Galway City and County

Welcome to Galway, City of the Tribes!

Galway is a unique City and has many activities to offer visitors. Although the Galway has become a city it is still known to many local as a 'town'. It is a warm friendly 'town', typical of west of Ireland folk.

The city itself is small in size and has been paved and pedestrianised in 1999/2000. Since no traffic flows through the town it has become Mardi Gras atmosphere especially in the summer months. Artistic groups such as Macnas, the Druid Theatre Company and the Galway Arts festival organisation have helped to generate an international awareness of the city's attractions and the many restaurants tend to reflect this spirit of internationalism.

Galway (in Irish, as Gaeilge, Gaillimh) is the main city in the province of Connaught in Ireland and capital of County Galway. The city is located on the west coast of Ireland, beside Galway Bay. Galway is also called Cathair na Gaillimhe ("The City of Galway").

The city takes its name from the Gaillimh river (the Corrib) that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, which was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe, or the fort at the mouth of the Gaillimh. The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river".

The city also bears the nickname The City of the Tribes, because fourteen merchant families led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The term Tribes was originally a derogatory phrase from Cromwellian times. The merchants would have seen themselves as English nobility, and hence were loyal to the King. Their uncertain reaction to the siege of Galway by Cromwellian forces earned them this label, which they subsequently adopted in defiance.

The population of the city was 71,983 at the most recent census in April 2006, making it the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, after Dublin and Cork, not using county boundaries to measure population as they are not a true measure of a greater urban area.