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Galway’s Claddagh Quay In The Snow


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This artwork of snow falling on Claddagh Quay was inspired by my first visit to Galway. We arrived in the city after dark on a winter evening. Shortly after getting settled in, we headed out for dinner and as soon as we hit the streets, dust swirled through the night sky. I’ve read that snow is rare in Galway but on that one magical night, it seemed to dance through the streets. I was already considering returning to Galway. I had read good things about the area and the little I had seen was inviting, but somehow the snow sealed the deal for me.

I did return to Galway and spent two weeks of my trip in the area. I spent many days roaming along the waterfront at Claddagh Quay. Although the Eglinton Canal Basin seen here was frozen over and there was a deep winter chill in the air, I never did see snow again. But this artwork captures the feeling of that magical night. Twilight skies and snow sweeping through the winter skies with the warm glow of city lights… It’s how I will always remember Galway and Claddagh Quay in my mind’s eye.

On the opposite side of the frozen canal basin, you can see the Claddagh Church and the old Piscatorial school. These represent a little slice of life and history on Claddagh Quay. The Claddagh was once a separate village from Galway with separate schools, churches, and an identity distinct from the city on the opposite quay. Saint Mary’s Priory, the Claddagh Church, is an old Dominican church. And the Piscatorial school next door was built in the 19th century to educate the children of what was then a fishing village. The children of Claddagh quay learned to read and write and they learned the skills they would need living in a village that depended on fishing. I wonder what those long ago school children would have made of the magic of snow falling on Claddagh Quay?

Have you walked along Claddagh Quay on a winter day in Ireland? Or does this artwork remind you of the warm spirit of Galway? I hope you will take a moment to share with me what speaks to you most in this Galway art?


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