Kinvara is derived from the Gaelic  "Cinn Mhara" which means "Head of the Sea" a name that gives an insight into its history. It has long associations with the sea and its past is recalled in the Annual Festival "Cruinniu na mBad" or "The Gathering of the Boats".


Probably the most famous landmark in the area is Dunguaire Castle, built in the 1500s, it is open to visitors from May to October and holds Medieval Banquets each evening during the season.  Kinvara is the first major stop on your personalized Guided Tour of 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 Cruinniu na mBad ("gathering of the boats") in mid-August. The turf was imported into Kinvara from the west of County Galway while barley, lime, and timber were 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 of Summer. The photo on the left shows The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, onboard a boat bringing turf to Kinvara during the festival.

 

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