Pip had a day conference in Galway so we made a long weekend out of it. Just two hours and 20 minutes on the train and we were there, pleased to see that the weather was picking up nicely.
Starting at the marina you come across this building which housed an unusual, possibly unique, Piscatory School, where children of the poor were taught how to fish by Dominican monks. I couldn’t put it any better than the Galway Vindicator newspaper in 1848: “for the double purpose of diffusing the elements of education, and generating a spirit of industry amongst the poor children of the Claddagh”.
Then up to the cathedral sited on the river Corrib, probably the newest cathedral in Europe, having been dedicated only in 1965. Not everybody likes it – as recently as last year in an Irish Times article on ugly Irish buildings a contributor called it “that squatting Frankenstein’s monster of architectural languages casting a miserable shadow over an ocean of tarmac. A Disneyland imitation of the great European ecclesiastical tradition.” Ouch.
But it does have a lovely name: Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven & Saint Nicholas. (Poor old St Nick – very much an afterthought there, one suspects. And totally pointless as there is another church named St Nicholas in Galway, but because that’s Anglican perhaps it doesn’t count…)
And buskers everywhere provide great craic! This group, for instance. I’m not sure what it was that they were playing, I’m not even sure that they knew what they were playing, but everyone, audience and players, was having a good time and they certainly know how to do a good ending. You may notice they had written “Broke + sober” on the lid of the guitar case, no doubt hoping the donations would help change both states.