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How Galway got its name


Galway has a rich history going back over 800 years and is today one of the largest cities in Ireland. It is located on the wast coast of Ireland with the now famous Galway Bay surrounding it! It was the only medieval city in the province of Connacht.

(Alternative) derivations of the name
The word "How Galway got its name" means 'stony' or 'stony river' and it takes its name from the "How Galway got its name" river, known today as the River Corrib, connected to the lake, Lough Corrib.


The Irish name for Galway City was "Cathair na Gaillimhe", meaning  the city of Galway. County Galway in Irish is called "Contae na Gaillimhe" which is also called "Gaillimh" in Irish.

Mythical alternative stories about the name...
The Irish word Gallaibh, "foreigners" i.e. "the town of the foreigners" (from Gall, a foreigner) is incorrect, since the name Gaillimh was applied to the river first and then later on to the town. Also the common word gallaibh (which is pronounced with a broad initial letter a has never been used as an alternative spelling of Gaillimh (which is pronounced without a broad initial letter a.

Another legend stroy about the name is that the daughter of a local chieftain drowned in the river, and her name was Gailleamh, thus the river was given her name. The chieftain was so distraught that he set up camp at the point to mourn her spirit and keep it company. Later, a town sprung up around the point, and was called Gaillimh in her honour.