From top, left to right: Claddagh, Eyre Square, Lynch's Castle, National University of Ireland, Galway, Galway Cathedral, The Docks, Terryland Castle.
|Nickname(s): "City of the Tribes"|
|Motto: Laudatio Ejus Manet In Secula Seculorum (Latin)
"His Praise Remains unto Ages of Ages"
|• Type||City Council|
|• Mayor of Galway||Terry O'Flaherty|
|• Dáil Éireann||Galway West|
|• European Parliament||North-West|
|• Demonym||Galwegian, Tribesman|
|Time zone||WET (UTC0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (UTC+1)|
Galway (Irish: Gaillimh, pronounced [ˈɡalʲɪvʲ]), or the City of Galway (Irish: Cathair na Gaillimhe), is a city in Ireland. It is in the West Region and the province of Connacht. Galway City Council is the local authority for the city. Galway lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and is surrounded by County Galway. It is the fourth most populous urban area in the Republic of Ireland and the sixth most populous city on the island of Ireland.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Geography and local government
- 3 History
- 4 Climate
- 5 Culture
- 6 Media
- 7 Places of interest
- 8 Demographics
- 9 Economy
- 10 Transport
- 11 Education
- 12 Sport
- 13 Twinning
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The city takes its name from the river Gaillimh (River Corrib) that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, which was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe ("Fort at the mouth of the Gaillimh"). The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river" (the mythical and alternative derivations are given in History of Galway). Historically, the name was Anglicised as Galliv, which is closer to the Irish pronunciation as is the city's name in Latin, Galvia.
In common with many ancient European sea ports, the patron saint of the city (since the 14th century) is St Nicholas of Myra.
The Roman Catholic diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administratorship of Kilfenora is under the patronage Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas (Galway), St Fachanan (Kilmacduagh) and St Colman (Kilfenora).
In common with many ancient cities, Galway has its own origin myth. According to this mythic version, Galway is named after Gaillimh (Galvia), the daughter of a local chieftain, Breasail, who drowned in the River Corrib. The surrounding area became known as Áit Gaillimhe (Galway's Place).
The city also bears the nickname "The City of the Tribes" (Irish: Cathair na dTreabh) because "fourteen tribes" of merchant families led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The term tribes was often a derogatory one in Cromwellian times. The merchants would have seen themselves as Irish gentry and loyal to the King. They later adopted the term as a badge of honour and pride in defiance of the town's Cromwellian occupier
Geography and local government
Services such as waste collection, recycling, traffic control, parks and housing are controlled by a fifteen member city council elected to five-year terms by proportional representation through means of the Single Transferable Vote PR-STV. The City Council is chaired by a mayor who is elected to a one-year term by his/her fellow councillors. The role of mayor is mainly ceremonial, although they do have the casting vote. The first mayor was Peirce Lynch Fitzjohn, elected in 1485. The current mayor is Cllr. Pádraig Conneely, who was elected Mayor in June 2013.
The symbols of the office of the Mayor and the emblems of the dignity of the City Council are the Civic Sword (1620's) and the Great Mace (1710) which are carried in procession before the Mayor and Council on solemn civic occasions. When not in ceremonial use they can be seen at the Galway City Museum.
In 1579, Queen Elizabeth I confirmed the city's charter and appointed the Mayor as 'Admiral of the Bay and of the Aran islands'. The title, though extant, is rarely used except for purely ceremonial purposes.
- Noel Grealish (Independent). A Native of Cearn Mór.
- Derek Nolan (Labour). Galway City based.
- Éamon Ó Cuív (Fianna Fáil). Corr na Móna in Conamara based. He is a former Minister for Social Protection.
- Brian Walsh (Fine Gael). Galway City based. A native of Mervue.
- Seán Kyne (Fine Gael). Based in Moycullen.
The current President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, was TD for the Galway West parliamentary constituency, of which Galway City is a part, from 1981 to 1982 and from 1987 to 2011. He was also Mayor of Galway for two terms, 1981-82 and 1990-91.
The highest honour the city can bestow is the Freedom of the City. Among the names on the Roll of Honour are: Douglas Hyde, President of Ireland, 1939; Eamonn de Valera, Taoiseach, 1946; Sean T O'Kelly, President of Ireland, 1950; Robert F Wagner, Mayor of New York, 1961; John F Kennedy, President of the US, 1963; Pope John Paul II, 1979; Ronald Reagan, President of the US, 1984; Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1999; Richard M. Daley, Mayor of Chigago,2003; Ms Aung San Suu Kyi,Burmese leader 2005; Ms Garry Hynes, Druid Theatre Founder, 2006 and Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, 2012.
Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe ("Fort at the Mouth (bottom) of the Gaillimh") was constructed in 1124, by the King of Connacht, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (1088–1156). Eventually, a small settlement grew up around this fort. During the Norman invasion of Connacht in the 1230s, Galway fort was captured by Richard Mor de Burgh, who had led the invasion. As the de Burghs eventually became Gaelicised, the merchants of the town, the Tribes of Galway, pushed for greater control over the walled city.
This led to their gaining complete control over the city and to the granting of mayoral status by the English crown in December 1484. Galway endured difficult relations with its Irish neighbours. A notice over the west gate of the city, completed in 1562 by Mayor Thomas Óge Martyn, stated "From the Ferocious O'Flahertys may God protect us". A by-law forbade the native Irish (as opposed to Galway's Hiberno-Norman citizens) unrestricted access into Galway, saying "neither O’ nor Mac shall strutte nor swagger through the streets of Galway" without permission. During the Middle Ages, Galway was ruled by an oligarchy of fourteen merchant families (12 of Norman origin and 2 of Irish origin). These were the "tribes" of Galway. The city thrived on international trade, and in the Middle Ages, it was the principal Irish port for trade with Spain and France. The most famous reminder of those days is ceann an bhalla ("the head of the wall"), now known as the Spanish Arch, constructed during the mayoralty of Wylliam Martin (1519–20). In 1477 Christopher Columbus visited Galway, possibly stopping off on a voyage to Iceland or the Faroe Islands. Seven or eight years later, he noted in the margin of his copy of Imago Mundi:
Men of Cathay have come from the west. [Of this] we have seen many signs. And especially in Galway in Ireland, a man and a woman, of extraordinary appearance, have come to land on two tree trunks [or timbers? or a boat made of such?]
During the 16th and 17th centuries Galway remained loyal to the English crown for the most part, even during the Gaelic resurgence, perhaps for reasons of survival. However, by 1642 the city had allied itself with the Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. During the resulting Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Cromwellian forces captured the city after a nine-month siege. At the end of the 17th century the city supported the Jacobites in the Williamite war in Ireland and was captured by the Williamites after a very short siege not long after the Battle of Aughrim in 1691. The great families of Galway were ruined, and, having declined owing to the potato famines of 1845–1852, the city did not fully recover until the great economic bubble of the late twentieth century.
Galway experiences a year-round mild, moist, temperate and changeable climate, due to the prevailing winds of the North Atlantic Current. The city experiences a lack of temperature extremes, with temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) and above 30 °C (86 °F) being rare. The city receives an average of 1,156 mm (45.51 in) of precipitation annually, which is evenly distributed throughout the year. Rain is the most common form of precipitation. Hail, sleet and snow are rare, though will sometimes be experienced during particularly cold winters. Galway is also consistently humid, with humidity normally ranging from 70% to 100%, and this can lead to heavy showers, and even thunderstorms breaking out when drier east winds, originating in the European continent, clash with this humidity, particularly in the late summer. The average January temperature in the city is 5.9 °C (43 °F) and the average July temperature is 15.9 °C (61 °F). This means that Galway, like most of Ireland, has a Maritime Temperate climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system.
While extreme weather is rare, the city and county can experience severe windstorms that are the result of vigorous Atlantic depressions that occasionally pass along the north west coast of Ireland. Most of these storms occur between late autumn and early spring. Due to the city's northerly location and its longitude, Galway has long summer days. Daylight at midsummer is before 04:00 and lasts until after 23:00. In midwinter, daylight does not start until 09.00, and is gone by 16:00.
|Climate data for Galway (1981–2010 averages)|
|Average high °C (°F)||8.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||6.0
|Average low °C (°F)||3.2
|Rainfall mm (inches)||114
|Source #1: WMO|
|Source #2: ECA&D|
Galway is known as Ireland's Cultural Heart (Croí Cultúrtha na hÉireann) and is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events. Every July, Galway hosts the Galway Arts Festival which is known for its famous Macnas parade.
In 2004, there were three dance organisations, ten festival companies, two film organisations, two Irish language organisations, 23 musical organisations, twelve theatre companies, two visual arts groups, and four writers' groups based in the city.
Furthermore, there were 51 venues for events, most of which were specialised for a certain field (e.g. concert venues or visual arts galleries), though ten were described as being 'multiple event' venues. The main squares in the city are Eyre Square (containing John F. Kennedy Park) in the centre of the city, and Spanish Parade next to the Spanish Arch.
In 2007, Galway was named as one of the eight "sexiest cities" in the world. A 2008 poll ranked Galway as the 42nd best tourist destination in the world, or 14th in Europe and 2nd in Ireland (behind Dingle). It was ranked ahead of all European capitals except Edinburgh, and many traditional tourist destinations (such as Venice). The New Zealand Herald listed Galway as one of 'five great cities to visit in 2014'. The others were Istanbul, New Orleans, Dubai and Cabo, Mexico.
