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Cinn Mhara
Dunguaire Castle
Dunguaire Castle
Kinvara is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 53°08′20″N 8°56′17″W / 53.139°N 8.938°W / 53.139; -8.938Coordinates: 53°08′20″N 8°56′17″W / 53.139°N 8.938°W / 53.139; -8.938
CountyCounty Galway
10 m (30 ft)
 • Village1,351
 • Urban
 • Rural
Dialing code091
Irish Grid ReferenceM369103

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.[2] It is located in the civil parish of Kinvarradoorus in the north of the barony of Kiltartan.[3] 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.

Kinvara is also situated in the territory of Uí Fiachrach Aidhne,[citation needed] which is coextensive with the diocese of Kilmacduagh (Cill Mhic Dhuach).

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.


Dunguaire Castle[edit]

Dún Guaire castle

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.[4] A Fearadhach Ó hEidhin (Faragh O'Hynes) 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 (Eoin Mantagh O'Hynes), chief of the clan, is mentioned as the owner of the castle in the Indentures of Composition of 1585.[citation needed]

A view of Kinvara from Dunguaire Castle.

Terry Alts[edit]

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 on the Galway/Clare border on Abbey Hill between Kinvara and New Quay, County Clare and challenged the (British) army to battle. They, however, dispersed before the arrival of the soldiers. They also unsuccessfully attempted to ambush a body of 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.


Street of Kinvara in 2007

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.[5][6]


Kinvara is home to Kinvara GAA, a Gaelic Athletic Association club. The club is almost exclusively concerned with hurling but also plays Gaelic Football at Junior level.

Notable people associated with Kinvara[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census 2011 – Population Classified by Area Table 6 Population of each province, county, city, urban area, rural area and electoral division, 2006 and 2011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  2. ^ Kinvarra, 1:50,000 Archived 2010-05-29 at the Wayback Machine, Ordnance Survey Ireland
  3. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland - Kinvarradoorus civil parish
  4. ^ "Dunguaire Castle". Galway Tourism. 2019. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Fleadh na gCuach – Kinvara". Archived from the original on 5 May 2003. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Cruinniú na mBád – Kinvara". Retrieved 8 March 2016.

External links[edit]