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Galway Poetry Trail

Galway Poetry Trail

 

The Galway Poetry Trail is a series of 25 different bronze and limestone plaques dotted around Galway city, each featuring a piece of writing about the place in which they are situated.

The plaques can be found in locations such as the Salthill Prom, the Claddagh and Waterside & feature the writing of Seámus Heaney, W. B. Yeats, Moya Cannon, Pádraic Ó Conaire, Walter Macken, Gerald Dawe and Rita Anne Higgins amongst others. Three of the texts on the trail are as Gaeilge – in the Irish language.

You can enjoy the poems while walking around the city, as you come across them, or by taking a self-guided tour of the trail. You can view the list of plaques and the trail in the brochure, which can be viewed below or you can pick up copies in Kennys Bookshop or the Galway Tourist Office.

The Galway Poetry Trail is organised jointly by Kennys Bookshop and Galway City Council, and in conjunction with Cúirt International Festival of Literature and has been added to annually since the first plaque was installed in 2005. 

 

List of the 25 plaques on The Galway Poetry Trail:

1. Patricia Burke Brogan, ‘Make Visible the Tree’ - Forster Street, Eyre Square
2. Rita Ann Higgins, ‘Men with Tired Hair’ - Richardson’s Pub, Eyre Square
3. Gerald Dawe, ‘The Tribune’ - Connacht Tribune, Market Street
4. Eílís Dillon, 'Death at Crane's Court' - Newtownsmith
5. George Moore, ‘Hail & Farewell’ - Waterside, Woodquay
6. Roger McGough, ‘Uncle Phillip’ - Millennium Park, University Road
7. Terry McDonagh, ‘UCG by Degrees’ - NUI Galway
8. Tom French, ‘The Crane Bar, Galway’ - The Crane Bar, Sea Road
9. Kevin Faller, ‘Hometown’ - River Walk, near O’Brien’s Bridge
10. Máire Holmes, ‘Margadh’ - Geraghty’s Shop, Churchyard Street
11. Gerard Hanberry, ‘The Kasbah’ - Tigh Neachtain, Quay Street
12. Mary Devenport O’Neill, ‘Galway’ - Jury’s Inn, Wolfe Tone Bridge
13. Gerard Reidy, 'Vortex' - The River Walk
14. Ken Bruen, ‘Priest’ - Long Walk
15. Moya Cannon, ‘Bright City’ - Claddagh Quay, just off Wolfe Tone Bridge
16. Walter Macken, ‘Rain on the Wind’ - Claddagh Quay, beside Nimmo’s Pier
17. Louis McNeice, ‘Galway’ - Nimmo’s Pier, The Claddagh
18. Pádraic Ó Conaire, ‘Deoraíocht’ - Grattan Road, Salthill
19. Paul Durcan, ‘The One-Armed Crucifixion’ - Doctor Colohan Road, Salthill
20. Arthur Colahan, ‘Galway Bay’ - Doctor Colohan Road, Salthill
21. Seamus Heaney, ‘Girls Bathing, Galway 1965’ - Salthill Prom, beside Ladies Beach
22. Máirtín O’Direáin, ‘Fear na Lasraí’ - Salthill Promenade, near Blackrock
23. Little John Nee, ‘Haiku’ - Blackrock, Salthill Promenade
24. James Joyce, ‘She Weeps over Rahoon’ - Rahoon Cemetry
25. W.B. Yeats, ‘At Galway Races’ - Ballybrit Racecourse

 

View Galway Poetry Trail Brochure Map >>

 

Galway Poetry Trail MDON                         Galway Poetry Trail UCG By Degrees

'Galway' by Mary Devenport O'Neill                    'UCG by Degrees' by Terry McDonagh
Situated on the wall of Jury's Inn, Galway           Situated in the grounds of NUI Galway

Galway Poetry Trail Long Walk                        Galway Poetry Trail The Crane

