Wednesday was an opportunity to experience a true taste of Galway’s past at Claregalway Castle. The event was sponsored by the Heritage Council and was full of events, films and lectures to suit everyone. I spent the day with several traditional crafts people demonstrating hand spinning.
Also represented were straw weaving, willow basket weaving, candle making and jewelry making. Children and adults alike were given the opportunity to try their hand at some of the crafts.
Everyone who attended the craft demonstrations were so enthusiastic and interested in how the traditional Irish crafts were being carried on.
The castle itself is a wonderfully restored 15th century Anglo-Norman tower house. The owner has carefully restored and furnished the castle. Today the castle is open to the public for six months of the year. It hosts the annual Galway Garden Festival, Christmas Fayre, among other events. It also takes in curriculum-based school tours. Claregalway Castle is the home of the Medieval Armoured Combat Ireland (MACI) team. If you get a chance, it is well worth a tour.