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An Cheathrú Rua
|Country||Republic of Ireland|
|Elevation||1 m (3 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference||L943250|
Carraroe (Irish: An Cheathrú Rua Irish pronunciation: [ənˠ ˌça(h).ɾˠuː ˈɾˠuˑə], its official name) is a village in County Galway, Republic of Ireland. The village is 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 (Cuan Chasla). Carraroe has an unusual 'coral' beach, Trá an Dóilín, a biogenic gravel beach actually made of coralline algae known as "maerl".
It is served by Bus Éireann route 424 from Galway.
Public houses and hotels
Carraroe had two hotels, Óstán an Dóilín and Óstán na Ceathrún Rua, but neither operate as such any longer. The public houses include Réalt na Maidine (An Réalt), Tigh ʼn Tailliúra, and An Chistín (Shea's).
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, Carraroe hosts 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.These boats can be found in the Caladh Thadhg area in Carraroe,which is the main pier in Carraroe.From this pier you will get breathtaking views of the Twelve Bens mountains.
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 Mhuilinn, 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.
Féile an Dóilín is the west of Ireland's premier maritime festival, taking place annually on the shores of Carraroe, Connemara (Carraroe).
Irish (specifically the Connacht dialect) is the main spoken language of Carraroe, the settlement being the most populous Irish speaking village in the Connemara Gaeltacht. It is one of the strongest Irish speaking areas in Ireland. There are two summer schools which teach Irish to English-speaking secondary-school students from all over Ireland. Students usually stay for three weeks with local families. Carraroe is also a centre for the Irish-language media. The main national Irish-language newspaper Foinse had its head office in the village; the Irish-language radio station, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, is in nearby Costelloe, and the Irish-language TV station, TG4, is based at Baile na hAbhann, a few kilometres east. Catholic church services are in Irish only. All school lessons are conducted in Irish.
The name Carraroe is an anglicisation of the official Irish name, An Cheathrú Rua. There are 2,294 people living in the Carraroe ED and an estimated 83% are native Irish speakers.
Trá an Dóilín
Trá an Dóilín, a blue flag beach near the village, is noted for its very fine "coral". Contrary to the English name (Coral Strand), the beach is actually made of coralline algae known as maerl. This biogenic gravel beach is rare and of great conservation importance.
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. The centre is named in honour of Máirtín Ó Cadhain, author of Cré na Cille ('The Church-Yard Clay'), an important work of modern Irish language fiction.
Carraroe is also home to C.S. Mac Dara, an association football club which competes in the Galway & District League.
Connemara Isles Golf Club with his 9-hole course is located 5 miles from Carraroe.
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.
The town is also mentioned in the title of The Corrs' instrumental "Carraroe Jig" on their debut album "Forgiven, Not Forgotten" (1995)