Galway has a vibrant and varied musical scene. As in most Irish cities traditional music is popular and is kept alive in pubs and by street performers. Notable bands from Galway include The Saw Doctors and The Stunning. Galway Early Music Festival presents European music from the 12th to the 18th century. It encourages not only music, but also dance and costumes. The festival involves both professional and amateur musicians.
A number of notable choirs are based in the city. They include Tribal Chamber Choir (founded in 2009) directed by Mark Keane; the Galway Baroque Singers (founded in 1983) directed by Audrey Corbett; Cois Cladaigh Chamber Choir (founded in 1982) directed by Brendan O'Connor, which sang at the inauguration of President Michael D. Higgins in St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle, on November 11, 2011; Galway Gospel Choir (founded in 2001) directed By Michel Durham Brandt; and Galway Choral Association (founded in 1998) directed by Norman Duffy.
The Galway Arts Festival (Féile Ealaíon na Gaillimhe) takes place in July. It was first held in 1978 and since then has grown into one of the biggest arts festivals in Ireland. It attracts international artists as well as providing a platform for local and national performers. The festival features parades, street performances and plays, musical concerts and comedy acts. Highlights of the festival tend to be performances by Macnas and Druid Theatre Company, two local performance groups. The Galway Youth Orchestra was formed in 1982.
The renowned folk and traditional singer Dolores Keane, lives in Galway.
Traditional Irish music
Galway city is a major centre for traditional Irish music. The traditional group De Dannan were based in Galway. Musicians such as Mickey Finn, Frankie Gavin, Johnny (Ringo) McDonagh and Alec Finn came to prominence in Galway. Carl Hession, a well known Irish composer, arranger and traditional musician also hails from Galway city.
[http://comhaltas.ie/ Comhaltas] branches operate in several parts of the city, teaching Irish Traditional Music to children. Dusty Banjos runs classes and sessions in the city for adults switching from other musical traditions to Irish Traditional Music, and for adult beginners and improvers who are not at a level where they could participate in general sessions.
Live Music venues
Traditional and contemporary music can be heard at numerous locations around the city. Among the more notable are The King's Head on High Street, Tigh Neachtáin and The Quays on Quay Street, Róisín Dubh and Monroe's Tavern on Lr Dominic Street.
Galway City has a reputation among Irish cities for being associated with the Irish language, music, song and dancing traditions. It is sometimes referred to as the 'Bilingual Capital of Ireland', although like elsewhere in the Republic of Ireland, inhabitants converse mostly in English. The city is well known for its "Irishness", mainly because it has on its doorstep the Galway Gaeltacht. Irish theatre, television and radio production and Irish music form a component of Galway city life, with both An Taibhdhearc, the National Irish Language Theatre, in Galway city itself, while TG4 and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta headquarters are in the Connemara Gaeltacht elsewhere in County Galway. Four electoral divisions, or neighbourhoods (out of twenty-two), are designated as Gaeltachtaí. NUI Galway also holds the archive of spoken material for the Celtic languages.
Galway has three cinema complexes within easy reach of the city centre. The 11 screen IMC cinema is at the Galway Shopping Centre, Headford Road. The 9 screen EYE cinema, each with Dolby Digital Ex full surround sound and Widescreen and Cinemascope, is at Wellpark, Dublin Road. An IMC complex in Oranmore.
A new three screen Arthouse cinema, the Solas Picture Palace, currently under construction on Merchants Road, is expected to open for Christmas 2013.
Walter Macken, Eilís Dillon, Máirtín Ó Direáin, Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Liam O'Flaherty, Pádraic Ó Conaire and Ken Bruen are well-known Galway novelists. The notorious writer and publisher Frank Harris was born in Galway.
The James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway houses around 350 archived and/or digitised collections including the Thomas Kilroy Collection, the Brendan Duddy Papers on the Northern Ireland conflict, the John McGahern archive and the manuscript Minutes of Galway City Council from the 15th to mid-19th centuries.
Galway in literature
Gretta Conroy, in James Joyce's short story "The Dead", remembers her lover Michael Furey throwing stones against the window of her grandmother's house on Nun's Island, in the city. Walter Macken's novel "Rain on the Wind" is set in the city as are the "Jack Taylor" crime novels of Ken Bruen. The poem, "She Weeps Over Rahoon" by James Joyce, tells of the grief of Joyce's wife, Nora Barnacle, over the death of her onetime boyfriend Michael Feeney. Both he and Nora were from the city and Feeney is buried in Rahoon Cemetery in the western suburbs of the city.
Early 16th Century Galway features in several of the Burren mysteries of Cora Harrison. Her character, Mara, Brehon of the Burren, and wife of King Turlough Donn O'Brien of Thomond (Toirdelbhach Donn MacTadhg Ó Briain), addresses the conflicts between the traditional Irish legal traditions and English laws, especially in Laws in Conflict.
