Galway’s Heritage week in full swing

Galway News - What's On - Heritage Week

Heritage week is upon us with a full week of activities and events celebrating the art, culture, and history of Ireland.

And there’s no where better to enjoy the festivities than Galway city or county.

Best of all – every event is free, so take a look at what’s on offer!

Loughrea Medieval Festival, Loughrea

Friday 24 August – Sunday 26 August
Loughrea, Co. Galway

Step back in time and experience the sights, sounds, & smells of medieval life at the 5th annual Loughrea Medieval Festival. A weekend of free events includes Walled Towns Day on Sunday and ‘A Taste of the Past’ food demos, plus talks, re-enactments, craft demos, children’s activities, music, guided tours, a food & crafts market and lots more.

Loughrea Medieval Festival has something for all ages!

For more information email

Fisheries Watchtower tour, Galway City

Tuesday 21, Thursday 23, Saturday 25 August, 1:15pm – 1:45pm
The Fisheries Watchtower at Wolfe Tone bridge, Galway city
Booking required

A chance to hear about the fascinating story of the Victorian Fisheries Watchtower, built to monitor illegal fishing along the river Corrib but now a museum dedicated to the history of the Galway Fishery.
For more information call 091 564946 or email

Exploring Merlin Woods Heritage, Galway City

Tuesday 21 August, 1pm – 2:30pm
Merlin Park Woods (entrance off the Doughiska road), Galway city
Meeting Point: Merlin Woods Community garden

Heritage Officer Dr Jim Higgins will lead a walk through Merlin Park Woods, exploring its history and the features of the past.

Merlin Park Woods has existed for over two hundred years. A number of historic areas can be found within the woodlands, including a castle, graves and many other
features dotted throughout. Hear stories from the estate house long since gone and about the people who lived there.

For more information, call 085 248 4380 or email

Disused School Photo Exhibition, Claregalway

Wednesday 22 August – Saturday 25 August, 10pm – 4pm
Claregalway Museum and Forge, Rooaunmore, Baile Chláir (Claregalway), Co. Galway

A photographic exhibition about the disused school houses of Ireland featuring images of abandoned school buildings from around the country. The old, tumbledown buildings were once working schools where early childhood memories were formed. Consider how much of an impact these now dilapidated buildings may have had on the lives of many.

For more information call 086 777 8217 or email

Sharing the Story of Galway, Galway City

Wednesday 22 and Friday 24 August, 11am – 12pm
Galway City Museum, Spanish Parade
Booking required
Suitable for children over 7

Join Damien Donnellan of Galway City Museum as he shares the unique story of Galway through landmarks, natural features and museum artefacts. Beginning with an overview – literally – of the City, Corrib and Claddagh, discover some fascinating stories behind a selection of objects at Galway City Museum, including the rare Penfold post box, the Great Mace of Galway and the first shell manufactured in Galway National Shell Factory.

For more information, call 091 564946 or email

Lifeways of Gaelic Learned Families, Milltown

Friday 24 August, 7pm – 8pm
Milltown Community Centre, Milltown, Co. Galway

Professional learned families served the households of Gaelic and English-Irish lords in law, medicine, history, poetry, music & high-level crafts. Several of these respected families conducted schools in the Gaelic arts as well as farming and dispensing hospitality.

Professor of Archaeology at NUIG Dr Liz Fitzpatrick will give an insight into the lives and work of these hereditary learned classes who were somewhat unique functionaries in European society of the time.

For more information call 093 51876 or email

Who do you think you are?, Portumna

Friday 24 August, 12pm – 5pm
Irish Workhouse Centre, St. Brigids Road, Portumna, Co. Galway

Come to the Irish Workhouse Centre for Genealogy Friday! The centre’s genealogists and historians will give advice on the resources available to research your family tree. They will also provide free family history and genealogy advice for members of the public starting or struggling with their research.

For more information call 09097 59200 or email

Heritage Talks, Aughrim

Saturday 25 August, 12pm – 3pm
The Battle of Aughrim Visitor Centre, Aughrim, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway

Visitor Centre guide Hannah Daly and local history enthusiasts will speak about the 1691 Battle of Aughrim – known as the bloodiest battle in Irish history, or as the forgotten battle – and its aftermath. Musician Sean Igoe will provide music from the period.

For more information, call (090) 967 3939 or

Furnace Festival 2018, Woodford

Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 August, 9am – 6pm
Sliabh Aughty Furnace Project (at the Bay), Woodford, Co. Galway

A weekend of ancient iron smelting and forging! Local iron ore, charcoal and clay will be used to make iron in the area for the first time in nearly 250 years.

Visitors can watch the production of iron from local ore using bloomery furnaces. Even steel can be made with this method.

Bloomery iron was the only kind of iron made in Ireland for over a thousand years, from the 6th century BC until the 16th century AD. The Festival aims to re-introduce the production of this material into Ireland.

For more information, call 085 123 9550, email, or visit

The Shannon: Sights and Sounds, Portumna

Sunday 26 August, 2pm – 3pm
The Irish Workhouse Centre & The Waters and Communities Office, Portumna Bridge (Galway Side), Co. Galway
Booking required

Come on a walk and talk along the Shannon in Portumna with three knowledgeable guides. Visitors will look at flora and fauna, hear stories of the nearby Workhouse, Hymany way, and how the river has contributed to the local community.

Participants will wend their way through time and nature and find out how the flow of the Shannon in Portumna has impacted on the local community and its history.

For more information call 0909 759200 or email

Click here to find out more about Heritage Week or to see more Galway events!