Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Tribes of Galway

I mentioned Eyre Square in my last posting. We noticed a number of banners with coats of arms and surnames on them and wondered what they were. Our tour bus guide told us what they represented.

From the mid 13th onwards 14 merchant families basically dominated the area through politics, commerce and social life. The families were Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, D'Arcy, Deane, Ffont, Ffrench, Joyce, Kirwan, Lynch, Martyn, Morris and Skerrett. The families traded with continental Europe. "The Tribes of Galway" was a derogatory term given by Oliver Cromwell but it was later adopted as a mark of defiance.

I have to say that the banners are a very colorful and striking way to introduce non-locals to the history of the town. The doorway to the old Browne family resident is now preserved as a monument on Eyre Square.
If you want to find out more about each family visit

Later on our tour the bus guide told us that the number 14 shows up in other areas of Galway. 14 roundabouts and 14 childrens playgrounds being two examples he cited.

1 comment:

  1. I will visit your country soon. I´ll stay for 2 weeks and will be birding and looking/photographing at a grand nature I hope.


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