Events and festivals
Many sporting, music, arts and other events take place in the city. The largest of these annual events include the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Races, and the Galway International Oyster Festival. Other events include the Fleadh Imboilg,the Baboró International Children's Festival, the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, the Galway Early Music Festival, Seachtain na Gaeilge (March), Salthill Air Show (June), Little Havana Festival, the Galway Sessions, Galway Garden Festival, Galway Comedy Festival, Baffle Poetry Festival, Galway Aboo Halloween Festival, Tulca Festival of Visual Arts, Galway Science and Technology Festival, Spirit of Voice Festival, Galway Christmas Market, Galway Film Fleadh, Galway African Film Festival and Galway Pride Festival. In 2009 Galway hosted a stopover on the Volvo Ocean Race and the city was finishing point of the round-the-world competition in July 2012. In June 2010, the Super8 Shots film festival was launched in Galway, the first Super 8 mm (0 in) film festival to occur in Ireland. Among the festivals which take place within a 90 minute drive of the city are, Cruinniú na mBád (a Galway Hooker festival), held in Kinvara, the Cuckoo Festival, also held in Kinvara, the Ballinasloe Horse Fair (October), the Tuam Arts Festival (August), the Clarinbridge Oyster Festival, Féile na nOileáin, held in Leitir Mor, Conamara, Féile an Dóilín, held in An Ceathrú Rua, the Clifden Community Arts week and the Conamara Pony Show, held in Clifden, Mountbellew vintage show, each July. Each year in November, Galway hosts The Irish Fly Fair and Angling Show, this Fly Fishing Event brings together Fly Dressers, Fly Casters and Fishing Celebrities from many different countries, to show of their craft.
The national radio stations – RTÉ's Radio 1, 2fm, lyric fm, Raidió na Gaeltachta and the independent stations Today FM Newstalk and iRadio – are all available in Galway, as is the multi-city service 4fm.
RTE has a studio in the city.
One of the main regional newspapers for the county is The Connacht Tribune which prints three titles every week, the Connacht Sentinel on Tuesday, the Connacht Tribune on Thursday, and the Galway City Tribune on Friday. As of January 2007, The Tribune has a weekly readership of over 150,000. Another Galway-based newspaper is the Galway Advertiser,a free paper printed every Thursday with an average of 160 pages and a circulation of 70,000 copies. It is the main paper of the Advertiser Newspaper Group which distributes 200,000 newspapers per and more week to a variety of other Irish cities and towns. Another free paper, the Galway Independent, prints on a Tuesday night for Wednesday circulation.
Being a city of culture, Galway has a dedicated hub for all cultural events and organisations. Galway Hub is a free resource for both practitioners and the general public in which to engage with the arts and cultural events across the city and county.
Places of interest
The Church of Ireland St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church is the largest medieval church still in everyday use in Ireland. It was founded in 1320 and enlarged in the following two centuries. It is a particularly pleasant building in the heart of the old city.
Its Roman Catholic counterpart, the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas was consecrated in 1965 and is a far larger, more imposing building constructed from limestone. It has an eclectic style, with renaissance dome, pillars and round arches, and a Romanesque portico that dominates the main façade – which is an unusual feature in modern Irish church building. It was suggested by a church in the city of Salamanca in Spain.
Not far from the cathedral stands the original quadrangle building of National University of Ireland, Galway which was erected in 1849 (during An Gorta Mór, the Great Famine) as one of the three colleges of the Queen's University of Ireland (along with Queen's University Belfast and University College Cork). The university holds the UNESCO archive of spoken material for the Celtic languages.
Another of the city's limestone buildings is the Hotel Meyrick, originally the Railway Hotel and then the Great Southern Hotel, built by the Great Southern Railway Company in 1845. Sitting at the southern perimeter of Eyre Square, it is the City's oldest hotel still in operation.
The Spanish Arch, in the southwest of the city, was built in the 1580s as an extension to the city walls, a part of which can be seen in the Corbett Court shopping centre.
In front of the Spanish Arch and opposite Jury's Hotel is a monument (see photograph at bottom of this article) to Christopher Columbus. It was presented to Galway by the city of Genoa in 1992 to commemorate both the 500th anniversary of the voyage to the New World and the visit of Columbus to Galway in 1477.
The remains of the Menlo Castle can be seen outside the city, on the Eastern bank of the River Corrib. It was one of the ancestral homes of the Blake family, one of the Tribes of Galway from c1600-1910. It is best viewed from the west bank at Dangan or the riverside walk at NUIG. The façade of the families townhouse (Blake's Castle) can be seen beside Jury's Hotel at the bottom of Quay Street.
The Eglinton Canal, named after a former Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, joins the River Corrib to the sea, and, flowing for just more than a kilometer, is a very pleasant walk from the University to the Claddagh.
