- Lifestyle & Sports
- 25 Sep 14
Cultural, vibrant, exciting and lively, Galway is a seaside city that thrives on energy and art. Add in a brilliant social scene and it’s no wonder that the City of the Tribes is one of Ireland’s most popular places to live and to visit.
While the summer is now a distant memory of Big Top lights, Ladies Day hats and Film Fleadh popcorn boxes, Galway is far from finished enjoying itself. Coming up in the City of the Tribes over the next few months are the Galway Theatre Festival, the Galway Jazz Festival, the Galway Oyster Festival, the Galway Races and the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, to name just five!
This year’s Vodafone Comedy Carnival has an absurdly good lineup including – take a deep breath! – Tommy Tiernan, David O’Doherty, Des Bishop, Simon Amstell, Milton Jones, Phil Jupitus, Ardal O’Hanlon, Andrew Maxwell and PJ Gallagher, with the Galway mad Reginald D. Hunter and Todd Barry also on the bill. Running from October 16 – 24, the 12-day long affair is bigger, better and longer than ever before. Hosting shows all over the city, as well as bringing along their own Spiegeltent Paradiso for the first time, this festival includes not only stand-up but also improv, theatre, musical and sketch comedy, as well as a mix of late and early shows for all you underage comedy aficionados. For the full programme check out vodafonecomedycarnival.com
Galway has always had a vibrant and varied music scene, with the legendary Róisín Dubh playing a central role. This intimate venue is a must-visit for music and comedy fans alike, as over the next few months it plays host to Daithi, Elaine Mai, The Original Rudeboys, Karl Spain, Dreadzone, James Yorkston, Andrew Maxwell and The Mighty Stef. As a long supporter of local and emerging talent, it’s always worth checking out a show at the Róisín: many revered acts, including the xx, Imelda May and Two Door Cinema Club cut their teeth there before going on to hit the big time.
As music is a central part of the West’s culture, Galway has a plethora of impressive music venues, with the award-winning Monroe’s Live, Kelly’s, The Crane Bar and Tigh Neachtains also all worth checking out (for more info, read on).
Galway’s reputation as one of the best student towns is fully deserved. Electric Garden on Abbeygate Street has established itself as one of the city’s best nightclubs with third-levellers always welcome. Whether welcoming guest DJs or hosting one of their new boat trips on the Corrib Princess, Electric’s eclectic style keeps the party people happy.
Another student favourite is Carbon whose decks have been graced by such heavy-hitters as The Japanese Popstars, Calvin Harris and A-Trak. They’re also home to some of Galway’s best drinks deals and promotions.
For those who aren’t looking to mingle with the student crowd, Halo is a much garlanded 23s and over club. Spread across two floors with five bars, two dancefloors and two terraces, it has all the ingredients for a first-class night out.
So whether you want to hit the tiles, catch a trad session, slurp an oyster at the Oyster Festival (September 25 – 28), take a blustery Autumn walk down the Salthill promenade, or witness an award-winning show during the Theatre Festival (October 1 – 6), there has never been a better time to visit the City of the Tribes.
A.W.O.L TATTOOS AND PIERCINGS
A.W.O.L Tattoos and Piercings is a family run tattoo, piercing and laser removal studio in the heart of Galway City. Located beside the popular Sally Long’s on Upper Abbeygate Street, with highly experienced and friendly staff, it provides clean and professional services across the board – not to mention the very highest quality of original artwork.
As well as full custom tattooing and professional piercing they also offer fully certified laser tattoo removal every Monday and Tuesday. Open 7 days a week, they can be found online at awoltattoos.com, facebook.com/awol.tattoos, twitter.com/awoltattoos and instagram
@awoltattoos. Otherwise, you can give them a call on (091) 441942.
Tantalising the taste buds of visitors and locals for four generations, McDonagh’s on Quay Street has a deserved reputation as one of Ireland’s finest Seafood Houses. It’s divided into two sections – the Fish & Chips Bar and the Seafood Restaurant – with the latter offering a great variety of dishes including native Clarenbridge Oysters, Scallops, Prawns, Hake, Lemon Sole, Plaice, Haddock, Wild Mussels, Ray and Connemara’s finest Smoked Salmon. Everything in the Fish & Chips Bar is cooked to order and you’re guaranteed the freshest of chips as the potatoes are peeled and cut on the premises. With outdoor seating and a selection of locally brewed beers and stouts available, McDonagh’s was awarded Best In Ireland five years in a row. To find out more visit mcdonaghs.net or call (091) 565001.
Tigh Neachtain is a regular in every Galway guidebook and for very good reason. Located on the corner of Cross Street and Quay Street and run by the Neachtain family since 1894, it’s one of the city's real, authentic Irish pubs. Lunch is served in the delectable Artisan restaurant upstairs, which boasts multiple Bridgestone awards. Hosting live trad music every night and known for the occasional spontaneous afternoon session it’s always a hive of activity, and starred in Olaf Tyaransen’s recent short film, Don’t You Know Who I Am? (due an RTÉ screening over Christmas). A local favourite, Neachtains is perfect for sitting outside, one of their specially commisioned pints in hand and basking in Galway’s eclectic atmosphere. They can be found online at tighneactain.com or at (091) 568 820.
