THE CONNEMARA GIANT STATUE
If you are driving along the N59 road in Connemara, you might be surprised to see a towering statue of a bearded man holding a stone. This is the Connemara Giant, a 20-foot tall sculpture that stands in front of Joyce’s Craft Shop in Recess, Connemara. But who is this giant and why is he there?
The Connemara Giant was created in 1999 by Joyce’s Craft Shop “for no apparent reason”. The shop sells a variety of Irish crafts, souvenirs and gifts, and the giant is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. The statue is made of concrete and steel, and weighs about 4 tonnes.
The giant is not based on any historical or mythical figure, but rather on the imagination of the shop owners. However, local legend has it that the giant has a bit of Irish magic about him. It is believed that if you touch the hand of the giant (the one holding the stone), you will be blessed with the knowledge of his ancient tribe. This tradition is known as touching the hand of knowledge, and some people claim that it helps them with exams, interviews or other challenges.
The name Connemara derives from Conmhaicne Mara, meaning “descendants of Con Mhac, of the sea”. Con Mhac was a legendary chief of the Fir Bolg, an ancient people who inhabited Ireland before the arrival of the Celts. The Connemara Giant is said to embody the spirit of Con Mhac and his people, who were known for their bravery, wisdom and craftsmanship.
The Connemara Giant is not only a quirky roadside attraction, but also a symbol of the culture and heritage of Connemara. The region is famous for its stunning scenery, rich history and vibrant traditions. The giant invites visitors to explore and discover the beauty and mystery of this unique part of Ireland.
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