Video of Clifden, County Galway, Republic of Ireland
It is the birthplace of Jon Riley, Saint Patrick's Battalion's commander, who fought
for Mexico in the Mexican-American War the 19th century, and John Bamlet Smallman,
Irish-Canadian businessman (1849–1916).
Clifden gained prominence in the early 1900s when Guglielmo Marconi built his first
high power transatlantic long wave wireless telegraphy station four miles (6 km)
south of the town to minimize the distance to its sister station in Glace Bay, Nova
Scotia. The first point-to-point fixed wireless service connecting Europe with North
America opened for public service with the transmission of 10,000 words on 17 October
1907 and ceased operation on 25 July 1922 after suffering serious damage in the Irish
Civil War. Transatlantic wireless service formerly provided by the Clifden station
was transferred to the more modern Marconi wireless station near Waunfawr, Wales.
At peak times, over 400 people had been employed by the Clifden wireless station,
but none more famous than Jack Phillips, who later died as the heroic chief Radio
Operator on the Titanic.
Clifden is the main town in Connmemara therefore it is home to a range of services.
The HQ for the Connemara Garda service is in Clifden and the main Fire Station for
Connemara is in Clifden. Clifden is also home to the Connemara All Blacks, which
is the rugby team that is prominent in Connemara.
Clifden is near the landing place (53°26′N 10°01′W) of the first transatlantic flight
by Alcock and Brown on 15 June 1919. The plane crashlanded in Derrygimla bog, close
to Marconi's transatlantic wireless station.
In "the burning of Clifden" in 1921, 14 suspected Republican homes were burnt by
the Black and Tans.
The N59 road from Galway (77 km away) to Westport, County Mayo (64 km) passes through
Clifden (Irish: An Clochán, meaning "bee-hive cell") is a town on the coast of County
Galway, Ireland and being Connemara's largest town, it is often referred to as "the
Capital of Connemara". It is located on the Owenglen River where it flows into Clifden
Bay. The town is linked to Galway city by the N59 and is a popular tourist destination
for those touring Connemara.
The town was founded at the start of the 19th century by John D'Arcy (1785–1839)
who lived in Clifden Castle (which is now a ruin that can be seen from the Sky Road
west of Clifden). The Sky Road in Clifden is one of the best tourist attractions
in the entire Connemara region. The circular route is 11 km long and takes you out
west from Clifden.