Roundstone, County Galway
Cloch na Rón
View of harbour towards Roundstone village
|Elevation||20 m (70 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Roundstone (Irish: Cloch na Rón, meaning "seal's rock") is a village on the west coast of Ireland, in the Connemara region of County Galway. Lying opposite the island of Inishnee on Roundstone Bay, by road it is 76.3 kilometres (47.4 mi) northwest of Galway and 18 kilometres (11 mi) southeast of Clifden. Known as a haven for people in the creative arts, it hosts an annual regatta in July.
The anglicised name is usually considered an error on the part of the British colonial Ordnance Survey, which translated the village name; while Cloch certainly means "stone" or "rock", Rón means "seal", not "round". Still, the names Cloch na Rón and Roundstone may be totally independent. The bay is referred to as Round-stone Haven as early as 1684 (Roderick O'Flaherty), and the rock after which it is named stands like a marker at the entrance and is strikingly round.
The area to the north of Roundstone was occupied by the O'Flaherty family, who built a Dominican Priory about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the north of what is now Roundstone in the 15th century. Roundstone was established by Scottish engineer Alexander Nimmo in the 1820s, while building houses, roads and harbours throughout the West of Ireland. Fishermen from Scotland settled here, and in 1835 a Franciscan Monastery was built. By the end of 1840s it had a thriving fishing industry and a population of 400 people.
Roundstone is known as a home for creativity and the arts. For many years some of the most important figures in Irish Art have painted there, including Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, Gerard Dillon and Nano Reid. Yvonne Kings Studio and the Stable Gallery are notable galleries in the village. The local Summerfest and regatta is held in July. Traditional Irish Nights are held weekly throughout July and August and offers music, song and dance from the Connemara area. Rock star Sting had a home in Roundstone in the early 1980s, where he wrote most of the songs for The Police’s third album, Zenyatta Mondatta.
Films shot in Roundstone include The Mackintosh Man (1973) by John Huston, Into the West (1992) by Mike Newell, The Matchmaker (1997) by Mark Joffe, Marley & Me (2008) by David Frankel and Love Me No More (2008) by Jean Becker.
Two hookers at the Roundstone Regatta 2008
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- roundstonevillage.ie, Retrieved 17 March 2020.
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- Paul Clements (2016). Wandering Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way. Gill & Macmillan Ltd. p. 203. ISBN 9781848895355.
- "The Mackintosh Man". visitgalway.ie. 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
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