Gillick's World: Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way Re-published August 2015 - Page 12

Riding to Omey Island: An Afternoon in Cleggan Scenery in Cleggan Village Cleggan lies on the Atlantic coast in Connemara, a district in the central west of Ireland. I drove through the area, stopping briefly in Barna Village and then visiting the reconstructed site of Cnoc Suain in Spiddal, before spending the night at Ballynahinch Castle in Recess. The next day I drove the short distance to Cleggan. is a main street consisting of restaurants and a few shops, the entrance to the pier where boats depart for Galway, and a church, in front of which likes a marker to commemorate the Cleggan Bay Disaster of 1927 where 25 local fishermen lost their lives when a sudden gale arose at sea. As if rehearsed, the people that I met in Connemara used the same words to describe the area. Charlie and Dearbhaill in Spiddal, Noel at Ballynahinch Castle and Noreen in Cleggan used almost the exact same words within the first few minutes or our meeting and conversation. “People come to Connemara for the scenery, the fresh air and the peace and quiet”. And one need only pull over to the side of the road for a photo stop, to marvel at the mountains, the fields or the lakes and to appreciate the quiet beauty of the area. I visited Oliver’s Seafood, where Noreen Higgin greeted me and told me a bit more about the area known for its fresh air and fresh seafood. I had a bowl of the tasty chowder…so good and chock full of smoked salmon, haddock, crab, mussels, white fish and prawns. Even though I made several such photo stops between Recess and Cleggan, it still only took forty minutes or so to arrive. Cleggan literally means ‘head’ or ‘skull’ and refers to the shape of the land on which it resides. There Oliver’s Seafood in Cleggan