Eyre Square Galway
The Hardiman Hotel overlooks Eyre Square
The Hardiman has an unrivalled location, overlooking Eyre Square. Eyre Square is the centre of Galway City and connects the Galway Train Station and Galway Bus Station with Galway’s main shopping streets including William Street, Shop Street and Quay Street.
Eyre Square is officially named “John F. Kennedy Memorial Park" in honour of US President John F. Kennedy who visited Galway City in 1963, but most locals still refer to it as Eyre Square. It has always been part of Galway life. In The Hardiman’s Parlour Lobby area you can see black and white images depicting the Square in the early 1900s.
Galway International Arts Festival hosts performances in Eyre Square every July. Free events are always a highlight of this festival and The Hardiman has been the backdrop for many of their key festival highlights. The Galway Christmas Market also takes place in Eyre Square, making The Hardiman a perfect choice for a festive getaway or office party.
Eyre Square was first known as 'The Green'. In medieval times was situated in front of the town gate where markets took place on a weekly basis. In 1710 the land was officially presented to the city by Mayor Edward Eyre and became Eyre Square. Construction on The Hardiman began in 1845. It opened in 1852 as the Western Railway Hotel before becoming the Great Southern Hotel Galway many years later.
Things to see around Eyre Square Galway
The Browne Doorway
Dated 1627, was originally the entrance to the Browne family mansion in Abbeygate Street and was moved to its current position in 1904 by the Galway Archeological Society.
Shaped to represent the sails of traditional fishing boats or 'Galway Hookers' this fountain was erected in 1984 and was designed by Eamon O'Doherty to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the incorporation of Galway City as a borough with Mayoral Status. It symbolises the importance of the sea for trade in Galway.
Bank of Ireland
Built in 1836, this building houses the Galway Civic Sword and Mace which where authority symbols of the Mayor and Corporation, dating back to the 16th and 17th Centuries respectively.
John F. Kennedy
A bust of U.S. President John F. Kennedy stands at the north end of the square, on the spot from where he addressed the people of Galway in 1963. JFK received a phenomenal welcome in the city and was made a Free Man during his visit.
Eyre Square Shopping Centre
In addition to modern high street shops, the shopping centre contains a restored section of the Medieval Galway City Wall with Penrice Tower at the northern end and Shoemakers Tower standing above an entry leading to an underground section of the 1647 bastion.
The Latin Quarter
A modern name for the warren of pedestrian streets adjacent to Eyre Square which are home to a host of shops, restaurants and cafes and leading to the Spanish Arch and the Claddagh.
Now based at Galway Museum
Two 19th century cast-iron cannons which were presented in recognition of the service of the Connaught Rangers, an Irish Regiment in the British Army during the Crimean War (1854-56) and also a statue of Irish language writer Pádraic Ó Conaire (1882 - 1928) which was erected in his memory in 1935 and moved to the museum during the Eyre Square renovations in 2004.