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|Elevation||10 m (30 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Kinvara (Irish: Cinn Mhara, meaning "head of the sea"), also spelled Kinvarra, is a sea port village located in the southwest of County Galway, Ireland. It is located in the civil parish of Kinvarradoorus in the north of the barony of Kiltartan. Kinvarra is also a District Electoral Division (DED).
The village lies at the head of Kinvara Bay, known in Irish as Cinn Mhara (or more recently Cuan Chinn Mhara), an inlet in the south-eastern corner of Galway Bay, from which the village took its name. It lies in the north of the barony of Kiltartan, close to the border with The Burren in County Clare, in the province of Munster.
The civil parish is bounded on the north by Galway Bay, on the east by the parishes of Ballinderreen (Killeenavarra) and Ardrahan, on the south by the parishes of Gort (Kilmacduagh) and Boston (Kilkeedy) and on the west by the parishes of Carron and New Quay (Abbey and Oughtmama). It is roughly coextensive with the Ó hEidhin territory of Coill Ua bhFiachrach (wood of the Uí Fhiachrach) and this name was still in use in the mid-19th century as recorded by John O'Donovan in his Ordnance Survey letters.
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Dunguaire Castle (Irish: Dún Guaire [lit, the Castle of Guaire]), a towerhouse of the Ó hEidhin (O Hynes) clan, is located to the east of the village. A Fearadhach Ó hEidhin (fferigh Oheyn) is recorded as the owner of the castle in a 1574 list of castles and their owners covering County Galway. This list was thought to have been compiled for the use of the Lord Deputy Sir Henry Sidney who planned the composition of Connacht. Eoghan Mantach Ó hEidhin (Oene Mantagh O'Heine), chief of the clan, is mentioned as the owner of the castle in the Indentures of Composition of 1585.
The Terry Alt agrarian resistance movement of the early 19th century was active in the Kinvara area. In 1831, a large force of Terry Alts gathered over the border on Abbey Hill between Kinvara and New Quay in County Clare and challenged the English Crown forces to battle. They, however, dispersed before the arrival of the English forces. They also unsuccessfully attempted to ambush a body of English infantry at Corranroo in the west of the parish, which led to the death of one of their members.
The electoral division population related to Kinvara according to the 2011 Census was 1,351. The Great Famine in the 1840s and a series of emigrations that continued until the 1960s reduced the population of the village – once a thriving port and a significant exporter of corn and seaweed – to no more than a few hundred people. From around the 1980s the population of the parish of Kinvara started to increase while the village started to grow in size.
In the Catholic Church, the Ecclesiastical parish of Kinvara is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora and comprises the civil parishes of, Kinvarradoorus and Killinny (Killina). The area is part of the Church of Ireland united Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe.
Kinvara is home every year to two festivals, Fleadh na gCuach ("the cuckoo festival") an Irish music festival at the start of May and the Cruinniú na mBád ("gathering of the boats") in mid August.
Notable people associated with Kinvara
- Ailbhe of Ceann Mhara
- Conor Whelan, hurler
- Coman of Kinvara
- Francis Fahy, composer and poet, wrote the song Galway Bay
- Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin
- Celia Lynch, politician
- P. J. Mara
- Peter Martyn, judge
- Mauricius Ó Leaáin, Bishop of Kilmacduagh 1254 to 1284
- Eoghan Ó hEidhin, died 1340, King of Uí Fiachrach Aidhne
- Mathilda Twomey, Chief Justice of the Seychelles, first female holder of that office
- Máire Whelan, judge of the Irish Court of Appeal from 2017. 30th Attorney General of Ireland 2011-2017, first woman to hold this position.
- Census 2011 – Population Classified by Area Table 6 Population of each province, county, city, urban area, rural area and electoral division, 2006 and 2011
- Kinvarra, 1:50,000, Ordnance Survey Ireland
- Placenames Database of Ireland - Kinvarradoorus civil parish
- "Fleadh na gCuach – Kinvara". Archived from the original on 5 May 2003. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
- "Cruinniú na mBád – Kinvara". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
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