Heritage Week 2017 Review:

The Trust once again put together one of the largest Heritage Programmes throughout the entire country hosting over 40 local events in 30 separate location from the 19th – 27th August. We were delighted to partner with friends old and new as we shone a light on the richness of our natural, built and cultural heritage here in Galway. Highlights of the programme included a talk on historic Galway pubs by local historian, Tom Kenny, a family-friendly beach safari held in conjunction with Galway Atlantaquaria, and a series of lunch-time crafting demonstrations held at the Hall of the Red Earl. With over 1,800 attendees at our events over 9 days, the programme was a massive success and we thank both participants and partners for their continued support. Having drawn breath, we are already planning for Heritage Week 2018!


 Culture Night:

Culture Night, which was held on the 22nd September, has become a firm favourite in Galway’s calendar. The Trust was delighted to contribute to its success again this year as we opened both the Hall of the Red Earl medieval site and the Fisheries Watchtower Museum later than normal to facilitate scores of visitors of all ages who called into us. Our tour-guides were on hand to welcome and inform visitors about the two sites and we were particularly delighted to host a traditional music session in the historic surrounds of the 13th century archaeological remains of the Hall of the Red Earl – Galway’s original town hall.



 JCI Award Nomination:

The Trust was delighted to be nominated for a Junior Chamber ‘Friendly Business Award’ which took place in September. Selected in the category of ‘Community Impact’, the nomination recognises the warm welcome we provide to thousands of visitors to our fair city each year. Well done to Colleran’s Locksmith who were winners in our category and also to our good friend and long-time supporter, Mary Bennett of Treasure Chest who was also a category winner.

 Old Galway Society Talk:

The Trust’s Development Officer, Michael Quinn will give a talk on ‘Galway’s Distilling History’ to the Old Galway Society on Thursday 12th October at 8pm in the Victoria Hotel. All are welcome and entrance is €5 to non-members.


 Galway Medieval Walk:

We have just finished our scheduled walks of medieval Galway for the summer months. The walks which are free of charge take place each Tuesday and Thursday from May to September see us introduce hundreds of visitors and locals alike to the wonderful medieval sites and history of our town on an annual basis. For any interested parties, we continue to provide pre-booked tours to groups and schools throughout the year.


The Dúchas na Gailliimhe – Galway Civic Trust AGM took place on Thursday 28th September. We say farewell to a number of outgoing board members and welcome new and returning members. The board now comprises: Billy Cameron & Frank Fahy (both Galway City Council representatives); Gerry Hanley; Orlaith Keegan (Trade Union representative); Peter Kenny; Valerie Moriarty; Jack Mulveen; Maurice O’Gorman (Galway Chamber of Commerce Representative); Tom Quinlivan.


Diaspora Launch

Our Galway Tribal Diaspora Project www.galwaytribe.com will be officially launched by Ciaran Cannon, T.D. on Monday 23rd October. We will be in touch with an official invitation to all of our newsletter subscribers in due course.




In conjunction with National Heritage Week, Dúchas Na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust would like to invite you to our 2017 Heritage Festival. We have a varied programme of guided walks, demonstrations, talks and exhibitions which explore and promote the heritage of Galway.

This year we have made a special effort to ensure that all the family have some fun! We have a family tours of Renmore Military Barracks Museum and our Beach Safari will teach us all about the diversity of sea life on the seashore! Or visit the Zoology Museum, at NUI, Galway and meet a variety of reptiles and invertebrates. Come and see us at the Hall of the Red Earl to learn more about traditional crafts with demonstrations in Bobbin/Lace Making and Celtic Jewellery Design. 

Try a guided walk of our renowned medieval city or explore our waterways, churches and the Circle of Life Garden on the Prom. And don't forget a visit to the Fishery Watchtower Museum and learn more about the importance of the river and sea to Galway.

So join us for lots of fun events to explore the wonderful heritage that Galway has to offer! All events are free but places are limited. For details of all events please check out our Heritage Week 2017 Events Guide here.

For bookings or more information, please contact Dúchas Na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust on 091 564946 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Welcome to our Summer edition of the Dúchas na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust newsletter. As the summer season reaches full swing we look forward to welcoming visitors to Galway on our regular walking tours of historic Galway as well as planning our extensive Heritage Week 2017 programme. We also look back at another successful annual Transition Year competition and a heritage related fundraiser which we organised on behalf of local homeless charity, Galway Simon.


