Situated at the mouth of the River Corrib and upon the Western reaches of the Republic of Ireland is Galway City. Founded by Anglo-Norman settlers in the 12th century and incorporated as a city in 1484, the city is as rich in heritage as it is in modern attractions. At first glance, the name Galway – Gaillimh in Irish – seems to have a straightforward meaning. For the ancient Irish and other Celtic peoples, all foreigners were known as Galls (Gauls), and thus prefixes or suffixes involving gall, in one form or another, generally reflect the presence of foreign settlers.
A great example of this is County Donegal – Dún na Gall in Irish – Donegal translates literally as ‘fortress of the foreigners’. Because Galway was a Norman-English settlement as early as the 12th century, it is plausible to conclude that Galway means simply, ‘place of the foreigners’ or more specifically, ‘residence of the English’.