The Connemara Giant
I took a driving trip a few weeks back to a place called Roundstone. I was on my way to chat with Malachy Kearns who makes the bodhrans so coveted by so many musicians. And that was a thrill in itself. I took the coast road through Salthill, by a village called Spiddal, where they speak only Irish, and on up the coast. Halfway between Galway City and Clifden I decided it was time for coffee and when I saw this big guy I knew I'd found the right place to stop.
He marks the entrance to Connemara, known for the Burren, and for Connemara Jade. I'd never seen anything quite like this guy. yet there he was sitting at the the edge of a beautiful lake and the edge of a gravel parking lot just across from some local artists' shops.
He was was sculpted by local artist Mark Joyce. The plaque under the sculpture says it all really. "Conn, son of the Sea". That same stone says, the Giant of Connemara was built "For no particular Reason".
Right next to Conn was a monument that looked very important, yet said, "On this site in 1897 nothing happened." The Irish, seem to enjoy keeping the rest of us wondering. Because
And it worked. That was enough to have me strolling across the street to look at what else the artists had to offer. And to ask a few questions.
Legend has it that if you touch the hand of the Connemara Giant you will be blessed with the knowledge of his ancient tribe. Then the question becomes clear...which hand?