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William Murphy
Double Take

Double Take: The plaque asking people to 'kick the wall' on Salthill prom

You can’t leave Galway before you kick the wall.

IN GALWAY, LOCALS and tourists have adopted an unusual activity believed to bring good fortune.  

At the Blackrock point along the two-kilometre walk of Salthill Promenade, which overlooks several beaches and the Atlantic seafront, it’s customary to ‘kick the wall.’ 

So why kick the wall?

Well, kicking the wall is a long-standing tradition as part of a walk along the prom. You get to the end, you kick the wall, you turn back. It’s been mystifying tourists for years.

Then six years ago, someone came up with the idea of using the tradition to raise money for charity.

In 2012, an initiative to fundraise for local charities was developed by the Galway Salthill Rotary Club and supported by Galway City Council. It was introduced to the promenade as plaque and collection box. Now the inscription reads: “When you kick the wall. Make it a powerful one.”

The idea is, you kick the wall and leave a small donation. 

To date, donations have been given to Galway Hospice and Teddies for Loving Care (an organisation providing hospitals with soft toys to settle anxious children) for Galway University Hospital, as noted on The Craic blog

42919770132_a08edeef33_k William Murphy via Flickr William Murphy via Flickr

Each month, that charity changes so that all non-profit organisations in the region can benefit. 

On the plaque, a colourful inscription in blue and red reads, “Small change, Big impact.” Philanthropic motivations aside, the Rotary Club encourage locals to regularly do this walk as a way to “knock off the cobwebs and get back in shape”.

The next time you find yourself enjoying the fresh sea breeze along Salthill Promenade, be sure to complete the Kick the Wall and put some change in the plaque’s slot. 

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