Galway is the only city in the province of Connacht in the Republic of Ireland. The city is located on the west coast of Ireland. In Irish, Galway is also called Cathair na Gaillimhe, which is a translation of "City of Galway".
The city takes its name from the Gaillimh river (River Corrib) that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, which was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe, or the fort at the bottom of the Gaillimh. The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river". (Alternative, more mythical, derivations are given in History of Galway). The city also bears the nickname City of the Tribes / Cathair na dTreabh, because fourteen "Tribes" (merchant families) led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period.
The population of Galway city, as of the 2006 census, is 72,414. Galway is Ireland's fastest growing city. Galway is often considered to be the 'Cultural Capital of Ireland', and is world renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events.
The Galway City Museum has been opened, featuring two parts: "Fragments of a City" and "On Reflection." "Fragments of a City" is be mainly about the heritage of Galway, while "On Reflection" is a collection of the most important Irish artists from the second half of the 20th century. This museum was designed to allow tourists and local visitors to really get to understand and know the city of Galway. This museum also houses the statue of the famous pœt, Pádraic Ó Conaire which was originally in Kennedy Park, prior to its renovations.
Annual events include the: Scene from the Galway Arts Festival Parade 2007Celtic start of Spring festival Fleadh Imboilg (start of February) Cúirt International Festival of Literature (April) Galway Early Music Festival (May) Galway Sessions traditional Irish music festival and Salthill Air Show (June) Galway Film Fleadh, Project06 and Galway Arts Festival (July) Galway Races horse racing festival (start of August) Galway International Oyster Festival (September) Galway Jazz Festival and Baboró Galway International Arts Festival for Children (October) Tulca visual arts festival (November).
Two higher education institutions are located in the city, the National University of Ireland, Galway and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The Institute of Technology, in addition to having 2 campuses in Galway City (its administrative headquarters on the Dublin Road and its art campus in Cluain Mhuire), also has campuses in Castlebar, Mountbellew and Letterfrack.
Public Transportation: are 16 bus routes serving the city and its suburbs altogether - Bus Éireann operates 11 routes, while Galway City Direct runs 5 routes.
Galway Airport, 6 kilometres east of the city, has frequent flights throughout Ireland, Britain and Mainland Europe.
Aerfort na Minna, 22 kilometres west of the city, operates reqular flights to each of the Oileáin Árann.
Shannon Airport (90 kilometres) and Ireland West Airport Knock (86 kilometres) are also within easy reach of the city, both of which have frequent flights around Ireland and to Britain, Europe and North America.
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