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 end of the wall" , now known as the Spanish Arch , constructed during the mayoralty of Wylliam Martin — Seven or eight years later, he noted in the margin of his copy of Imago Mundi :.
Men of Cathay have come from the west. And especially in Galway in Ireland, a man and a woman, of extraordinary appearance, have come to land on two tree trunks [or timbers? The most likely explanation for these bodies is that they were Inuit swept eastward by the North Atlantic Current. 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 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 The great families of Galway were ruined.
The city suffered further under the potato famines of —, and it did not fully recover until the period of strong economic growth of the late 20th century see Celtic Tiger. The average January temperature in the city is 5. The highest temperature ever recorded in Galway was 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, Galway has long summer days.
Sunrise on summer solstice occurs at WEST and sunset at On the west bank of the River Corrib as it enters the sea is the ancient neighbourhood of The Claddagh. For centuries it was an Irish-speaking enclave outside the city walls.
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Claddagh residents were mainly fisher folk and were governed by an elected 'King'. The King of the Claddagh settled or arbitrated disputes among the locals and had the privilege of a white sail on his fishing boat. The last true king, Martin Oliver , died in The title is still used but in a purely honorary and ceremonial context.
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The current King is Michael Lynskey. The area is also known for its association with the Claddagh Ring. The Galway City Museum has two main sections: one about the heritage of Galway and one about Irish artists from the second half of the 20th century. A replica of the statue was erected in Eyre Square in Inside the main gate is a memorial to sailors of the Spanish Armada who were buried here in the s.
Rahoon Cemetery officially known as Mount St.
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Joseph Cemetery , Rahoon Road, on the western edge of the city affords splendid panoramic views of the city. Bohermore Cemetery or the New Cemetery, as it is more popularly known , Cemetery Cross, Bohermore, was opened in Several bodies of the passengers are buried around the memorial. There are several smaller cemeteries within the city boundaries. Some are no longer in use or are used primarily by families with ancient burial rights.
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Several city churches have graveyards attached which were formerly used for the interment of clergy and parishioners — Castlegar Church, Claddagh Church', St Patrick's Church on Forster Street and St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church. Several bishops are buried in the crypt below the RC Cathedral but this not usually open to the public. Information from the census shows Galway City has a population of 79,, an increase of almost 4, over the census figures. If the current growth rate continues, the population of the city will hit , by In the Census, With a population of 79,, Galway is the fourth most populous urban area in the State and the 23rd most populous area of local government.
The City Council is chaired by a mayor who is elected to a one-year term by 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 The current mayor, Cllr. Mike Cubbard, was elected in June The symbols of the office of the Mayor and the emblems of the dignity of the City Council are the Civic Sword s and the Great Mace 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. The title, though extant, is rarely used except for purely ceremonial purposes. Its TDs are:. President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins was TD for the Galway West parliamentary constituency, of which Galway City is a part, from to and from to He was also Mayor of Galway for two terms, —82 and — The highest honour the city can bestow is the Freedom of the city.
Higgins , President of Ireland, Galway's District Court is the main court of summary jurisdiction and hears minor cases without a jury. It is responsible for hearing small civil claims, certain family law cases, administers the liquor licensing laws and is responsible for indicting the accused and sending them forward for trial at the Circuit Court and the Central Criminal Court.
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The Circuit Court in Galway tries all indictable offences those cases triable by a judge and jury , except murder, rape, treason, piracy and genocide, which are reserved to the Central Criminal Court. It can also hear appeals from the District Court. Its decisions can be appealed to the Court of Appeal. Both parties may waive this amount and grant the court unlimited jurisdiction. Divorce, Judicial Separation and probate cases can be heard provided they are within the financial parameters of the courts jurisdiction. Decisions in civil cases can be appealed to the High Court.
The High Court sits four times a year in Galway to hear original actions actions that are not appeals from lower courts. It also sits twice a year in Galway to hear appeals from the Circuit Court in civil and family law cases. Its decisions can be appealed to the Court of Appeal , or in some instances, to the Supreme Court , which sit in Dublin. In , 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. In , Galway was named as one of the eight "sexiest cities" in the world. It was ranked ahead of all European capitals except Edinburgh , and many traditional tourist destinations such as Venice. The writer and publisher Frank Harris was born in Galway. Galway also has Charlie Byrne's Bookshop.
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. Early 16th-century Galway features in several of the "Burren mysteries" of Cora Harrison. Galway is home to the Galway Film Fleadh , Ireland's foremost film festival, which takes place over six days each July. The Galway Film Fleadh is a platform for international cinema in Ireland and an advocate for Irish national cinema, for which the festival's identity has become synonymous.
In , a MovieMaker magazine panel of U. Galway has a permanent Irish language theatre located in the city centre, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe , which was established in and 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 established in  with two performance spaces and a 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. Garry Hynes , first artistic director of Druid Theatre, was the first woman ever to win a Tony Award for direction.
Galway has a vibrant and varied musical scene. As in most Irish cities traditional music is played in pubs and by street performers. 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. Galway Cathedral Recitals is an international series of concerts of classical music which has taken place in Galway Cathedral each July and August since A number of notable choirs are based in the city.
Galway Cathedral is home to Galway Cathedral Choir founded in , which sings every Sunday and at all the major ceremonies in the cathedral. It was first held in and since then has grown into one of the biggest arts festivals in Ireland.
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