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  Sneem Village - History & facts

Sneem (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.

Sneem village 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.

Former French 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.

Nowadays tourism 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.

(Sculpture can be found throughout the village)


Note I am in no way connected to any of the businesses mentioned on this site.
Huw Edwards 2012 All images on this site remain the copyright of Huw Edwards or the photographers, and may not be reproduced without prior agreements