Galway Historic Walks

The Trust's regular medieval walks of Galway are now in full swing for the summer season. This free tour of our city’s medieval highlights in the company of our experienced guides leaves from the Hall of the Red Earl twice weekly. So, if you have any visitors, or would like to brush up on your own history of the City of the Tribes come on down to the Hall any Tuesday or Thursday at 2pm up until the end of September. Our guides also continue to welcome to vast numbers of visitors to the City of the Tribes to the Hall of the Red Earl and the Fisheries Watchtower Museum both of which are also free of charge.


'Capturing Galway's Heritage' Transition Year Competition' 2017 Result

Now in its ninth year, the winners of this year’s Dúchas na Gaillimhe – Galway Civic ‘Capturing Galway’s Heritage’ Transition Year Competition was Clarin College, Athenry. This competition encourages our younger generation to explore their local heritage and this year schools were asked to examine the experiences of past pupils and relatives who now make up Galway’s worldwide diaspora. All entries were displayed in GMIT who also kindly hosted the awards ceremony. All school's finding will now feed into the Galway Tribal Diaspora Project which is being conducted by the Trust (www.galwaytribe.com). The standard was once again high with the winners looking at a number of locals who are now scattered across the globe. Congrats and well done to the Transition Year Students of Clarin College who are pictured below with the ‘Fisheries Watchtower Sculpture Perpetual Award’.


Medieval Fundraiser

The Trust was delighted to be involved with a recent heritage themed raised which raised over €1,000 for Galway Simon Community. The event involved a walk of Galway’s medieval sites followed by a sumptuous banquet in the historic surrounds of the King’s Head. The initiative was a collaboration between the Trust, Galway Early Music, Cláoimh Living History Group and the King’s Head all of whom gave their services for free in the battle to combat homelessness in our city.



Heritage Week 2017 Priority Booking Offer

Planning for Heritage Week 2017 is now underway and as always Dúchas na Gaillimhe – Galway Civic Trust will be hosting one of the most extensive programmes throughout the country. As in previous years we have teamed up with a number of local groups and organisations to open up some of Galway’s ‘hidden heritage’ gems to the public. Other highlights include a talk by local historian, Tom Kenny on the history of Galway’s iconic public houses, a traditional music and dance session on the streets of Galway and a cycle tour of Galway’s heritage sites. Our programme  booklet will shortly be available from our office but in the meantime we are delighted to offer you, as a subscriber to our newsletter, priority booking  to any of our events which can be viewed at www.heritageweek.ie You can call us direct at 091-564946 to make your booking.  

Seeking Volunteers

With our two major visitor attractions, The Hall of the Red Earl and The Fisheries Watchtower Museum at full tilt for the summer season the Trust is seeking to recruit volunteers who might like to give a few hours to welcoming visitors to these iconic Galway sites. Full training will be given and a basic knowledge of Galway’s heritage along with a pleasant disposition is all that is required! Contact Development Officer, Michael Quinn on 091- 564946 for further details.






Welcome to our first quarterly newsletter of 2017, a year in which Dúchas na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust reaches a milestone birthday of 25! Since our inception, the Trust has been involved in over 80 projects which aim to make Galway a better place to live, work in and visit. With some restructuring to our Community Employment Schemes as the summer season approaches, our knowledgeable and friendly tour guides are once again ready to welcome thousands of visitors to our two major free attractions, The Hall of the Red Earl and the Fisheries Watchtower Museum. It is hoped that we can enhance the visitor experience at the Hall of Red Earl through the use of new technologies and our Chair, Gerry Hanley reports good progress in planning ‘a wow factor’ at the site!  These two charming sites provide a fascinating insight into Galway’s unique heritage and have been highly recommended by visitors and locals alike. If you haven’t paid us a visit us yet, be sure to pop in!


