Clifden, Ireland

Travel to Clifden

Clifden (Irish: An Clochán, meaning "stepping stones": 14 ) is a coastal town in County Galway, Ireland, in the region of Connemara, located on the Owenglin River where it flows into Clifden Bay. As the largest town in the region, it is often referred to as "the Capital of Connemara". Frequented by tourists, Clifden is linked to Galway city by the N59.

The town was founded at the start of the 19th century by John D'Arcy (1785–1839) who lived in Clifden Castle (built around 1818, now a ruin) west of Clifden. He had inherited the estate in 1804 when it was mostly inhabited by fishermen and farmers. The idea of establishing a town on the coast was first voiced by him in 1812. Bad communications and a lack of private capital prevented fast progress until the 1820s when the potato crop failed in 1821–22 and D'Arcy petitioned the government in Dublin for assistance. The engineer Alexander Nimmo was sent to the area in 1822. He constructed a quay at Clifden (finished in 1831) and started a road to Galway.: 14, 46  With these improvements to its infrastructure, the town began to grow.: 11 

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