The Irish word cladach means stony shore and this is how the area known as Claddagh got its name. Claddagh was once a fishing village on the western edge of Galway City, just across the river.

Claddagh was a distinct community with its own king, who led the fishing fleet and made the big decisions. The fishermen sailed a particular type of boat known as a Hooker and they spoke Irish. Their fishing catches were sold at market in Galway beside the Spanish Arch. The age-old ceremonial blessing of Galway Bay and its fishermen still takes place today.

Nothing survives today of the thatched cottages where the fishermen and their families lived but Claddagh is still a clearly defined area around the Dominican Church of St Mary on the Hill.

Claddagh is famous worldwide for the Claddagh Ring which is designed here in Galway and is worn by people all over the world. As well as been famous for our ring we also have one of the largest gatherings of swans in the country which swim around the mouth of the River Corrib in front of the Claddagh Hall.