Galway is well known around the world for having the true spirit of Ireland running through its veins. When you stroll through the city centre, the streets are reminiscent of a thriving Irish culture. Bodhrán-wielding buskers frequently fill the air with lively music, and it is not an uncommon sight to see Irish dancing on the junction between Mainguard and High street. An Ghaeilge is also dotted across the city, with street signs and shop fronts proudly displaying our native tongue.
The culture can be contagious, so if you find yourself wanting to get immersed, here are a few suggestions as to how.
Áras na Gael on Dominick Street are a fantastic resource for Irish speakers or those who want to get more involved in Irish culture. They frequently hold music lessons for Irish instruments like the concertina or bodhran. They also regularly hold Sean Nós dancing classes if you’d like a more active cultural experience.
If you feel like it’s been too long since you’ve thrown on a pair of football boots, why not get in touch with Gaeil na Gaillimhe CLG? They are currently the only GAA club in the city that is run solely through Irish. They have a ladies’ and mens’ teams and welcome new members.
Cúpla focal le do cupán tae:
Several businesses around the city offer a bilingual service, whether through Irish on the menus or the staff having the language. Some of the pubs like The Crane, Neachtains and Monroes have Irish speakers working there, as does An Cúpan Tae café at Spanish Arch.
Head to a trad session:
Live music abounds in Galway, often every night of the week. One of the best known and loved venues for trad sessions is The Crane Bar on Sea Road, where amateur musicians gather and play downstairs, while upstairs there is a performance every night at 9.30. Tigh Cóilí and Taaffes on Shop Street also offer fantastic music, with sessions in Tigh Cóilí at 6.30 and 9.30 and at 9 in Taaffes.
By Aoife O Donoghue
Photo credit kelly taylor via Flickr