(Irish An Cheathrú Rua
) is a village in County Galway
. The village is situated within the Irish speaking region (Gaeltacht
) of Connemara
, and is famous for its traditional fishing boats known as Galway Hookers
. Its population is widely dispersed over Carraroe peninsula
between Greatman's Bay
(Cuan an Fhir Mhóir
) and Casla Bay
. Cararroe has an unusual 'coral
' beach, Trá an Dóilín.
It is served by Bus Éireann route 424 from Galway City.
Galway Hookers are a distinctive form of native Irish boat, and Carraroe is today probably the single most important centre for these boats. Every August bank holiday, Carraroehosts Féile an Dóilín
, the largest Galway hooker festival in Ireland, and one of the largest maritime festivals in the country. The 2006 Féile an Dóilín
, which is named after the area's unique coral strand, was the largest gathering of Galway hookers in the history of Galway hooker regattas. The main boats are the larger Báid Mhóra
(big boats) and Leathbháid
(half-boats), which in earlier times were used for hauling turf
from the peat bogs in Connemara to the Aran Islands
and the Burren
of County Clare
, where peat is absent. The smaller boats are the Gleoiteoga
, which were traditionally used for fishing
Today the main activity of all these boats is racing, and there are numerous regattas along the Connemara coast. Among the most famous boats are An Mhaighdean Mhara ('The Mermaid') and the Mac Duach. Currach racing is held on Loch an Mhuillin, the lake close to the village. Every year at the festival of Cruinniú na mBád, a large flotilla of traditional Connemara boats race across Galway bay from Carraroe to Kinvara.
The Irish language
(specifically the Connacht dialect
) is the main spoken language of Carraroe, the settlement being the largest Irish speaking area in the Connemara Gaeltacht. As elsewhere English
has steadily encroached in recent years, with commuters from Galway
moving further west and with English-language television, modern music and film increasing in frequency. English is particularly widespread among the young. There are two summer schools which teach Irish to English-speaking secondary-school students from all over Ireland. Students stay for three weeks with local families. Carraroe is also a centre for the Irish language media. The main national Irish-language newspaper Foinse
has its head office in the village; the Irish-language radio station, Raidió na Gaeltachta
, is in nearby Casla
, and the Irish-language TV station, TG4, is based at Baile na hAbhann
, a few kilometres east. Catholic
church services are in Irish only.
Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain
Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain is one of the Gaeltacht centres of Oifig na Gaeilge Labhartha (the Department of Spoken Irish) of the National University of Ireland, Galway. The Áras opened in 1977. Courses are held for university students as well as for overseas learners. The centre is named in honor of Máirtín Ó Cadhain, author of Cré na Cille ('The Church-Yard Clay'), an important work of modern Irish language fiction.
The town is mentioned in the lyrics of the Waterboys
' 1993 hit Glastonbury Song,
which refers to several Irish and British sites associated with ancient Celtic ritual:
We came down from the hill of dreams
Bernadette, mother earth and you and me
Through Carraroe, down the wildwood side.