Heritage Walks and Talks

Dúchas na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust is always delighted to provide heritage themed walks and talks for interested groups, and early 2017 has been a busy period for us. Amongst others we were happy to welcome local Presentation Primary School on a walk of historic Galway with our tour guide, Karen O’Leary. We also provided a walking tour to Nebraska University and gave a heritage talk to Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun Active Retirement Association. Our Development Officer was also pleased to give a talk on Galway’s waterways heritage to the Engineer’s Ireland West as part of their spring lecture series in GMIT. If your group is interested in a talk/walk please feel free to give us a buzz!


Diaspora Project

Our Galway Tribal Diaspora Project which is gathering personal stories from Galway emigrants around the world continues to grow.  Recent additions to our list of diaspora stories include Sharon Nesbitt, nee Shannon who left Galway in the 1980s and found herself driving a London Underground Tube a year later! We also compiled a story from Grainne Kearney who has been living in Sydney since 1992, and who feels a sense of duty to the new wave of Irish emigrants who have arrived in Australia in recent years. You can see more of these stories at www.galwaytribe.com and we are delighted to hear from anyone who would like to nominate either themselves, or someone else, to have their story of emigration recorded. Keep an eye out too for our new website and exhibition which will be launched shortly.

Grainne Kearney & family

Transition year competition and exhibition

Our annual ‘Capturing Galway’s Heritage’ competition for Galway transition year students is reaching its conclusion and we invite all members of the public to join us in GMIT on Thursday 4th May at 2pm for the awards ceremony and to view the exhibitions of participating schools. The competition which is now in its ninth year encourages secondary school students to examine and appreciate aspects of their local heritage. This year’s competition feeds in to our Galway Diaspora Project as we are asking schools to chart the lives of past-pupils who have since emigrated. We are once again anticipating a high standard of entries and the awards ceremony is an ideal opportunity to view the fruits of the student’s labours. All welcome and refreshments will be served.


A night of medieval mirth and merriment…all for a good cause!

The Trust is delighted to announce that we are participating in a fundraising event with a very heritage related theme on behalf of Galway Simon Community. This novel event comprises a guided walk of Galway’s medieval treasures followed by a banquet and entertainment in the historic surrounds of the King’s Head. The event takes place on Wednesday 10th May, commencing with a reception from the Hall of the Red Earl at 5.30pm.  Following a walking tour of Galway's medieval treasures in the company of our own Development Officer, Michael Quinn, the group will then arrive at the King’s Head at 7.30pm where a medieval feast and music will be laid on. Tickets are priced €50. To reserve your place on what promises to be a fun and informative evening in aid of a very worthy cause visit www.galwaysimon.ie or for further information call us on 091 564946.


Local heritage related events

The Galway Archaeological and Historical Society’s 2017 lecture series is currently in full flight with the next talk entitled ‘Portraits, Family and Estate Papers of the Eyres of Eyreville, Kiltormer, Co. Galway’ by Donal Burke scheduled for April 10th in the Harbour Hotel at 8pm. All are welcome.
NUI, Galway Library is  hosting an interesting seminar on Thursday 6th April entitled ‘Outside the Walls: Researchers in the Community’ which features Galway County Heritage Officer, Marie Mannion and Prof. Noel Wilkins amongst its speakers. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for registration and further information.
The Galway Theatre Festival galwaytheatrefestival.com runs from 18-23 April and hot on its heels comes the Cúirt International Festival of Literature www.cuirt.ie which runs from 23-30 April.





The perfect Christmas gift!

Love Galway and it's heritage? Why not give the gift of membership to Galway Civic Trust. Becoming a member has many benefits which include free entrance to selected fee-paying OPW Heritage sites, priority booking for Heritage Week and other events, copies of the Trust’s publications, newsletters and advance notice of events and selected discounts (see our website for up-to-date discounts).



Finalist in Galway Chamber Business Awards 2016

Dúchas na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust was delighted to be nominated as finalists in the category of ‘Promoting Galway’ at the recent Chamber of Commerce Awards ceremony. We had stiff competition from Food on the Edge and eventual winners Druid Theatre. The Trust’s entry was spearheaded by Community Employment Supervisor, Caroline McNeill.



Annual Report

We recently published our Annual report for 2016. You can pick up a copy from our office in Druid Lane or view it online here.


