Letterfrack (Leitir Fraic in Irish from"Leitir"meaning rough hillside and perhaps from the Old Irish word "Fraig" meaning woman or "Fraoch" (meaning heather) is a small village founded by the Quakers in the mid-19th century. It is situated 15 km north-east of Clifden on Barnaderg Bay and lies at the head of Ballinakill harbour. The visitors centre for Connemara National Park is nearby.

Marconi

Letterfrack was selected by Marconi as the location for the transatlantic wireless receiver station for his new duplex transatlantic wireless service. At about the same time, he built a nearly identical receiver station on the other side of the Atlantic at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. Beginning in 1913, eastbound messages were sent from his Marconi Towers, Nova Scotia high power wireless station to Letterfrack; while westbound messages were sent simultaneously from the Clifden high power wireless station to Louisbourg. The Letterfrack station was closed and the service was transferred to a modern receiver station in Tywyn, Wales after his Clifden station was destroyed in 1922 during the Irish Civil War. Duplex operation, initially developed by Marconi at Letterfrack, quickly became a standard practice for commercial and military radiotelegraph communication

 

Furniture Centre

Letterfrack had a reformatory industrial school which closed in 1974 and is now the location of a fine furniture design centre run by the The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT).The GMIT courses in Letterfrack are run in partnership with Connemara West (a community and rural development organisation based in North-West Connemara). Since 1987, the partnership has managed and run furniture courses.In 1987 The Regional Technical College Galway and Connemara West, (a community development company in North West Connemara jointly initiated a two year National Certificate in Furniture Design and Manufacture. This educational partnership between GMIT Galway and Connemara West is jointly managed and run as The Furniture College, Letterfrack.The aim of the Furniture College is to enable its graduates to contribute to, and influence the field of design processes and manufacture of modern furniture in ways that are innovative, creative and responsive to the need and development of a quality Irish furniture industry. It also aims to promote the use and value of native timber in the furniture manufacturing industry.Within its first ten years of operation this two year national certificate course has developed a reputation for quality and high standards in the education of people for the wood and furniture industry through the successful merging of design education and technological skills. Currently 90% of former graduates of this course are employed.

Overall 68% are directly employed in furniture or wood related industries and 15% have established their own furniture workshops in Ireland.In 1995 a new two year add-on B.Sc. Degree in Furniture Technology commenced at the Furniture College. The overall aim of this course is to equip students with the theoretical and practical techniques which will enable them to function as professionals within the furniture manufacturing industry. This degree is characterised by theoretical and applied studies in resource management, materials, plant design, product development and market influences necessary for a modern Irish furniture industry. The programme incorporates the views and needs of the furniture industry gathered though consultation and review.The first students of this course graduated in June 1997.There is a high demand by employers for graduates of the programmes, and demand always exceeds supply. The College has established linkages with both industry and colleges abroad over the last seven years. Through these linkages the college places a significant number of students on work experience each year under the EU Leonardo programme.

In May 1997 substantial grant aid was announced by Government to assist with the development of facilities at Letterfrack. This grant aid will go towards transforming The Furniture College into a modern college campus, thus enabling it to meet the current and future education and training needs of the Irish furniture industry.

"After debating whether to drive or take a bus tour of Connemara -we found Ireland West Tours. We ended up with one of the best days we had in all of our trip to Ireland. The final treat was a link to the photos he had taken of us, you'll never get that on a bus tour!"

ABCFOX, Minnesota, USA

 

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Satisfying the customer 

Over the years we have had several compliments on our drivers from many of our satisfied customers. Click on the link to "Tripadvisor" below to read, in full, the reviews of some of our many happy customers.

"We got recommended to contact Jim to take us to all the beautiful places this region has to offer. Well, that was the best piece of advice we could have gotten. He not only will drive you around, but also will teach, explain, comment and inform you about many, many different issues."

Alfrdo G., The Hague, Netherlands

 

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IRELAND WEST TOURS

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