Tucked in, Galway Bay, East of the Corrib River.

Townland - Townparks

Known as the New Docks.

Galway Docks
The Docks in Galway
  • Coordinates -   53.270089,  -9.050030
  • Have Google Earth? Download a KMZ.  
  • Dock Gates
  • Marina
  • Breathnach Quay
  • A Weigh Bridge 
  • Sand for Glass
  • Stevedores
  • Tynagh Mines.
  • The Gas Works.
  • The Whitehorn
  • Tide Gauge
  • Mud Dock
  • See The Galway Harbour Enterprise Park.
  • Nimmo's Pier.
  • 1940
  • Mutton Island
  • Galway to Clifden Railway Line.
  • Leeside Oil
  • Corona
  • The Dun Aengus Dock, does not have the protection afforded by the Gates, but does provide some protection from the Wind and Weather, generally. 
    • Coordinates -   53.268819, -9.046599
    • Today, the Building there, just east of the Gates, is used by the Harbour Board.
    • This used to be the home of the Galway and  Aran  Fishermen's  Co-op, which moved out to Rossaveal in the late 1979.
      • There is a great debate on the Oirechtas website, about the delay in progress from comcept to completion of the Rossaveal refurbishement - beginning in 1969.
    • Presumably, this particular Dock, is a cheaper place to Berth?
    • The R.N.L.iI, have a Building here now, and launches its Life Boat with a Winch beside it.
      •  53.269132,   -9.046860
  • An Ice Tower, artificially made Ice -  one means of preserving Fish. Another, is Salt of course.
    • 53.269332,   -9.046860
    • Very popular in the past, but a lot of Trawlers, now have their own on-board, refrigeration systems.

Breathnach Quay.

  •  53.269609 ,   -9.051214
  • Immediately East of the Dun Aengus Appartment Complex - towards the Water, and by the Marina.

Dock Gates.

The Dock Gates are deceptively big - they were removed from their natural position, and placed on the Quay. Paddy Langan got the job of sand-blasting them. 1989 - 90

Those Gates are designed to float, theoretically, and thereby support their own weight. Otherwise, gravity and friction would put a greater load on the opening and closing mechanisms. Designed to float theoretically, meant that they should be water tight, not that they are.
There is a thing on nearly all Gates, which is known as a Spud. These particular Gates have this arrangement inverted - the Female part is on top, and the Male on the bottom. This makes perfect sense. If it was done in the conventional way. Mud and Sediments would be trapped in the female, and form an abrasive Grinding Paste.
Another theory is that the Gates are only closed when the Tide is out, also reducing the load on the Hydraulic system which opens them. There is a Manual over- ride, which is a a reduction gearbox basically, and wound by a Human with a handle. 


  • When the Docks were cleaned out, about 20 Years ago, you'd be surprised what was hidden in there. That Car that fell off the face of the Earth, could be in it.

    One year for about a Week - the Gates were closed and the Trawlers went to work, inside. Such was the invasion of a shoal of Sprat. Diesel expenses were down, for that period.
    The Sealing portion of these, is just over 29 feet, as marked on the Wall.
  • The Older Gates were at a different geographical position around 1850.  53.268932,   -9.049409°


Corona Virus, Covid 19

Corona Virus Test Centre, Galway Docks
March, 2020. LÉ W.B. Yeats is docked, to be fitted out as a Test Centre for the Corona Virus.

LE William Butler Yeats, Corona Testing, Galway Docks, 2020

The Marina

  •  53.269213,   -9.050113
    Marina Galway Docks
    The Marina in Galway Docks
  • A new invention - less than 20 years maybe?
  • The Docks are nowhere near as busy as it used to be, so space became available for the Leisure sector.
  • The infrastructure needed for this Marina, wasn't disruptive. 

Mc Donaghs

  • Mc Donaghs have a few large Sheds on the main road, and processed Meal and Fertilizer.  They also had another Plant out in Ballybane which is the current Hardware Shop, but wasn't always that.
  • Between the Meal and Fertilizer business, the Docks were busy. Forklifts and Lorries were everywhere. A big employer.
  • They had a Yard for servicing their Vehicles at Bowling Green.


Tide Guage


  • Coal was imported, arrived by Ship, and distributed thereafter.
    One of the mobile Cranes would lift in a Bobcat, to clean out the Coal residue, from the bottom of the Boat.
  • Donnelly's Coal, was the main distributor.
  • " Bord na Móna to close loss-making coal business" - Irish Times, March, 2018
  • Major improvements to our National Road network, meant that road transit ate up some of the Market
  • Our Green New Deal, if you will, is sure to affect both Coal, Peat, and Oil.
  • We can already see the importation of Wind Turbines, through the Docks. 
    • This is not sustainable, irrespective of national policy and narrative. We may well have to revert back.


  • Coordinates  53.269290,   -9.047123 
    • Google Map - Satellite view
    • Installed 2007, and operational.
    • Currently, weighing Sand for export.
  • There was an older, older one, that sat on the Quay side.
  • Donnelly's Coal, had their own.


