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Clifden - Galway - across water

old irish photo

In 'the burning of Clifden' in 1921, 14 suspected Republican homes were burnt by the Black and Tans. From 1895 to 1935 Clifden was the western terminus of the Midland Great Western Railway.


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Photo Details

  • County: Galway
  • Town: Clifden
  • Scene:Elevated town view
  • Date: 1910 (estimate)


  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black& white if preferred.
  • Read about Clifden below


Clifden (Irish: An Clochán, meaning 'bee-hive cell'*) is a town on the coast of County Galway, Ireland and being Connemara's largest town, it is often referred to as 'the Capital of Connemara'. It is located on the Owenglin River where it flows into Clifden Bay. The town is linked to Galway city by the N59. Clifden is a popular tourist destination for those touring Connemara and is regarded as its capital.


The town was founded at the start of the 19th century by John D'Arcy who lived in Clifden Castle (which is now a ruin that can be seen from the Sky Road west of Clifden). Clifden gained prominence in the early 1900s when Guglielmo Marconi built his major transatlantic wireless telegraphy station there to minimize the distance to Newfoundland.

Clifden is near the landing place ( 53?6'N, 10?1'W) of the first transatlantic flight by Alcock and Brown 15 June 1919. The plane crashlanded in Derrygimlagh bog, close to the location of the Marconi station. The first point-to-point fixed wireless service connecting Clifden with Nova Scotia opened 17 October 1907 and closed 25 July 1922 after suffering serious damage in the Irish Civil War. At peak times over 400 people were employed on the wireless station.

In 'the burning of Clifden' in 1921, 14 suspected Republican homes were burnt by the Black and Tans.

From 1895 to 1935 Clifden was the western terminus of the Midland Great Western Railway.

Access Road

The N59 road from Galway (77 km away) to Westport (64 km) passes through the town.


Regular coach services are provided by Bus Éireann and Michael Nee, connecting Clifden with Galway city.


  • The Connemara Pony Show, organized by the Connemara Pony Breeders Society and held on the third Thursday in August since 1924.
  • Clifden Community Arts Week in late September offers poetry reading, lectures, recitals and traditional music. The festival was first started by teachers in Clifden Community School in 1979 to bring creative arts into the classroom.
  • Omey Island Races: horse racing on the beach.
  • Clifden Regatta.


Clifden lies within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galway and Kilmacduagh and the Church of Ireland United Dioceses of Tuam, Killala and Achonry and its Omey Union Parish.

Local Area

  • Twelve Bens
  • Connemara National Park
  • Kylemore Abbey a neo-gothic large country house built in 1868 by Mitchell Henry, in memory of his wife Margaret. Purchased by Benedictine nuns in 1920.
  • Ballynahinch Castle sporting estate of the Martin family, one of whose better known members is ' Humanity Dick' founder of the RSPCA.
  • Sky Road an 11-km drive along Clifden Bay and Streamstown Bay rising more than 150 m above sea level at Slyne Head, with views of Atlantic, Clifden Castle, coast-guard station, the islands of Inishturk and Turbot and the town.
  • Derrygimlagh Bog: a natural wilderness of blanket bog 6 km south of Clifden and the Alcock and Brown crashlanding site.
  • Inishbofin
  • Slyne Head Lighthouse