Galway Poetry Trail
The Galway Poetry Trail is a series of now 24 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 24 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. Ken Bruen, ‘Priest’ - Long Walk
14. Moya Cannon, ‘Bright City’ - Claddagh Quay, just off Wolfe Tone Bridge
15. Walter Macken, ‘Rain on the Wind’ - Claddagh Quay, beside Nimmo’s Pier
16. Louis McNeice, ‘Galway’ - Nimmo’s Pier, The Claddagh
17. Pádraic Ó Conaire, ‘Deoraíocht’ - Grattan Road, Salthill
18. Paul Durcan, ‘The One-Armed Crucifixion’ - Doctor Colohan Road, Salthill
19. Arthur Colahan, ‘Galway Bay’ - Doctor Colohan Road, Salthill
20. Seamus Heaney, ‘Girls Bathing, Galway 1965’ - Salthill Prom, beside Ladies Beach
21. Máirtín O’Direáin, ‘Fear na Lasraí’ - Salthill Promenade, near Blackrock
22. Little John Nee, ‘Haiku’ - Blackrock, Salthill Promenade
23. James Joyce, ‘She Weeps over Rahoon’ - Rahoon Cemetry
24. W.B. Yeats, ‘At Galway Races’ - Ballybrit Racecourse
'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
'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
- 2020 An extract from Éilís Dillon's 'Death at Crane's Court' to be unveiled at 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.