The Claddagh is the oldest part of Galway but little or nothing remains of its old thatched village. However, in a side altar of the parish church, St Mary's on the Hill, is the late medieval statue of Our Lady of Galway and visitors in mid-August can participate in the ancient ritual of the Blessing of the Bay, on the Sunday nearest the feast of the Assumption.
The Bowne doorway, originally located on Lower Abbeygate Street but now standing at the north end of Eyre Square, was the doorway to the townhouse of the Browne family, one of the fourteen Tribes of Galway.
The Lynch Window, (on Market Street), commemorates one of the city's most enduring legends. Here, in 1493, the Mayor, James Lynch FitzStephen, hanged his own son for the murder of Gomez, a young Spanish visitor who had the misfortune to befriend the Mayor's son. The son, mistaking friendship for love, stabbed the Spaniard to death in a fit of jealousy and dumped his body in the River Corrib. The Mayor was both Judge and Executioner in the case as nobody else would carry out the execution according to legend. This event is advanced as the origin of the phrase Lynching
Dillons Claddagh Gold on Quay Street are the original makers of the Claddagh Ring and are also Ireland's longest established jewelers, having been founded in 1750. The little museum attached to the premises holds the world's oldest examples of the Claddagh Ring.
The Hall of the Red Earl (Halla an Iarla Rua) can be viewed through a protective glass wall off Flood Street. It is the earliest medieval settlement fragment surviving within the walls of the city. It was built by the de Burgo family in the 13th century and was a key municipal building for the collection of taxes, dispensation of justice and hosting banquets. It was the medieval equivalent of tax office, court house and town hall.
Galway City has a fine collection of mainly early 17th century marriage stones which can be viewed throughout the city centre both inside buildings (as in the King's Head Pub) or on exterior lintels.
Watching Atlantic salmon from the Salmon Weir Bridge (one of the bridges that spans the River Corrib) as they swim upstream to spawn is a popular pastime with both locals and tourists alike.
Galway has a permanent Irish language theatre located in the city centre, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, which has produced some of Ireland's most celebrated actors. The Druid Theatre Company has won international acclaim for its cutting edge production and direction.
There are many theatres in the city including Nun's Island Theatre, The Bank of Ireland Theatre, The Druid Lane Theatre, The Black Box Theatre and The Town Hall Theatre, a modern art theatre with two performance spaces opened in 1995 that has a 52 week program covering all aspects of the performing arts including ballets, musicals and operas. It has been the venue for many Irish film premieres, during the Galway Film Fleadh.
Two of the most celebrated Irish actors of the 20th century, Siobhán McKenna and Peter O'Toole, have strong family connections with Galway. Other well-known actors include Mick Lally, Seán McGinley and Marie Mullen, all three of whom were founders of the Druid Theatre Company. Other actors with strong Galway connections are Pauline McLynn, (Shameless and Father Ted), Nora Jane Noone and Aoife Mulholland.
The Galway City Museum features two parts, "Fragments of a City" and "On Reflection." "Fragments of a City"'s collection is mainly about the heritage of Galway, while "On Reflection" is a collection of the most important Irish artists from the second half of the 20th century. This museum was designed to allow tourists and local visitors to really get to understand and know the city of Galway. This museum also houses the statue of the famous poet, Pádraic Ó Conaire which was originally located in the Kennedy Park section of Eyre Square, prior to the Square's renovation. Visitors can also view the silver Civic Sword and Great Mace of the city at the museum.
The James Mitchell Museum of Geology in NUIG is a restored 19th century museum "within a museum".
The Computer & Communications Museum of Ireland is also housed in NUIG.
Fort Hill Cemetery, on Lough Athalia Road, is the oldest cemetery still in use in Galway City. Inside the main gate is a memorial to sailors of the Spanish Armada who were buried here in the 1580s.
Rahoon Cemetery on the western edge of the city affords splendid panoramic views of the city. Among the notable persons buried here are (i) Michael Bodkin, an admirer of Nora Barnacle, the wife of James Joyce, who was the inspiration for the character, "Michael Furey" in the story The Dead from Dubliners. (ii)Also buried in Rahoon is Michael Feeney, the "lover" in Joyce's poem "She Weeps Over Rahoon". (iii) The actress Siobhan McKenna.
Bohermore Cemetery (or the New Cemetery, as it is more popularly known) was opened in 1880. It contains two mortuary chapels and is the burial place of several important Galwegians, including Pádraic Ó Conaire the gaelic author, William Joyce, more widely known as Lord Haw-Haw the Nazi propagandist, Augusta, Lady Gregory, co-founder of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin, a senior member of one the Tribes of Galway and former world president of the International Olympic Committee. A memorial to the 91 people who died on August 14, 1959 when Dutch aeroplane KLM Flight 607-E crashed into the sea 180 km (112 mi) west of Galway can be seen just inside the main gates. Several bodies of the passengers are buried around the memorial.
