events and general information about the area is the connemara.net website.

 

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The Coastguard Station,Sky Road, Clifden, Co. Galway, Ireland  |  Telephone/Telefax: 095-21630  |  E-mail: coastguard75@anu.ie