'Long Walk' - an extract from Priest by Ken Bruen            'The Crane Bar' by Tom French
Situated on the wall on Long Walk at the Claddagh            Situated on the wall of The Crane Bar in Galway's West End

 

Galway Poetry Trail Plaque Unveilings 

  • 2021 A limestone plaque featuring 'Vortex' by poet Gerard Reidy is unveiled by Mike McCormack 
  • 2020 An extract from Éilís Dillon's 'Death at Crane's Court' - Newtownsmith on the River Walk
  • 2019 Singer Johnny Duhan unveiled an extract from 'Priests' by Ken Bruen, at the side of Ard Bia Nimmos restaurant on The Spanish Arch 
  • 2019 Galway City Mayor Neil McNeilis unveils a plaque of 'A Town Tormented by the Sea' at the side of Jury's Inn Hotel, Galway
  • 2018 'The Crane Bar, Galway' - a poem by Tom French is unveiled on the wall of The Crane Bar in Galway's West End
  • 2017 Tom Kilroy unveiled Paul Durcan's poem 'The One-Armed Crucifixion', illustrated with a John Behan RHA design. 
  • 2017 Little John Nee, Salthill Promenade - Haiku,  launched by Sunny Jacobs & Peter Pringle.
  • 2017 Terry McDonagh,  NUI Galway - 'UCG by Degrees', unveiled by Tom Kenny.
  • 2016 Arthur Colahan, Salthill Promenade - 'Galway Bay' and translation in three languages - unveiled by Mayor of Galway Councillor Frank Fahy. 
  • 2016 Máire Holmes - Geraghty's Menswear, Galway Market - 'Margadh', unveiled by Rev Gary Hastings.
  • 2015 Pádraic Ó Conaire, Grattan Road – an extract from “Deoraíocht” - Unveiled by Páraic Breathnach.
  • 2015 Gerry Hanberry, Tigh Neachtain – “The ‘Kasbah’ on Quay Street” – Unveiled by Tom Kenny, Kennys Bookshop… followed by readings & singing in Tigh Neachtain with contributions by Fran McPhail, the poet Gerry Hanberry, performer Seán Tyrrell and local historians Tom Kenny and Dicky Byrne.
  • 2015 George Moore/WB Yeats – Salmon Weir Bridge – Extract from “Hail and Farewell” – Unveiled by poet Martin Dyar.
  • 2014 Rita Ann Higgins, Richardson’s Pub, Eyre Square – “Men With Tired Hair” - Unveiled by Professor Adrian Frazier.
  • 2013 Gerald Dawe, The Connacht Tribune – “The Tribune” – Unveiled by Mayor Terry Flaherty and Gerald Dawe.
  • 2013  Kevin Faller, River Walk at O’Brien’s Bridge “Home Town” – Unveiled by the poet’s son John Faller.
  • 2012 James Joyce, Rahoon Cemetery – “She Weeps Over Rahoon” – Unveiled by Mayor Hildegarde Naughton.
  • 2010 Moya Cannon, Wolfe Tone Bridge – “Bright City” - Unveiled by poet Gerry Smyth, illustration by Pádraic Reaney. 
  • 2009 Roger McGough, Children’s Playground, University Road – “Uncle Philip” – Unveiled by Pádraic Breathnach.2013 
  • 2009  Patricia Burke Brogan - 'Make Visible the Tree', Fairgreen, Galway.
  • 2008 Máirtin Ó Direáin, Promenade – “Fear Lasta Lampaí – Gaillimh 1928” – Unveiled by the poet’s daughter Niamh Ó Direáin.
  • 2007 Louis MacNeice, Nimmo’s Pier – “Galway” – Unveiled by Tom Paulin, poet.
  • 2007 Walter Macken, Nimmo’s Pier – Extract from “Rain on the Wind” – Unveiled by Fr. Walter Macken.
  • 2006 Seamus Heaney, Salthill Promenade – “Girls Bathing, Galway 1965” – Unveiled by Seamus Heaney.
  • 2005 W.B. Yeats, The Racecourse, Ballybrit – “The Galway Races” - Unveiled by John Coyle.

