Galway Bay

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Map of Galway Bay and environs.

Galway Bay (Loch Lurgan or Cuan na Gaillimhe in Irish) is a large bay (or sea lough) on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connaught to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city is located on the northeast side of the bay. It is about 30 miles long and from six to 20 miles in breadth. The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay. The approaches to the bay between the Aran Islands and the mainland are as follows; the North Sound (An Súnda ó Thuaidh) lies between Inishmore and Leitir Mealláin in Connemara; it was formerly known as Bealach Locha Lurgan in Irish. Gregory's Sound (Súnda Ghríoghóra) lies between Inishmore and Inishmaan; it was formerly known as Bealach na h-Áite. Foul Sound (An Súnda Salach) lies between Inishmaan and Inisheer; it was formerly known as Bealach na Fearbhaighe. South Sound (An Súnda ó Theas), formerly known as Bealach na Finnise, lies between Inisheer and County Clare.

Galway Bay is famous for its unique traditional sailing craft, the Galway Hooker.

Galway Bay in popular culture


  • From traditional Irish song The Rare Old Mountain Dew:
Let grasses grow and waters flow
In a free and easy way
But give me enough of the rare old stuff
That's made near Galway Bay
  • From John Lennon's song The Luck of the Irish:
If we could make chains with the morning dew
The world would be like Galway Bay
  • From Arthur Colahan's song Galway Bay:
If you ever go across the sea to Ireland
Then maybe at the closing of your day
You will go and see the moon rise over Claddagh
Or see the sun go down at Galway Bay.
  • From a song performed by Sean Connery in Disney's Darby O'Gill and the Little People:
Have you ever seen the seagulls
a-flying on to Heaven
or the crimson sails on Galway Bay
the fishermen unfurl?
  • From Steve Earle's musical tribute to Townes Van Zandt, Ft. Worth Blues:
There's a full moon over Galway Bay tonight
Silver light over green and blue
And every place I travel through, I find
Some kinda sign that you've been through
Earle also mentions Galway and The Long Walk in his song "Galway Girl".
  • From the Pogues's Fairytale of New York:
The boys in the NYPD choir
are still singing "Galway Bay"
And the bells are ringing out
For Christmas day."
  • From Toasted Heretic's Galway Bay
The sun goes down on Galway Bay
and the daughter goes down on me
Her dads not due until one or
maybe two and I'm happy as I'll
ever be
  • From The Mahones A Drunken Night in Dublin
A drunk night in Dublin
Ended up in Galway Bay
  • Galway Bay is also mentioned in Ireland's Call, Ireland's official rugby anthem, written by Phil Coulter.


Coordinates: 53°12′N 9°14′W / 53.2°N 9.233°W / 53.2; -9.233