Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Claddagh Ring: Ireland's Cherished Symbol of Friendship, Loyalty and Love


Rating: 4 Stars


I will be very honest, I first discovered the Claddagh ring because of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That heart-wrenching moment on the pier where Angel has to leave and gives Buffy the ring, then they get attacked by Spike and Dru's men, and the rest is history. I fangirled hard over that show, and continue to do so to this day. So, back then when it was new episodes every week and Angelus had returned to wreck havoc on Sunnydale, I knew I had to have a Claddagh ring. I found one at the Irish Indeed store in the Mall of America while in high school and badgered my mom until she gave in and bought it for me. Many years later I was fortunate enough to go on a trip Ireland, again with my mom - and yes, one of our day trips included a stop in Galway. You can bet I bought another Claddagh there, this time with my birth stone in the heart.

So anyway, onto the book. This is a lovely little tribute to a beautiful symbol of love. It is a slim volume that details the two myths behind the creation of this ring, and also spends a decent amount of time focusing on 9/11 and the amount of Claddagh rings found in the rubble of the Twin Towers - a testament to the number of New York's Bravest and New York's Finest with Irish blood flowing through their veins. McCourt then also details the village of Claddagh itself, though it is now gone; "The people of the Claddagh are gone now, and the area has been newly developed, with new houses standing where the village of Claddagh stood for centuries" (page 106).

Overall, though it is short, it is full of interesting stories and information. It will not take long to read this one, but it is worth the time.

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