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IRELAND IN HER OWN WORDS
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"Claddagh ring"

Claddagh ring shows the design of two hands embracing a heart topped by a crown, from the traditional fishing village of Claddagh (on the edge of mediaeval Galway City). A symbol of love (the heart), friendship (the hands) and loyalty (the crown) given as a token of lasting affection. Often worn as wedding rings, they were kept as heirlooms and passed from grandmother to granddaughter. Also the name of a song. [<cladach 'rocky seashore']

"The governor of New York, for example, mentioned recently that roughly 200 Claddagh rings had been recovered already. I suppose that might have something to do with the number of Irish-Americans lost [in the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001]."
Nuala O'Faolain Irish Times Magazine (3 November 2001).

How to wear a Claddagh ring

  1. in friendship: on the right hand, with the point of the heart towards the fingertip.
  2. engagement: on the right hand, with heart pointing to the wrist.
  3. marriage: on the left hand, with heart pointing to the wrist. Claddagh rings are used as wedding rings especially in Connacht.

For more information on the Claddagh ring visit Royal Claddagh (specialist Claddagh jewellers).