Galway City Museum
Fáilte chuig Músaem Cathrach na Gaillimhe


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  • Routes to the Past (Prehistoric Galway)
  • Galway Within the Walls (Medieval Galway)
  • Pádraic Ó Conaire: Man & Statue


  • Galway GAA: The Three-in-a-Row,1964-66
  • Galway & the Great War
  • Revolution in Galway, 1913-1923
  • The Galway Hooker


  • 1916 Ireland in Contemporary Art
  • Sea Science



Creative Wave. Curated by GMIT Letterfrack in association with Galway City Museum as part of the Galway International Arts Festival programme for 2016.  This exhibition explores the growth and energy of the creative movement in Galway and the West of Ireland.  Featuring works from graduates and students of GMIT's Centre for Creative Arts & Media and Letterfrack campuses, Creative Wave also reflects how international connections and adventures have influenced the development of Galway's creative culture. The exhibition will run until the end of August.


Hair Hurling Balls – Earliest Artefacts of Our National Game

The Hair Hurling Balls exhibition - on loan from the National Musuem of Ireland - features 14 hurling balls made from matted cow hair with a plaited horsehair covering.

Hurling was popularly played cross-country, on river-fields, on beaches and in bogs. However, until this research was carried for Hair Hurling Balls, very little was known about the hurling balls used throughout the country.

All the balls dated to the late seventeenth century or earlier. The earliest was made in the second half of the twelfth century – that’s 800 years old!

The exhibition uncovers the story of each one - where they were found, how they were made, their age and how they measure up to the modern ball. The exhibition also centres on the scientific research used to untangle the mysteries of these balls. The scientific analysis and research undertaken by the Museum showed us what goes on behind the scenes in Museums. This revealed so much more than the naked eye could see...

Munster features strongly with finds from Clare, north Kerry, west Limerick and Tipperary (One is in Cork Public Museum and one is in Kerry County Museum). There are also balls from east Sligo and the latest ball into the National Museum of Ireland collection is from north Mayo. All were found through hand cutting turf in bogs over the past 100 years.

The popular exhibition, first presented in the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life in Turlough Park, and afterwards at the GAA Museum at Croke Park, also includes examples of hurleys from our recent past and sliotars from our hurling legends of today. See it at Galway City Museum until April 2016.

Galway & the Great War

More than 200,000 Irishmen served in the British army during the Great War years, 1914 - 1918. Over 30,000 of these men were killed in the line of duty, including at least 750 Galway men. Wars, however, are not just about statistics but about people, those at the front line and those left behind.

This exhibition explores the stories behind the statistics through personal accounts, objects and letters.  If you would like to share your own story relating to Galway & the Great War, please leave your name and contact details at Reception.


Making Faces, An exhibition of self-portraits

Transition year students from Galway select art work from the self-portrait collection of the University of Limerick.  Inspired by the artworks the students create their own individual self-portraits.  This exhibition is the result of their work.

Evie Hone, Sacred Art

Evie Hone, Sacred Art

Artist, Evie Hone was born in Dublin in 1894 and is credited as one of the founders of the modern Art movement in Ireland. Her style evolved from Cubism to Expressionism in the 1930s when she began to explore themes of a religious nature. The exhibition features 14 black and white sketch

es and 14 colour studies depicting the Stations of the Cross. Also on display is a finished painting and stained glass piece by Evie Hone. These works are on loan from the Irish American Cultural Institute in the University of Limerick and the exhibition will run on the first floor until the end of January 2014.

On 22nd June 2013 six of Hone's paintings were stolen from Kiltullagh church, Co. Galway. These included the third, fourth, fifth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth Stations of the Cross paintings. Anyone with any information on this theft is urged to contact Millstreet Garda station on 091 538000 or Crimestoppers on 1850 250 025. Any help with this investigation will be rewarded.


Folk Fiction - Translations in Material Cultures

Folk Fiction - Translations in Material Cultures

This exhibition by Galway visual artist Gareth Kennedy comes to Galway City Museum after previously being exhibited at the National Museum of Ireland – Countrylife, Kerry County Museum and the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny. The multi-media exhibition, which will feature film, photographs and objects, will run until January 2014. It will display work created over the past two years with the residents of Gneeveguilla, Co. Kerry, Islanders from Inís Oírr, on the Aran Islands, and also a new project created during the exhibitions stay at the National Museum of Ireland in Co. Mayo. The exhibition highlights material cultures both traditional and contemporary, exploring ideas around craft and social values, landscape and invented traditions. Key to these works was the use of IKEA furniture which was brought to each locale where it was used as raw material by locally sourced tradesmen & craftsmen to generate new socio-economic folk forms and functions.


Derrick Hawker - An Islands' Retrospective

Derrick Hawker: An Islands' Retrospective
– Ceiliúradh & Buíochas

Derrick Hawker is an artist and designer-craftsman who has been involved with the community and the landscape of the western islands of Connemara since the 60's. This exhibition is a celebration of his love for the people and the place. He has spent the last twelve years making a series of twelve paintings which focus symbolically on Ballynakill Lake in Gorumna. This is the first time they have been exhibited.  The exhibition will run on the Second Floor Gallery as part of the Galway Arts Festival programme for 2013.

Ceramics and Glass at Galway City Museum

Ceramics & Glass at Galway City Museum

This collection of ceramics and glass from all over the world was developed by Artist, Helen Hooker O'Malley with her husband Ernie O'Malley on their travels throughout the 1920s and early 1930s.  Among the earliest dating objects on display is a unique equestrian piece from China representing the Tang Dynasy of the 7th century. The exhibition also features a 17th century Korean piece and many 20th century European examples from Denmark, England, France, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Sweden as well as the United States.  The exhibition is on loan from the University of Limerick and runs on the First Floor Gallery until September 2013.

Browse the catalogue here for further information on the Ceramics & Glass collection.


Home Improvements:
Responding to Poverty in the West, 1891-1923

In 1891, Arthur J. Balfour, the British Chief Secretary for Ireland, established the Congested Districts Board to provide assistance to 'congested districts' – areas regarded as exceptionally poor and underdeveloped – along the western seaboard.

The Board was given the power to amalgamate holdings; fund migration; encourage agriculture, fisheries and local industry; and improve housing and sanitation.

This photographic exhibition, featuring images from the National Library of Ireland, shows the resettlement of tenants from congested districts, the building of new houses, changes in agricultural practices and the development of the fishing industry in counties Galway, Mayo and Donegal. The exhibition is enhanced by a series of Manchester Guardian articles written by John Millington Synge and illustrated by Jack B. Yeats.