If you’re intrigued by mystery and the paranormal, you may have already heard of the Claddagh ghost, a mysterious figure that has been sighted along the Long Walk in Galway. The Long Walk is a scenic promenade that runs along the River Corrib, offering views of the Claddagh village, the Spanish Arch and Galway Bay. It is also a place of history, legend and mystery, as some claim that it is haunted by the ghost of a 19th century nun.

The story goes that in February 2012, a photographer named Jonathan Curran was taking pictures of the Long Walk when he captured something unexpected: a woman dressed in a black / brown habit and veil, standing near the water’s edge. Curran was shocked when he looked at his camera and saw the image, as he had not seen anyone there when he took the shot. He took 12 other pictures of the same spot, but the woman did not appear in any of them. He also asked some locals if they had seen her, but no one had.

Curran shared his photo online and it soon went viral, sparking interest and speculation among paranormal enthusiasts and historians. Some suggested that the woman was a nun from the nearby Claddagh convent, which was founded in 1824 by the Sisters of Mercy. The convent was known for its charitable work among the poor and sick of the Claddagh, a fishing community that had its own distinctive culture and traditions. The convent was also involved in education, running a school for girls and a lace-making school.

However, others pointed out that the woman’s attire did not match the Sisters of Mercy’s habit, which had a white bonnet instead of a veil. They proposed that she was a nun from an older order, such as the Poor Clares or the Dominicans, who had a presence in Galway since medieval times. Some even speculated that she was not a nun at all, but a widow or a mourner from the Claddagh, who wore black as a sign of respect for their deceased loved ones.

But who was she and why did she appear on the Long Walk? Some believe that she was a restless spirit who had a tragic or violent past, perhaps related to the famine, the cholera epidemic, or the War of Independence, all of which affected Galway in different ways. Others think that she was a benevolent presence who wanted to protect or bless the people of Galway, especially those who lived in the Claddagh. And some say that she was just an optical illusion or a hoax, created by light, shadow or photoshop.

Whatever the truth may be, the Claddagh ghost remains one of Galway’s most intriguing mysteries, and one that attracts many curious visitors to the Long Walk.


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Nun at the Long Walk



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