A huge favourite of music fans, Monroe’s Live is one of Galway’s best known venues. With two stages, an intimate backstage bar and an excellent cocktail menu, it’s definitely a local hotspot. They attract loads of big names too. Kodaline, Wheatus, Wallis Bird, Aslan, Republic Of Loose, Ryan Sheridan, Sharon Shannon, Paddy Casey, The Minutes and Walking On Cars are just some of the brilliant acts that appeared there. Their annual Rocktoberfest, showcasing the best up and coming Irish talent over four nights, takes place from October 9-12. This year’s line-up includes The Flaws, Rackhouse Pilfer, The Hard Ground and Youth Mass. For tickets and more info, log on to monroes.ie.
THE TOWN HALL THEATRE
Galway’s municipal theatre, The Town Hall, incorporates a 400 seat state-of-the-art auditorium, an intimate 52-seater Studio and the nearby multi-purpose Black Box. The venues present an eclectic mix of the best in theatre, music, comedy, dance, film, and literary events. Acclaimed for consistently delivering the best of national and international talent to Galway audiences, they’re the epicentre of activity for numerous festivals including the Galway Arts Festival, the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, the Galway Film Fleadh and the Cúirt International Festival of Literature. Located at Courthouse Square and owned and managed by Galway City Council, the venues’ mission is to engage the widest possible audience for a diverse programme of theatre and arts events and to provide a supportive environment for artists and arts organisations. Check out tht.ie, facebook.com/thtgalway or call (091) 569 777.
G’S TATTOO STUDIO
G’s Tattoo Studio is one of Galway’s most popular spots for those looking for a bit of body embellishment. Owner Gordon Cearney has been working as a tattoo artist in Galway for the last 14 years and along with fellow artist Caz Kelly and body piercer Debbie Moore, they have built up a great reputation amongst locals, students and tourists alike – even yours truly has one or two piercings from the needles of G’s. Named after Gerard, an apprentice who sadly passed away, G’s is a fully professional studio with outstanding hygiene procedures. Located above the Body Shop on Shop Street, they accept walk-ins as well as appointments. For more information check online at facebook.com/GsTattoosGalway or call (087) 667 3475.
Galway Hooker is an independent artisan brewery based in the west of Ireland and dedicated to the production of high quality, natural and full-flavoured beers. All of their beers are craft brewed by combining the finest ingredients with traditional brewing techniques. Having recently completed a move to a new facility, the brewery is hoping to produce up to 20,000 litres a week of its iconic Irish Pale Ale, arguably the most popular craft beer in the country.
Galway Hooker was the first brewery to launch a pale ale, now the most common style of craft beer in Ireland. They plan to continue this tradition of innovation by launching a German-style Altbier and a seaweed beer, with the main ingredient harvested from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Visit them at galwayhooker.ie and facebook.com/GalwayHookerBeer or call (087) 7762 823.
David Cunningham launched Startx6 to address the difficulty start-up businesses have finding city centre office space in Galway. An entrepreneurial hub on Galway’s Mary Street, StartX6 is a not for profit organisation that supports and develops entrepreneurs. Businesses accepted into the incubator receive free rent and equipment for six months, along with mentoring from Cunningham and fellow co-founders Declan Droney of Kinvara Salmon, Mick Fitzgerald of OnePage CRM and Breda Fox of the Local Enterprise Board in Galway.
The focus is on developing a business to launch fast, and flourish – or to fail quickly, allowing the entrepreneur to move on to the next opportunity with new skills and real life experience. Entrepreneurs are welcome from any sector but Startx6 seek to have a mix of Technology, Health, Food, Arts and Social Entrepreneurs.
See Startx6.com, facebook.com/Startx6 or follow them on twitter @startx6galway.
THE YOGA SHALA
The Yoga Shala have studios in both Galway and Dublin. They aim to bring you strong, safe and effective yoga: ideal for increasing strength but also improving athleticism and focus.
Co-Founder Dave Cunningham has recorded a ten minute yoga practice exclusively for Hot Press, in order to give our readers an introduction to yoga. Drawing on his experience teaching yoga to the Connacht rugby players and the Galway hurlers, Dave has tailored this video towards those of us that go to the gym and love exercise – but are a bit too lax when it comes to stretching. Check out Dave’s video on hotpress.com – but before you do he's added a few guidelines on how to practice yoga safely. Happy stretching!
Stay relaxed, especially in your face.
Move slowly and smoothly from one pose to the next.
Don’t over-tense your muscles.
Don’t over-breathe (the best breath is your own natural breath).
Build up energy, do not deplete it. You should leave feeling better than when you started.
Avoid physical pain, the slowest way to make change is to force it.
Bend your knees for forward bends. Spinal forward bends are much safer for the back if you bend your knees (especially if your hamstrings are tight).
Keep the lower back long as often as possible but always in side-bends and twists.
It is always safer to move slowly and sensitively. A good general rule is: bend less, tense less and breathe less.
For more information on the Yoga Shala studios see theyogashala.net or follow them on twitter