Peadar O’Dowd’s A History of County Galway is an enjoyable, accessible and informative study of Galway’s history. A comprehensive book that begins with Galway’s geological formation, O’Dowd’s study of Ireland’s second largest county progresses up to the present day and is the ideal book for anyone interested in the county of the Tribesmen.
Galway is the largest county in the province of Connacht, both in area and population. It is divided in two by the great expanse of Lough Corrib, the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland. To the west lies one of the country’s most scenic areas, the mountains of Connemara, while to the east, its fertile plains run gently towards the Shannon basin. Its capital, Galway City, stands on the banks of the River Corrib, which flows into Galway Bay.
East Galway is particularly rich in ecclesiastical and monastic ruins, while Galway City has been an important port and trading centre since medieval times, conducting a vigorous trade with places as far away as Italy, Spain and France. In modern times the county has been a focus of industrial and tourist expansion and contains one of the largest Gaeltachts or Irish-speaking areas in the country.
Peadar O’Dowd’s fascinating history of the area traces its political, administrative, social and economic developments over the centuries. He pays particular attention in the modern period to the importance of its educational and cultural infrastructures, as well as its changing life styles in the twenty-first century. A well-known local author and historian, O’Dowd has deep knowledge of and abiding affection for Galway and its people that is abundantly clear in this authoritative yet accessible study of his native county.
A History of County Galway: Table of ContentsNatural FormationAncient GalwayChristianityMedieval TimesEarly Modern GalwayThe Dawn of Modern TimesSelected Bibliography