Preliminary information from the 2011 census shows Galway City has a population of 75,414, and increase of 3,000 over the 2006 census figures.
Based in the 2006 census, the population of Galway City and its environs was 72,729, of which 72,414 lived in the city limits and 315 live in the city's environs in County Galway. If the current growth rate continues, the population of the city will hit 100,000 by 2020. Galway City (population inside the city limits) is the third largest in the Republic of Ireland, and fifth on the island of Ireland. However, the population of the wider urban area, is fourth largest in the Republic of Ireland (sixth on the island).
Approximately 78% of the population of Galway is white Irish, descended from native Gaelic peoples and Norman settlers. A further 5% are foreign-born Irish. Following an influx of immigrants to Galway during the 2000s, approximately 17% of the population is non-Irish. Slightly more than half of this group are white Europeans, coming from Poland and other Central European and Baltic States, such as Latvia and Lithuania. Smaller numbers of Asian and African immigrants come from East Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. In the 2006 Census, 15.4% of the population were aged 0–14, 76.1% were aged 15–64, and 8.5% were aged over 65. 51.9% of the population were female and 48.1% were male.
Galway City is the capital of Connacht. The city has experienced very rapid growth in recent years. Galway has a strong local economy with complementary business sectors, including manufacturing industry, tourism, retail and distribution, education, healthcare and services that include financial, construction, cultural, and professional.
Most (47%) of the people employed in Galway work in either the commerce or professional sector, with a large number (17%) also employed in manufacturing. Most industry and manufacturing in Galway, like the rest of Ireland, is hi-tech (e.g. ICT, medical equipment, electronics, chemicals, etc.), due to the Celtic Tiger economic boom. Tourism is also of major importance to the city, which had over 2.1 million visitors in 2000, and produced revenue of over €400 million.
Galway Airport, located 6 km (3.73 mi) east of the city at Carnmore, ceased to have scheduled passenger flights on November 1, 2011. Because the runway is too short to take modern passenger jet aircraft, its operations are limited. Aerfort na Minna (22 km (13.67 mi) west of the city) operates regular flights to each of the Aran Islands (Oileáin Árann). Shannon Airport (90 km) and Ireland West Airport Knock (86 km) are also within easy reach of the city, both of which have flights around Ireland and to Britain, Continental Europe and North America (from Shannon).
- The main bus and rail station in the city is Ceannt Station.
- Galway Coach Station, located at Fairgreen, is also a coach transport hub. Scheduled direct and commuter services operate between the Coach Station, Dublin and Dublin Airport, as well as services to Limerick, Cork and Clifden. These are operated by Gobus and Citylink.
- Other regional bus operators user various bus stops around the city centre, and many serve the NUIG and GMIT campuses as well.
Galway's main railway station is Ceannt Station (Stáisiún Cheannt), which opened in 1851, and was renamed in honour of Éamonn Ceannt in 1966. A major redevelopment, including a completely new urban district, Ceannt Station Quarter, has been proposed for the station and adjoining land.
The Midland Great Western Railway reached Galway in 1851, giving the city a direct main line to its Broadstone Station terminus in Dublin. As the 19th century progressed the rail network in Connacht was expanded, making Galway an important railhead. The nearby town of Athenry became a railway junction, giving Galway links to Ennis, Limerick and the south in 1869 and Sligo and the north in 1894. In 1895 the MGW opened a branch line between Galway and Clifden.
The 20th century brought increasing road competition, and this led the Great Southern Railways to close the Clifden branch in 1935. In the 1970s the state railway authority Córas Iompair Éireann closed the Sligo-Athenry-Ennis line to passenger services. It later closed to freight as well.
Iarnród Éireann, Ireland's national rail operator, currently runs six return passenger services each day between Galway and Dublin Heuston, also serving intermediate stations. Travel time is just under 3 hours. Services on the Galway–Limerick line have now resumed, with around 5–6 trains each way per day.
From Galway railway services along the Western Rail Corridor link the city with Ennis, and Limerick where trains run to Cork via Limerick Junction (for Tipperary, Clonmel and Waterford) and Mallow (for Kilarney and Tralee).
Three national primary roads serve the city: the N17 leading North (Tuam, Sligo, Donegal Town, Letterkenny and Derry), the M6 motorway from the East (Athlone, Dublin), and the N18 from the South (Shannon Town, Limerick and Cork). By 2015, the Galway-Dublin, Galway-Limerick and Galway-Tuam routes will be motorway or high-quality dual carriageway standard. In addition, there are plans for a semi-ring road of the city, the Galway City Outer Bypass, which should also be complete by 2015. There is also an Inner City Ring (Cuar Inmheánach) route that encircles the city centre, most of which is pedestrianised.
