Video of Kinvara, County Galway, Republic of Ireland
Kinvara (Irish: Cinn Mhara, meaning "head of the sea") is a sea port village located
in the south of County Galway, Ireland. Kinvara is also the name of the parish in
which the village is situated. Kinvara is occasionally spelled Kinvarra in English;
this may be seen on some maps and road signs, although Kinvara is the most common
spelling used nowadays.
The village lies at the head of Kinvara Bay known in Irish as Cinn Mhara (or more
recently Cuan Chinn Mhara) from which the village took its name. This is an inlet
in the south-eastern corner of Galway Bay. Kinvara is situated in the territory of
Ui Fiachrach Aidhne also known as Aidhne, which is coextensive with the diocese of
Kilmacduagh (Cill Mhic Dhuach). Kinvara is situated in the west of the former barony
of Kiltartan (also in County Galway) and close to the border with County Clare in
the province of Munster, near the Burren.
Kinvara is home every year to two festivals, Fleadh na gCuach ("the cuckoo festival")
an Irish music festival at the start of May and the Cruinniú na mBád ("gathering
of the boats") in mid August. Anthony Moylan is credited as the person who came up
with the idea for the Fleadh on the new bank holiday weekend to commemorate the festival
of Bealtaine, around which time the cuckoo is first heard. The Cruinniú na mBád,
also largely the idea of Anthony Moylan, is the larger and longer-running, it celebrates
the traditional sailing craft (Galway Hookers) and the trade they once did between
Kinvara, western County Galway and the north of County Clare. Turf was imported into
Kinvara from the west of County Galway while barley, lime, and timber was exported
from Kinvara. Turf, the main fuel used here prior to coal and oil, had to be imported
as Kinvara is in an area without bogs. The festival started in 1979 and features
a series of boat races as well as a variety of other events on the pier. The Fleadh
na gCuach (started in 1994) is a festival of Irish music that celebrates the old
Irish festival of Bealtaine (the First of May), which in Ireland marks the start
The first shots of the 1916 Easter Rising in County Galway were fired in Kinvara.
The incident took place outside the curate's house on the Green Road when the RIC
attempted to arrest him and local members of Óglaigh na hÉireann.