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180° View of the Claddagh

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Galway Hookers at the Blessing of the Bay, click to MAGNIFY!

Boarding boats at the Claddagh Quays, click to MAGNIFY!

Sailing to the Blessing of the Bay, click to MAGNIFY!

-Blessing of the Bay Festival at the Claddagh, Galway 160kb

The actual QTVR movie is of higher resolution and quality than the preview...

Feeding the Claddagh Swans

Galway Hookers at the Blessing of the Bay, click to MAGNIFY!Standing at the Claddagh Quays we look out to Nimmo's Pier. This area is very scenic and popular with both young and old. A magnificent sight are the famous Claddagh swans.

Claddagh RingSailing boats at the Blessing of the Bay, click to MAGNIFY!The Claddagh rings became famous when Claddagh folk adopted their use as wedding bands and heirlooms, to be passed on from grandmother to granddaughter. The ring itself and its symbolism was designed in the late 16th century by Richard Joyce of Galway, after having been released prisoner from Algerian pirates in Tunis.

Liam Mellows Pipe Band, click here for close-ups and to listen to the bagpipesLiam Mellows Traditional Pipe Band Streaming Real Audio opened the festivities for the Blessing of the Galway Bay. View more pictures of Liam Mellows Pipe Band and listen to the bagpipes by clicking here

Click here to read up on Liam Mellows and the Irish Civil War.

left to right: Frank Fahy (Minister for the Marine), King Michael Linsky of Claddagh, Lord Mayor Martin Quinn, click to MAGNIFY!The Claddagh with its long and rich history dating back to the 4th or 5th century BC has retained its own King. The King of the Claddagh today is Michael Linsky. He is seen here with the Lord Mayor of Galway and the Minister for the Marine at the 'Blessing of Galway Bay' festival. The 'Blessing' dates back to 1488, when at the beginning of the herring season the fishing boats would be blessed by a Dominican priest.

After given a Claddagh ring, Fahy was pronounced 'Minister of Claddagh', (l to r): King Michael, Minister Frank Fahy, Martin Coneely of Galway CorporationThe King of the Claddagh said that he was delighted to see so many boats at the event. Himself he had attended the Blessing of the Bay now for the last forty years on his own boat. Galway Hooker at the Blessing of the Bay, click to MAGNIFY! The Blessing of the Bay was the oldest tradition in Ireland and it should be kept alive and that all the young people who came after him ought to continue it. The number of boats going every year was increasing and interest in the Blessing of the Bay was growing.

For more photos and speeches from the opening ceremony please click here.

Leaving the Claddagh we continue up to Dominic Street and take a look inside Galway's famous music venue, the Roisin Dubh pub...

previous: The Long Walknext: Dominic Street

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