We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

counting down

So what's happening in GALWAY in the run up to Christmas?

Continuing our festive lists, we take a look at what’s to be enjoyed in the City of the Tribes in the next few weeks.

JUST 25 DAYS to go people. Boughs are being decked, office parties are being planned. Muppets Christmas Carol was on TV last weekend. Truly there’s no escape.’s been taking the role of a not-so-scary ‘Ghost of Christmas Present’ in the last few weeks — taking a look at all the preparations taking place in Ireland’s cities in the run up to the big day.

So after a roundup of the treats in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, today we cast our attention to the city that never sleeps (well at least not on weekends): Galway.

Right, first order of business…

SHOPPING (and beer)

(Youtube: corbo)

The Christmas market in Dublin may be tucked away at the IFSC, but in Galway, they’re turning the cheer all the way up to 11 right in the middle of town.

Sixty traders from all over Ireland and around Europe are packed into Eyre Square, offering a range of local and exotic treats. A brief selection of what’s on offer includes “toasted and candied nuts, baklava, the ever-popular chocolate fountain and, of course, corn dogs”. (We’re not sure why they’ve included an ‘of course’ before the corn dog reference, this isn’t the Wisconsin State Fair).

Anyway, for shoppers — yes, chances are you’ll be able to pick up a ceramic good of your choosing, along with everything from Indonsesian crafts to seaweed skin-creams. More importantly, there’s also a ‘German Bierkeller’ offering a wide range of fine Tuetonic beverages along with “Oktoberfest activities”. It’s December — but sure, whatever, so long as there’s beer. Happy Easter.

Now, moving on…


image“High five? Ha! Can’t reach!” Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Galway last week [Image: Reg Gordon]

Children will no doubt be left dizzy with excitement following a go on the Santa Express, which combines a visit to Santa (yes, the real Santa) in his Eyre Square HQ with a 15 minute trip around the city.

There’s also an ‘Enchanted Light Garden’ at the square made up of 50,000 lightbulbs, with a candy cane patch and ‘Santa’s own postbox’ where kids can mail their letters to the man himself.

(By the way, parents: Prepare yourselves for a few of those ‘…buy, why?’ questions; there’s both a Santa’s mailbox and a Santa’s grotto, and they’re not exactly a million miles away from each other. Our advice, memorise the phrase: “Oh look, a candy cane patch!”)


Where’s me jumper…


[Sherrifmitchell via Flickr/Creative Commons]

This looks like fun — there’s a ‘Christmas jumper photo-booth’ at Eyre Square this year, so you can commit you festive crimes-against-knitwear to posterity.

No funny stuff while you’re in there…

Skate city


[Alexander F. Yuan/AP/Press Association Images]

If you must go ice-skating, remember: you’re not a professional, therefore it’s a good idea to wear trousers. Also, a few additional layers. And some padding. Possibly have a few gluhweins beforehand.

Also, it may be worth remembering that you’re Irish, and therefore not very good at ice-skating.

Anyway, ‘Galway on Ice’ happens at the harbour, with sessions running from 3-9pm on weekdays and from 10.30am weekends and bank holidays.

Be careful out there…



Where can I park?


[Image: Andrew Huff via Flickr/Creative Commons]

You may want to avoid situations like the above as you hurry around trying to cross off everything from that Christmas shopping list (admittedly the photo is from the Ukraine; note the parking ticket on the BMW).

Anyway, there’s a ‘Park & Ride’ in place at Galway Racecourse every day until Christmas Eve. It’s three euro for the day, and there’s a free return bus into the city centre for as many people as you can fit into your car.

Job done.

And it wouldn’t be Christmas in Galway without…


The annual civic carol service at St Nicholas’ Church is a big event in the calendar for man Galwegians. This year, it happens on on Sunday 22 December at 4pm.

The carolers will also be Ding Donging Merrily on High once again around the church Christmas tree at 4pm on Christmas Eve.

Time to start warming up those vocal chords…

(Youtube: MuppetsStudio)

Read: So what’s happening in DUBLIN in the run up to Christmas?

Also: So what’s happening in CORK in the run-up to Christmas?

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.