Weekend in Galway

7 Nov

When I was in Galway this past weekend, I visited the Galway Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and Saint Nicholas. While the cathedral looks to be older because of its Renaissance-like architecture, it’s actually one of the newer cathedrals built in Ireland. After eight years of construction, the Galway Cathedral was completed in 1965. I met a woman that grew up in Galway and watched the construction throughout the years at the Galway Cathedral. She told me all about the mosaic windows and their significance of shining gods light into the church, and where to look out for the Connemara marble. She told us about the old organ that has over 3,000 pipes that play regularly throughout mass. She also showed us a mosaic of John F. Kennedy in the church of him getting blessed by Christ. JFK had a long history with Galway. He visited Galway often and even made a speech in Eyre Square in the 1960s. Eyre Square was later renamed the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. Before his assassination, he told the citizens of Galway that if they ever find themselves in America to go right to the White House and tell the guards that they are from Galway and they would be welcomed into his country with open arms. That’s what the woman told us in the cathedral anyways. It was quite obvious that she had very positive thoughts about JFK.

The woman also told us to visit the Collegiate Church of Saint Nicholas, which is now the sight of a bank. However, the bank on Market Street still has a Lynch Memorial Window that sits on the wall above one of the doorways. She told us the story of how this window commemorates the son of James Lynch FitzStephen. James Lynch FitzStephen was the mayor of Galway in the 16th century. After his son murdered a Spanish merchant, no one would execute the boy, so to prove his dedication to his city, James Lynch FitzStephen carried out the deed. He hung his son from a window in the church. He was so distraught after his son died that he isolated himself from the rest of civilization. This story is how the word “lynch” was created, an act of killing someone by hanging him or her.

I’m glad I met this woman at the Galway Cathedral because it added a lot of value and history to the beauty I was looking at. It gave Galway a lot more depth! It was a great weekend!IMG_1255

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