Galway is both a city and a county along the Western coast of the Republic of Ireland. Galway city is the fourth-most populated city in the Republic of Ireland with about 80,000 people1 (and Galway county has over a quarter million people).2 The city of Galway gets about 45 inches of rain a year1 (by comparison, Denver averages 15-20 inches).4 Owing to its high northern latitude, its summer days are longer and winter days are shorter than many places (compared to Denver, they get two hours more daylight during their longest summer day and almost two hours less daylight during their shortest winter day).3 Their citizens refer to themselves as ‘Galwegians’ (rhymes with ‘Norwegians’), or ‘Tribesmen’.1
Galway county is home to many residents that consider the Irish language their common vernacular. This is especially true of the smaller islands and areas 25-35 miles due west of where our church, New Hope Calvary Chapel.5 While there are a few people in rural areas that only speak Irish, most people in Ireland can speak English. As of 2012, Irish had dropped to the third most spoken language in Ireland, behind English and Polish.
According to a Ireland’s 2011 census, 84.2% of its citizens identified themselves as Roman Catholic. By comparison, about 48% of Northern Ireland’s population identified as Protestant and 45% identified as Roman Catholic.
Some more Galway facts from the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia:
Industries include tourism, food processing, flour milling, medical instruments, computers, motors, and the production of textiles and furniture. Agricultural produce, salmon, herring, marble, and woolen goods are exported. Galway was first incorporated by Richard II of England in the late 14th cent. In 1651 the town was taken by parliamentary forces, and in 1691 it was defeated by William III after the battle of Aughrim. For centuries Galway traded extensively with Spain, and Spanish influence is noticeable in the architecture. The Church of St. Nicholas dates from 1320. The Lynch Stone behind the church commemorates the execution by the lord mayor, James Lynch Fitzstephen, of his own son for murder. Claddagh, once noted for its unique customs, is a quarter of the town said to be the oldest fishing village in Ireland. Noteworthy is the edifice (1849) of University College, a constituent of the National Univ. of Ireland.
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