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An tSnaidhm
Looking east from the bridge
Looking east from the bridge
Sneem is located in Ireland
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
CountyCounty Kerry
Time zoneUTC+0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-1 (IST (WEST))
Irish Grid ReferenceV687670

Sneem (Irish: An tSnaidhm)[2] is a village 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 village name Irish: An tSnaidhm means "the knot" in English. Several explanations of the name have been offered:

  • One is that a knot-like swirling is said to take place where the River Sneem meets the currents of Kenmare Bay in the estuary, just below the village.[citation needed]
  • Another notes that 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.[3]
  • A less common explanation is that Sneem is the knot in the scenic Ring of Kerry.[citation needed]


A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, published by Samuel Lewis in 1837, states that at the time, Sneem consisted of a harbour, a collection of houses, a church, a chapel and a "constabulary police force".[4]

Former French president Charles de Gaulle visited Sneem in May 1969, and monument to him now stands in the village's North Square.[5]

A book, Sneem, The Knot in the Ring, recounts the area's history.[6] In 2000, a time capsule was buried in the centre of the town, to be opened in 2100.[7]


The village is in the South and West Kerry electoral area of Kerry County Council, and the Dáil Éireann constituency of Kerry.


Bridge Street in Sneem

In March 1978, the state funeral of former President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh (Carroll O'Daly) took place in Sneem; he had lived nearby before his death.

Brothers Tom, Jim and Steve Casey were Irish athletes of the 1930s, who competed in single scull rowing at the Charles River in Boston.[8] Steve Casey emigrated to America in 1936 and, as well as being a rower, was both NWA and AWA heavyweight wrestling champion of the world five times between 1938 and 1947. In 1982 he received the Irish Hall of Fame Award.[citation needed] 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.

John Egan was a native of Sneem and played for Sneem GAA prior to joining the Kerry county football team. Egan was a corner forward from 1975 until 1984, during which time Kerry won six All-Ireland titles, four of which were consecutive. Egan received five GAA All Stars Awards.[9] Several years after his death in 2012, a life-size bronze statue of Egan was erected in Sneem's South Square.[10]

Another Sneem Gaelic footballer, Ronan Hussey, was a member of the Kerry senior football panel and still plays with Sneem GAA.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Bridge near village square


  1. ^ "Sapmap Area - Settlements - Sneem". Census 2016. Central Statistics Office. April 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  2. ^ "An tSnaidhm / Sneem". Irish Placenames Commission. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  3. ^ E., Stoakley, T. (1986). Sneem : the knot in the ring (2nd and enl. ed.). Sneem, Co. Kerry: Sneem Tourism Association. ISBN 0951163000. OCLC 18192375.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel (1837). A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. S. Lewis and Co.
  5. ^ Lucey, Anne (7 June 2019). "50th anniversary of visit by Charles de Gaulle to be marked in Co Kerry". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  6. ^ Stoakley, T.E. (1986). Sneem: The Knot in the Ring. Sneem, Co. Kerry: Sneem Tourism Association. ISBN 0-9511630-0-0.
  7. ^ Cashin, Joe (12 October 2005). "To be opened in 2100". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2007.
  8. ^ "The Dream Team from Sneem". The Irish Times. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Death of Kerry legend John Egan, aged 59".
  10. ^ "John Egan Memorial". 12 September 2017.

External links[edit]