Lost castle found on Quay Lane

The Home of Aran shop in Galway - site of the former Dún na Gaillimhe. Image: Screengrab from Google Streetview, which was in Galway last July!

History lovers love Galway, in particular the Latin Quarter of the city. But what stands there now, is not the original structures. Beneath the current buildings lie the foundations of the cities history.

The derelict building at 3 Quay Lane is being restored as a shop for The Home of Aran. Part of the story of the city, its origins were unknown. It was an eyesore at the end of Quay Street for years, and it is great to see it finally being restored to something of its former glory. New business is always welcome, even if it is tourist-dependent.

As with all restorations of buildings, current planning legislation demands that an archaeological survey is done before works commence. This is so the history of the site will not be lost. We are lucky this is the case, as Dún na Gaillimhe has been discovered.

It had been lost. Quite a feat to lose a castle – but nothing is impossible in Ireland!

What has been found?

While just a foundation, as it was over-built multiple times, it gives the broad layout and a better understanding of the history of Galway. We see today the layout of buildings from centuries before.

The site is being excavated by Aegis Archaeology. They will record what they find so generations to come can understand the history of the area. The building will be a knitwear shop when its finished.

The stone walls uncovered are not the original structure though, as there was a dún there before. A timber fort, it was held by the O’Flaherty family who then ruled the area. Many of that family still walk its streets, as do those of the Burke families, then known as de Burgo, who built the stone structure.

A long history of a little city!

About the Author

Thomas Carty
Thomas Carty is a Renmore resident, having moved to Galway for work a couple of years ago. Both his parents were originally from Ballinalee in Co. Longford but he grew up in Banagher and maintains his Offaly connections with membership of the poetry group Tullamore Rhymers Club. An amateur genealogist and historian, he writes on a range of topics that grab his interest. He works at security to pay the bills, and travels widely around Europe to keep sane!