'Galway City Medieval Walk' book launch

The House Hotel was the location for the recent launch of the third in our series of guided booklets to Galway’s heritage. Entitled ‘Galway City Walks: Medieval Galway’, this booklet is an informative guide to Galway’s medieval sites such as Lynch’s Castle, St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and Kirwan’s Lane. Written by the Trust’s Development Officer, Michael Quinn and printed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, this user-friendly booklet is available at €4 from the Trust's office on Druid Lane, and is the ideal stocking-filler for Galwegians at home or abroad looking to brush up on the history of their native city. The booklet was kindly launched by Mayor of Galway, Noel Larkin, who is seen here with Dr. Chris Coughlan, Michael Quinn and Gerry Hanley.



Student of the Year Award

Congrats to Rosanne Dowling who was the recipient of the Dúchas na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust sponsored Student of the Year Award for Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Heritage Studies at GMIT. Rosanne, who graduated with first class honours, was presented with her award by the Trust’s Development Officer Michael Quinn at GMIT’s Conferring of awards which took place in the Radisson Blu Hotel on the 17 ^th November. We wish Rosanne well in her future endeavours.



Galway International Heritage Conference

The Trust was delighted to assist Galway City Heritage Officer, Jim Higgins with the running of the 6 ^th Galway International Heritage Conference which took place in the Harbour Hotel on October 20^th. Based on the events and memory of the 1916 Rising the conference was entitled ‘Talking About a Revolution’ and featured a programme of highly informative speakers. The day concluded with a performance of music and poetry with Gerry Hanley on accordion and Aine Sheridan.



Walking with Charles D Smith

In November, we were honoured to provide a historic walking tour of Galway for former NBA player Charles D Smith. The 6’ 10’’ American, who played for the New York Nicks and also represented the USA at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, was in town to play in the Galway Master Basketball Tournament at NUIG. Charles is pictured here accompanied here by our tour guide Karen O'Leary and chairman,Gerry Hanley.



Connaught Rangers Plaque

Dúchas na Gaillimhe – Galway Civic Trust was pleased to attend a recent unveiling of a plaque commemorating the Connaught Rangers and their role in World War 1 in the Renmore Garrison Church. The unveiling, which took place on the centenary of the battle of the Somme, gave us a chance to meet up with old friends including Sgt PJ Maloney (seen below with the Trust's Michael Quinn) who is responsible for the Renmore Military Barracks Museum. The Trust regularly partner with the museum to run tours during Heritage Week.


Farewell to Hank

In October, Dúchas na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust board member, Hank O’Mahony passed away after a short illness. A hugely popular figure who was renowned for his good humour and honesty, Hank lived a colourful life which is outlined here by his good friend and fellow board member, Bartley Fannin: Hank O' Mahony was born and grew up in Queens in New York City in a very strong large Irish American family. At 16 he joined the Capuchin order and eventually was ordained. During his time with the Capuchins he worked with Native American Indians, the civil rights movement and the antiwar movement. This brought him into contact with figures such as Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young, who later became the USA Ambassador to the UN. He also had strong association with Daniel Berrigan and his brother Phillip. These activities landed him in jail on five occasions. His strong Irish connections led him to these shores in 1973. During his earlier years in Ireland he worked with underprivileged communities here and in Liverpool. With Joan O’Leary he founded the Irish Gestalt Centre. This was a direct follow on from his work with John O’Leary in England (Joan’s husband). Subsequently Hank and Joan developed a highly respected psychotherapy and training programme. Hank continued to be involved with the Irish Gestalt Centre up to his death. He will be sorely missed by all of us who knew him. He is survived by his wife Sheila McCrann, children Sadhbh and Ferdia McCrann, brother Henry, grandaughters Mella and Heidi, son-in law Sammy, his nieces and family in New York. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.


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Walking Tours of Medieval Galway

The walks are a leisurely and informative introduction to the medieval history of the city. The walk starts at the Hall of the Red Earl in Druid Lane (off Quay St.) and continues through the narrow medieval streets via St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church and Lynch’s Castle to the Eyre Square Shopping Centre where some of the remains of the old City walls are located.
The walks take place every Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm from May to September. The duration of the walks are approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and are free of charge, donations are welcome. Walks are subject to weather and numbers. Prebook by contacting 091 564946 or info@galwaycivictrust.ie

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Tel: 091 564946
Hall of the Red Earl
Druid Lane
Galway  H91 XV2C