  • There were 5 Priestman  Bison "crawler" Cranes at one point in  the 1980's. Now, there is one, on Rubber Wheels.
    • Diesel powered, but Mechanical (Pulley Systems, and Wire Ropes).
  • A Large Gantry Crane - Overhead - was in place for a decade or two, but removed around 1990?
    • It was above specification 
    • Too big for the depth (draught) of Ship, which the Port would allow. and not used often. There was some Oil exploration activity going on at the time,  and it did some lifting in that project.
    • It spanned the width of the east seciton of the Dock, running on tracks from North to South.
    • This was sold to Drogheda.


Mud Dock

  • On the southern end of Long Walk.
  • Coordinates -   53.268286 ,   -9.050167
  • Also outside the protection of the Gated Docks, and also with the protection of the Harbour around it.
  • Mud Dock , Galway
    Mud Dock Galway
  • Marked on the six inch Cassini Maps as "Old Dock", and tapering up with Mud of all the things?
  • Cheaper, than inside.
  • Boats with limited budgets and time to spare, would use this, for various servicing jobs.
  • The working conditions, could be muddy - when the Tide is out.
  • With that Tide out, you could remove  Propeller Shafts, Propeller itself, Rudders, etc.. Working below the Water, if you will.
    • This alone, was a huge benefit, before Dry Docks were established, and other lifting mechanisms became popular, and more affordable. Native Families, were not all rich, it must be remembered.
    • It is rare, that this type of maintenance is done this way, now. However, it was still common up until  a decade or two ago.
    • This couldn't readily be done, inside the Gates.


  • Stevedore  -  someone who loads and unloads Ships and Boats.
    • Can, mean a Company, in charge of doing the above.
  • Primary Stevedore - Galway Harbour Company.
  • City of Galway Shipping Company L.T.D. ,. Office  53.269345,   -9.046851 .
    • Name, changed from the more historic Galway Stevedores Limited,  Feb. 2010.


  • The Limerick Steamship Company  (That Red Brick Building sorta incorporated into the Dun Aengus Apartment Complex) - Iggy Madden, had it as a yard, before moving to the Enterprise Park
  • Early '70's - Michael Kelly of Kelly Shipping Limited, begins a Stevedores and Shipping Agency - mainly Ore from the Tynagh Mines.

 Galway Docks, 1940

See a wonderful of Galway Docks in January of 1940, which depicts Gas Lights, Boat, The Dock Gates and even the Fever Hospital in the distance to the left of the Gates.
Image is Courtesy the Irish Capuchin Archives
Galway Docks, 1940.

Sand for Glass.

  • There is a particular type of Limestone which is suitable for making Glass, and it comes from Cong in Mayo, and exported to Canada through the Docks in Galway.  This Limestone is high in Calcium Carbonate, while others would typically have other chemical elements and impurities interspersed throughout.

The Tynagh Mines

See a short video of the Structure on Youtube.

In 1959, a drilling rig rolled into Eamon Reilly's Farm. There was an intelligence network based on  the death of Animals, versus strict Geologicaal analysis.  if Animalls  were poisined, then something poisoned them - an imbalance , a toxicity. It continued until it ran out of viable land. A Lady by the name of Julia Burke  had no great interest in selling, while the seam had a particular direction - towards Portumna.
Tynagh, closed shop sometime in 1982 with that dome-shaped shed lingering on till 2005.  It had an obvious and curious looking elevator projecting west from it. This Business began in 1965, mining from that Townland ( 53.165088,  -8.375763 ) in South Galway (You can still tell , by looking at Google Earth) and exporting  through the Docks here. It was big business at the time, and left an enduring legacy. See the Tribune, from 2013 It was mainly Copper, Lead and Zinc Ore. See RTE Archive from 1965 with the famous Sean Lemass - someone well connected with Industry in Galway at the time.

Planning permission, to demolish that Dome, was granted in 2004, opening the way for the new Car Park.

See an image from 1963

The Whitehorn.

The Whitehorn, went aground on the first of April, 1977, near Mutton Island, and had to be unloaded in-situ.  William S. Cox, the owner, paid 150 pound a day per man, to get the job done.  Its weight - 1,532 Tons.

Saoirse na Mara

18th Dec. 2019. An unforecasted Storm, allied to a high Tide, caused the Saoirse na Mara to get stuck between the Pier and a stone embankment. 

Capitaine Pleven  II


Guano (the accumulated excrement of seabirds and bats) was imported as Fertilizer before they were chemically created. This product came from South America, and their Vessels could bring a back-load home as Ballast (Boats and Ships always do this, if possible, but usually use Sea Water). It is not unusual though, for Cargo Boats to bring something else, and Limestone left the City, for this reason. Crap in, Rock out.

Hammer Electronics. had a place across from Galway Bay Seafoods, and did service, repair and installation of Sonars , Radars and sundry Electric Work.

Bonham Quay, Galway Docks