People have been gathering seafood and fishing from the area for millennia. It is one of the oldest former fishing villages in Ireland - its existence having been recorded since the arrival of Christianity in the 5th century.During the 19th century the Claddagh attracted many visitors, including writers who spread its fame. The original village of thatched cottages was razed in the 1930s and replaced by a council-housing scheme.
The Claddagh is most famous internationally for the Claddagh ring, which is popular among those of Irish heritage as both a friendship and wedding ring. This traditional design consists of two clasped hands holding a crowned heart, and symbolises love, friendship and loyalty.
The Claddagh area contains a national school, Community Centre and aCatholic Church.