(Irish: An tSnaidhm) is a town situated on the
Iveragh Peninsula (part of the Ring of Kerry) in
County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. It lies
on the estuary of the River Sneem. National route
N70 runs through the town.
The Irish town name,
"An tSnaidhm", means "The
Knot" in English. One explanation of the
name is that a knot-like swirling is said to take
place where the Sneem river meets the currents of
Kenmare Bay in the estuary just below the
village. A less common explanation is that Sneem
is the knot in the scenic Ring of Kerry.
comprises of two squares, North and South. A
bridge in the middle of the village acts as a
knot between the two squares.
There is much
public sculpture in Sneem. The work of Vivienne
Roche, Alan Hall, Tamara Rikman and a panda
sculpture donated by the Peoples Republic of
China can be seen in various locations. "The
Risen Christ" by Brother Joseph McNally is
located in the grounds of St. Michael's Church
and the goddess Isis donated by the people of
Egypt stands at "The Way The Fairies
Went", a collection of buildings designed by
Kerry sculptor James Scanlon and executed by
local stoneworkers overlooking the river near St.
Michael's Church. It was financed by the Arts
Council of Ireland as a result of Sneem winning
the Irish Tidy Towns Competition in 1987. The
project was completed in 1989-90. The buildings
won the National Landscape Award in 1997.
President Charles de Gaulle visited Sneem on
several occasions (Paris photo show recalls de
Gaulle's Irish visit) and the sculpture on the
right commemorates this in the village.
is very important for Sneem, during the summer
months coaches bring visitors from all over the
world thoughout the day, but Sneem has never lost
its charm and remains as small as ever.
A book, Sneem, The Knot in the Ring, recounts the area's
history. This book is also available to buy in
various outlets in the village.