The Galway City government tore down the last traditional cottage in the Claddagh some 80 years ago. Now, it appears that just one of the old style cottages is about to be rebuilt.

New thatched cottage planned in claddaghThe Claddagh (which translates as “stony shore”) was a fishing village located just outside the old city walls of Galway. After centuries of supporting a unique culture that fascinated Irish writers and artists, the village died out due to competition from modern fishing trawlers, deteriorating buildings and a tuberculosis epidemic in the late 20’s the decimated the population. By 1934, the Galway city council had ripped down all the old thatched roof cottages, to begin the process of building a wonderfully bland government housing development.

But the Claddagh ring design, which emerged from the village in the 1700’s, has become a worldwide symbol that thousands of friends and lovers give to each other and some don as a pure style accessory. As a result, interest in the old Claddagh village has only grown over the decades.

The city council has now given permission to build one of the old cottages as a “heritage attraction” in the area where the village once flourished. Though its unlikely the new cottage will have quite the authenticity of a village where fisherman lived with no running water or electricity and answered to a Claddagh “king,” it should provide an interested glance into the world the produced one of Ireland’s most enduring symbols.

One obstacle to the creation of the new heritage center remains, however: Not one cent in funding has been set aside yet to start the building project. About 20,000 Euro is being sought to get the work going. If you would like to contribute, go to Fundit’s page for the Claddagh cottage here.

Learn more here about how the new Claddagh cottage will realize a dream one Galway woman has been pursuing for almost 50 years.

More on the new Claddagh cottage here.

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