Galway is considered the gateway to Connemara and the Gaeltacht, including Mám, An Teach Dóite, Cor na Móna, Ros Muc, Bearna and An Cheathrú Rua. The N59 along the western shore of Lough Corrib and the R337 along the northern shore of Galway Bay both lead to this largely rural and highly scenic region.
The River Corrib is by far the most important waterway in Galway and a number of canals and channels were built above and through the city. The purposes of these to divert and control the water from the river, to harness its power and to provide a navigable route to the sea. Of these, there were two major schemes – one between 1848 and 1858 and the other during the 1950s. The canals provided a power source for Galway and were the location of the first industries in the mid-19th century. The Eglinton Canal provided a navigation from the sea (at the Claddagh Basin) to the navigable part of the river (above the Salmon Weir Bridge). Most of the mills are still used today for various purposes; for instance, NUI Galway still uses a water turbine for electricity generation for their building on Nun's Island.
Currently, there are four bridges across the Corrib. Following the southward flow of the river these are, from the north: the Quincentennial Bridge, the Salmon Weir Bridge, the William O'Brien Bridge and the Wolfe Tone Bridge. There are plans for a fifth bridge as part of the Galway City Outer Bypass project. The Clare River flows from the North of the County Galway, through Tuam, Claregalway into Lough Corrib.
Galway is the most central port on the West Coast of Ireland in the sheltered eastern corner of Galway Bay. The harbour can be used by vessels up to 10,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) and the inner dock can accommodate up to 9 vessels at any one time. Pending approval, Galway Harbour may see major changes, should the €1.5 billion development plan go ahead.
Regular passenger ferry and freight services operate between Galway and the tourist destination of the Aran Islands which is home to World Heritage Site Dun Aonghasa. The islands also have regular links with the towns of Rossaveal and Doolin, which are physically closer but far smaller.
Major work in the harbour area was carried out in 2009 to accommodate the stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. This was one of the biggest events ever to visit Galway. The event returned with the finale of the race in June 2012. This was unprecedented in Volvo Ocean Race history.
Three higher education institutions are located in the city, the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (G.M.I.T.) and Galway Technical Institute. The university was founded in 1845 as Queen's College, Galway, and was more recently known as University College, Galway (U.C.G.). It is divided into several colleges including the College of Arts, Social Science and Celtic Studies, the College Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, the College of Science and the College of Engineering and Informatics. The university has and enrolment of 16000 (2010).
In January 2014, the university announced the opening of the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland on the campus. This the first facility in Ireland for stem cell production and one of just about half a dozen such facilities across Europe.
The Institute of Technology, in addition to having 2 campuses in Galway City (its administrative headquarters on the Dublin Road and its art campus in Cluain Mhuire), also has campuses in Castlebar, Mountbellew and Letterfrack. According to the 2002 census, 40.8% of residents aged 15 and older in Galway had completed third level (higher) education, which compares favourably to the national level of 26.0%.
The current President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, the current Taoiseach (PM), Tánaiste (Deputy PM) and Attorney General of Ireland, Enda Kenny, Eamonn Gilmore and Máire Whelan are all graduates of NUI Galway.
The celebrated American actor Martin Sheen studied at NUI Galway for a semester in 2006.
Among the distinguished honorary graduates of NUI Galway are Nelson Mandela 2003, Kader Asmal 2003, Margaret Atwood 2011, Sebastian Barry 2000, John Behan 2000, Ray Bradbury 2005, Gabriel Byrne 2007, Richard Daley 2003, Maureen Dowd 2013, Fionnuala Flanagan 2008, Merv Griffin 2005, Ali Hewson (wife of Bono) jointly with Adi Roche 2002, Garry Hynes 1997 and Enya 2007.
The offices of the Central Applications Office (C.A.O.) are also located in the city, this being the clearing house for undergraduate college and university applications in the Republic of Ireland; a related organisation, the Postgraduate Applications Centre, processes some taught postgraduate courses.
In 2002, there were 27 primary schools and 11 secondary schools in Galway.
Publicly funded health care and social services are provided in Galway by the HSE (West) division of the Health Services Executive. The main city hospital, University Hospital Galway, is located on two campuses — Galway University Hospital and Merlin Park University Hospital. Two private hospitals, The Galway Clinic and the Bon Secours Hospital, Galway, also operate in the city. The Galway Hospice provides palliative care for the people of Galway City and County on a homecare, inpatient and daycare basis. 43 General Practices operate in the city.
Galway has a diverse sporting heritage, with a history in sports ranging from horse racing, Gaelic games, soccer and rugby to rowing, basketball, motorsport, greyhound racing and others. The Galway Races are known worldwide and are the highlight of the Irish horse racing calendar. Over the years it has grown into an annual festival lasting seven days. In motorsport, the Galway International Rally was the first international rally to be run from the Republic of Ireland. Throughout its history it has attracted star drivers from all over the world. The 2007 event was won by twice World Rally Champions Marcus Grönholm and Timo Rautiainen.
