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Galway is one of the largest cities in Ireland and has a complex history going back over 800 years. The city was the only medieval city in the province of Connacht and is known for its 'Tribes' or merchant families. As a merchant city, the economy grew as businesses and families developed. Galway's economy also grew somewhat from the late 18th Century as the Penal Laws were relaxed. However the city's rural hinterland suffered terribly in the Great Irish Famine in the 1840s. Unlike other urban centres in 19th Century Ireland, which experienced an explosion in their populations, Galway's population actually declined such was the devastation wrought by the famine. The second half of the century saw some improvement in Galway's position however, as the railway lines reached the City in 1850. Another important development was the creation of a University in Galway in 1845, then named "Queens University of Ireland”.

Galway is renowned for its cultural events, particularly during the summer and autumn months. In July every year, Galway hosts the Galway International Arts Festival which is known for its famous Macnas Parade. The Galway Races are also held over seven days and is a great place to go as visitors and locals mix. Galway International Oyster Festival also runs in the month of September. This festival is a great place to relax and unwind. The Aran Islands are located off the coast and also form part of Co. Galway. A ferry service runs from Ros a Mhil to any of the three Islands.

Galway City lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and has some of the best beaches in the country, including Dogs Bay, Silver Strand and Salthill. We are delighted to welcome you to Co. Galway! 


Parish(es) County (Galway)
Category (ies) Heritage/Culture Tourist Attraction