 Read about more previous Galway Poetry Trail plaque unveilings here >>>

Watch the launches of various Galway Poetry Trail plaques on our YouTube channel >>>

 

HolmesO-ConaireHanberryMoore

HigginsDaweFallerJoyce

CannonMc-GoughBroganO-Direain

MackenMac-NeiceHeaney

 

 

2015 - Pádraic Ó Conaire, Grattan Road - an extract from “Deoraíocht”

Cllr Donal Lyons, Mayor of Galway and Páraic Breathnach of Galway Arts Center unveil O'Conaire plaque

Tom Kenny of Kennys Bookshop introduces Páraic Breathnach to launch a beautiful plaque with an excerpt from Deoraíocht by writer Pádraic Ó Conaire on The Prom at Grattan Road, Salthill, Galway as part of the 2015 Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

OConaire-plaque-20151


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2009 Patricia Burke Brogan - 'Make Visible the Tree', Fairgreen, Galway

Mick Wilkins Sculpture at Magdalen Monument - Poem by Patricia Burke Brogan

On International Women’s Day, March 2009, Patricia Burke Brogan’s poem “Make Visible the Tree” about the Magdalen Laundry together with a limestone sculpture of a Magdalen Woman were unveiled by the author with the sculptor Mick Wilkins in attendance. The sculpture and the poem are located in Forster Street, close to the site of the laundry.

<<< See all Galway Poetry Trail Plaques


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2007 Walter Macken, Nimmo’s Pier – Extract from “Rain on the Wind” – Unveiled by Fr. Walter Macken

Walter Macken

Two plaques were unveiled in 2007. “Galway” is the title of a poem Louis McNeice wrote when he was here at the outbreak of World War II. He was at the end of Nimmo’s Pier when the idea came to his mind and that is where his poem is located. It was unveiled by the Northern poet, Tom Paulin.

The crowd then moved to the other end of the pier to a seat near the Claddagh Hall on which there is an extract from “Rain on the Wind” by Walter Macken. This evocatively describes how the sunset changes the colours and atmosphere of the houses on Long Walk, just across the river. It was unveiled by the author’s son, Fr. Walter Macken together with Niall Ó Brolcháin, Mayor of Galway and it was sponsored by David Niland.

<<< See all Galway Poetry Trail Plaques


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2007 Louis MacNeice, Nimmo’s Pier – “Galway” – Unveiled by poet Tom Paulin

Poet Tom Paulin

Two plaques were unveiled in 2007. “Galway” is the title of a poem Louis McNeice wrote when he was here at the outbreak of World War II. He was at the end of Nimmo’s Pier when the idea came to his mind and that is where his poem is located. It was unveiled by the Northern poet, Tom Paulin.

<<< See all Galway Poetry Trail Plaques


Read more ...

2006 Seamus Heaney, Salthill Promenade – “Girls Bathing, Galway 1965” – Unveiled by Seamus Heaney.

Seamus Heaney

At Cúirt 2006, a poem entitled “Girls bathing at Salthill” was unveiled on Salthill Promenade. It was written by Seamus Heaney when he and his wife were on honeymoon in Galway, and it is located on the Promenade facing the ‘Ladies’ bathing area. It was unveiled by the poet himself and John Mulholland, who was the assistant Mayor at the time. “Among schoolchildren as well as many a writer and poetry fan, Heaney, smiling public man, spoke and read and twinkled”.

<<< See all Galway Poetry Trail Plaques


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2005 W.B. Yeats, The Racecourse, Ballybrit – “At Galway Races”

WB Yeats

The first plaque in what went on to become the Galway Poetry Trail was unveiled at Ballybrit , the venue for the Galway Races.

The poem “At Galway Races” by William Butler Yeats was cast in bronze and placed at the side of one of the stands at the racecourse in 2005.


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