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|Irish Grid Reference|
|In statute law, the village's official name is An Spidéal, or in the English language, Spiddal.|
Spiddal (Irish and official name: An Spidéal Irish pronunciation: [ənˠ ˈsˠpʲɪdʲeːlˠ], meaning 'the hospital') is a village on the shore of Galway Bay in County Galway, Ireland. It is 18 kilometres (11 mi) west of Galway city, on the R336 road. It is on the eastern side of the county's Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area) and of the Connemara region. According to the 2016 census, 35.3% of the population speak Irish on a daily basis outside the education system. It is a centre for tourism with a beach, harbour, and shore fishing. The village is part of the civil parish of Moycullen.
A number of hospital facilities were based in the area, including a famine hospital which was located in Spiddal during the Great Famine of the mid-1840s. While 'Spiddal' is the common English variant of the name, 'Spiddle' is sometimes used.
Spiddal like much of the west of Ireland suffered greatly during the Great Famine, with many people being evicted and many people starving. Appeals were made by the parish priest John O'Grady and by A.W. Blake, as a result the board of works employed some local men in the improvements to the harbour in Spiddal.
From 1848 the evangelical Protestant Irish Church Missions were active, establishing the Connemara Orphan's Nursery (Spiddal Orphanage/Nead Le Farrige) in the early 1850s, the home could accommodate up to 90 boys and girls, and became affiliated to the Protestant-run Smyly Homes (and was even referred to as The Bird's Nest, the name of the Dublin home). Following its closure as an orphanage, it became a Secondary School for Girls run by the catholic Sisters of Mercy.
There are a number of shops and services in the area. On the eastern side of the village is An Cheardlann ('the workshop' in Irish), a craft village. There is a primary school and a secondary school in the village.
Culture and sport
Each summer, groups of Irish teenagers visit Spiddal for three-week Irish language courses. American students visit for the autumn semester each year to study Irish-language literature and culture.
Coláiste Chonnacht and Coláiste Lurgan are two local Irish language schools.
The music group The Waterboys recorded part of their Fisherman's Blues album in Spiddal. They also recorded a song called Spring Comes to Spiddal on their album Room to Roam. The television series Ros na Rún is filmed there, and broadcast on TG4.
- Mary Bergin, musician
- Ronan Browne, musician
- Thom McGinty, actor and stillness artist
- Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin, journalist, author, sports official and the sixth president of the International Olympic Committee
- Máirtín Ó Cadhain, a post-Civil War Irish republican, writer of modern literature in Irish, and author of the comic and modernist work Cré na Cille.
- Dónall Ó Héalai, actor
- Seán Ó Neachtain, former Member of the European Parliament and Fianna Fáil politician
- Eimear Ní Chonaola Nuacht TG4 anchor
- Gráinne Seoige, television presenter
- Síle Seoige, television presenter
- Máirtín Thornton (died 1984), Irish heavyweight boxer in the 1940s
- Máire Ní Thuathail (1959-2019), television producer.
- "Profile 1 - Population Distribution and Movement F1015 - Population: An Spidéal, Co. Galway". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 21 July 2023.
- "I.R. Uimh. 133/1975 - An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Foirmeacha Gaeilge) (Uimh. 1) (Postbhailte) 1975". irishstatutebook.ie (in Irish). 1975.
- "An Spidéal / Spiddle | logainm.ie". logainm.ie. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
- "An Spidéal (Spiddal): Information in English". anspideal.ie. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
- Spiddal www.oughterardheritage.org
- The Protestant Missions in Connemara, Miriam Moffitt www.connemaraheritage.org, January 28, 2012.
- An unseemly brawl of god and scripture Galway Advertiser, November 13, 2008.
- Spiddal Orphan Home www.childrenshomes.org.uk
- Owenboliskey River Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved: 2011-11-20.
- "Death of TV producer and Tourmakeady native". www.mayonews.ie.