Galway, the city of water and light, with a river, a lake, and the sea, situated at the meeting place of the Corrib River and the Atlantic Ocean in Galway Bay. This ‘City of Tribes’ is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland. Originally a small O’Flaherty village in the Middle Ages, the city is famously known as the “City of the Tribes” after the fourteen “Tribes” (merchant families) who led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. Galway City is a platform of history, which adds to the magnificent beauty and culture that has existed for centuries, allowing people to gravitate to the fantastic medieval pedestrianised streetscape or to its picturesque sights of rolling mountains and sunsets. Its cosmopolitan and European heart only complements its dedication to Irish history, tradition, and heritage, obvious throughout with its bilingual signage and regeneration projects.
Although Galway City is a bustling venue for commerce and daily activity, one can’t help but stop and adhere to the green sanctuary seen through the city, or stop to admire the cobbled streets and hidden archways bound by ivy.
Galway is the City of choice for lifestyle, leisure, culture and quality of life, and has an almost year round flow of festivals celebrating the arts, music, film, food, children, culture and sport, such as the world famous Galway Races (a week long horse racing festival), The Galway Arts Festival, The Bulmers International Comedy Festival and The Baboró Childrens’ Festival to name just a few.
Galway, the City of the Tribes, of sea, of investment, of high employment and highly skilled graduates, of friendly locals and proud tradition, of produce and of crafts; The City is expanding – fast. The City’s top level educational facilities such as National University of Ireland Galway and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology are internationally recognised and respected. The City’s medical facilities are to the highest standard, such as GUH Galway University Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital, Galway Clinic and Merlin Park Hospital which maintain constant research and development programs.
Inevitably, tourists and students swarm to the City all year round, to experience what Galway City has to offer, from art houses, street entertainment, organic local produce, restaurants, and so much more.
In recent years Galway City has expanded rapidly due to increased growth in construction, medical technologies, ICT, light engineering, services and education.
The Arts flourish in Galway city, with its bohemian and European twist, involving the community and encouraging creativity. The City has long been considered a centre of cultural excellence, with The Arts being a valuable feature of the City.
The Festival showcases a wide variety of international artists alongside the best of Irish talent and includes music (popular, contemporary, jazz, world, classical and traditional), theatre (indoor and outdoor), visual arts, dance, talks, discussions, family events and comedy in its programme.
There are many symbols associated with Galway. These include the Claddagh Ring, Galway’s own symbol of love and friendship, worn the world over, the Aran Sweater, an emblem, not only of the Aran Islands but of Ireland itself and the Galway Hookers, ships that distinguish themselves as Galway’s signature upon the water. There are 6,870 Irish speakers in Galway city, which is nearly ten percent of the population. Galway is often referred to as the “Cultural Heart of Ireland” as it is most associated with the Irish language, music, song and dance traditions. Galway City is on the doorstep of Galway’s Gaeltacht (an area where Irish is spoken).