The city has hurling and Gaelic football teams at all levels, including Father Griffins and St. James GAA. Major football and hurling matches take place at Pearse Stadium in the city. The stadium is also the home of the Salthill-Knocknacarra GAA club which won the All-Ireland Senior Club Football Championship in 2006.
Galway United, then known as Galway Rovers, first competed in the League of Ireland since 1977. Michael D. Higgins, elected ninth President of Ireland in 2011, served as a president of the club in a ceremonial capacity.
The Galway United Supporters Trust (GUST) withdrew their support of the club, a private company, following the conclusion of the 2011 season, with the intention of forming a community enterprise in its place. Following this, the directors of the club released a statement announcing the withdrawal of their licence application for the 2012 League of Ireland, citing the alleged "extremely late decision" by GUST. The supporters trust had been servicing many debts of the company and were able to keep the club afloat for the 2011 season, despite it having been effectively abandoned by its directors.
There are two senior rugby union teams in Galway, Galwegians RFC and Galway Corinthians RFC, who play in the All-Ireland League. The professional team for the province, Connacht Rugby, are based in the city. They play in the Pro 12 and as of 2011, in the Heineken Cup. The team plays their home matches at the Galway Sportsgrounds.
Moycullen Basketball Club have been a flagship basketball club in Galway for a number of years and currently compete in the Superleague, the top division in Irish basketball. They are the first Galway or Gaeltacht team to ever compete in the Superleague which is a semi-professional league. The club is situated 13 km (8.1 mi) west of the city but plays its senior home games in NUI Galway. Between Moycullen and Oranmore/Maree Club numerous Irish youth international players have been produced over the last 10 years, who have represented Ireland at European basketball championships. In 2009, Moycullen's Cian Nihill became the first Galway man to represent Ireland at senior level since Oranmore/Maree's James Burke achieved the same feat 20 years previously. In 2007/2008 Maree won the U-18 men's national cup while Moycullen won the U-20 national title. In the 2010/2011 season Oranmore/Maree Basketball Club's 1991 Men's team retained an undefeated record of over 100 games to go and claim the only National Championship trophy remaining, the U-20 Men's national cup. Titans Basketball Club and Oranmore/Maree Basketball Club both represent Galway in the national league, Ireland's second highest division.
The City's first Aussie Rules Club, the Midwest Magpies were formed in January 2010 and play in the Aussieproperty.com Premiership in the Australian Rules Football League of Ireland. The club has had limited success in its first year, but has already had some of its players selected to play on Ireland's Aussie Rules National Team, the Irish Warriors.
There are several golf courses that serve Galway city. Galway Golf Club, Bearna Golf Club, Cregmore Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Resort are all situated within 5 miles of the city centre.
Galway Hockey Club have both men's and ladies' hockey teams with a vibrant youth section and is based at the Regional Sports Centre in Dangan.
Galway Bay Lightning have a gold division team, while NUIG have a silver division team competing in Inline Hockey Ireland's national league.
Sailing on both sea and lake are popular, as is rowing in the River Corrib with seven clubs providing the necessary facilities and organising rowing competitions. These clubs include: Gráinne Mhaol Rowing Club, Tribesmen Rowing Club, Galway Rowing Club, Coláiste Iognáid ('The Jes') Rowing Club, St. Joseph's Patrician College ('The Bish') Rowing Club, NUIG Boat Club and Cumann Rámhaiochta Choláiste na Coiribe.
The Galway Motor Club provides a focus for enthusiasts. The annual Galway International Rally took place on February 4 and 5, 2012.
Near the city centre, on College Road, the Sporstsground has greyhound races every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. It was refurbished by the Irish Greyhound Board, Bord na gCon, and the facility is shared with the Connacht rugby team.
Nearby Salthill has a 25m competitive swimming pool in the Leisureland complex and three competitive swimming clubs (i) Shark Swimming Club, (ii) Laser Swimming Club and (iii) Galway Swimming Club. There is also a handball and racketball club while there are several martial arts clubs throughout the city. There is a 25m pool at NUI, Galway as well as one at Renmore's KingFisher Club.
The Galway Lawn Tennis Club, in the Salthill area of the city, has facilities for tennis, squash and badminton spread over 22 courts.
Galway City has eleven sister cities. The Galway Committee of Sister Cities International was set up in 1977 with the aim of expanding the City's interaction and to engage in a variety of cultural and governmental exchanges with foreign cities. Galway is twinned with the following places:
|Bradford||West Yorkshire, England||United Kingdom||1986|
|St. Louis||Missouri||United States||1977|
|Waitakere City||Auckland Region||New Zealand||2002|
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|Look up Galway in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Galway.|
- Galway City Council (local authority)
- Galway Public Transport Website
- Galway Tourism Board
- Galway City and County Cultural Website
- Galway travel guide from Wikivoyage