The concept of a crafts centre in Spiddal was first mooted in the 1980s by Spanish sculptor and art-gallery director Jesús Modia, who lived in Connemara.

He had established an art gallery in Spiddal and felt that a craft village would be a valuable local asset. Údáras na Gaeltachta agreed and came on board to create the first such venture in Ireland.

Jesús Modia was living in Ballinasloe, working for a company called Stone Developments when he was sent to Spiddal on a job. He fell in love with the place and decided to move there.

He soon rented a house in the town-land of Cnocán Glas from Joe and Máire Ó Curraidhin, a move which was to bring a lasting legacy to Spiddal and Galway.

Jesús decided to open an art gallery in a shed beside the house and in that space, he hosted a huge array of exhibitions, of work from established and emerging artists. This small gallery was quite successful but he soon felt that Spiddal should have a proper, purpose-built art gallery, supported by local people.

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