Sneem

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Sneem
An tSnaidhm
Town
Looking west from the bridge
Looking west from the bridge
Sneem is located in Ireland
Sneem
Sneem
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 51°50′18″N 9°53′59″W / 51.838376°N 9.899797°W / 51.838376; -9.899797Coordinates: 51°50′18″N 9°53′59″W / 51.838376°N 9.899797°W / 51.838376; -9.899797
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County County Kerry
Population (2002)
 • Rural 672
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)
Irish Grid Reference V687670
Website www.sneem.net

Sneem (Irish: An tSnaidhm) is a town situated on the Iveragh Peninsula (part of the Ring of Kerry) in County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. It lies on the estuary of the River Sneem. National route N70 runs through the town.

The Irish town name, "An tSnaidhm", means "The Knot" in English. One explanation of the name is that a knot-like swirling is said to take place where the Sneem river meets the currents of Kenmare Bay in the estuary just below the village.

Sneem village comprises two squares, North and South. A bridge in the middle of the village, viewed from overhead, acts as a knot between the two squares. A less common explanation is that Sneem is the knot in the scenic Ring of Kerry.

A book, Sneem, The Knot in the Ring, recounts the area's history.[1] In 2000, a time capsule was buried in the centre of the town, to be opened in 2100.[2]

Bridge near town square

Sculpture[edit]

There is much public sculpture in Sneem. The work of Vivienne Roche, Alan Hall, Tamara Rikman and a panda sculpture donated by the Peoples Republic of China can be seen in various locations. "The Risen Christ" by Brother Joseph McNally is located in the grounds of St. Michael's Church and the goddess Isis donated by the people of Egypt stands at "The Way The Fairies Went", a collection of buildings designed by Kerry sculptor James Scanlon, and executed by local stoneworkers overlooking the river near St. Michael's Church. It was financed by the Arts Council of Ireland as a result of Sneem winning the Irish Tidy Towns Competition in 1987. The project was completed in 1989–90. The buildings won the National Landscape Award in 1997. Ó

People[edit]

In March 1978, the state funeral of former President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh took place in Sneem; Ó Dálaigh lived in the area before his death.

A number of common Irish family names are associated with Sneem, including Ó Súilleabháin/O'Sullivan. Because there are many of that surname, locals follow the Irish tradition and append adjectives to distinguish them, for example "O'Sullivan-Mountain".

Former French President Charles de Gaulle visited Sneem on several occasions (Paris photo show recalls de Gaulle's Irish visit) and a sculpture commemorates this in the village.

The legendary Casey family of rowers and wrestlers were all from Sneem; the most famous was Steve 'Crusher' Casey who emigrated to America in 1936. He was both NWA and AWA heavyweight wrestling champion of the world five times between 1938 and 1947. On one occasion he held the title for just a few weeks before being defeated. In 1982 he received the Irish Hall of Fame Award, presented by Olympic gold medallist Ronnie Delany. There is a statue commemorating him in the village.

William Melville, the first head of the British Secret Service, was born at nearby Direenaclaurig Cross.

The Gaelic footballer Ronan Hussey, who was a member of the Kerry senior football panel, is a native of Sneem and still plays with Sneem GAA.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stoakley, T.E. (1986). Sneem: The Knot in the Ring. Sneem, Co. Kerry: Sneem Tourism Association. ISBN 0-9511630-0-0. 
  2. ^ Cashin, Joe (12 October 2005). "To be opened in 2100". PhotoFrom.com. Retrieved 13 February 2007. 

External links[edit]