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1. Galway City Museum

Spanish Arch, Galway

Fax: +353 91 532 467

Web: http://www.galwaycitymuseum.ie/

Situated behind the famous Spanish Arch, Galway City Museum houses exhibitions which explore aspects of the history and heritage of Galway City, focussing on the medieval town, the Claddagh village and Galway, 1800-1950. In addition to these core exhibitions, the Museum mounts temporary exhibitions and hosts a variety of exhibits from other museums, galleries and special interest groups.

Of the highlights of the Museum are the Galway Civic Sword and Great Mace. The Civic Sword dates from the time of the Charter of King James I, which gave authority in 1610 for the carrying of such a weapon before the Mayor. The Great Mace, a massive piece of ornamental silverwork, was made in Dublin in 1710, and was presented to the town by Edward Eyre, Mayor of Galway, in 1712.

The Museum is also home to two iconic symbols of the city – the statue of Padraic Ó Conaire and a Galway Hooker, named ‘Máirtín Oliver’, which was made especially for the Museum. The building itself affords spectacular views of the Claddagh, the Spanish Arch, the River Corrib and Galway Bay.

Opening Hours: Summer (June to September), Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm Winter (October to May), Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm

Admission: Free

Access: Wheelchair accessible.

Guided Tours: Tours last approx. 30 minutes and can be provided in Irish or English. Pre-booking is essential.

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2. Dartfield Horsepark and Museum

Kilreekill, Co. Galway

Fax: +353 91 843969

Web: http://www.dartfield.com

This museum charts the history of the horse and its contribution to society from the earliest times to the present day. The museum also features a cafe and gift shop. Horse riding and carriage rides available. The 350 acre parkland can be explored on foot, horseback, or by horsedrawn carriage. Open daily, all year.

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3. Knock Folk Museum

Knock, Co. Mayo

Fax: +353 94 88295

Web: http://www.knock-shrine.com

Tells the story of the Knock Apparition of 1879 and places it in the context of life in Ireland at that time.

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4. National Museum of Ireland - Country Life

Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Fax: +353 94 9031628

Web: http://www.museum.ie

Home to the national folklife collection, the museum of Country Life is a branch of the National Museum of Ireland. Winner of Museum of the Year in 2001, the Museum is located in Turlough village, 4 miles east of Castlebar, co Mayo (off the N5). Visitors to the Museum's Exhibition Galleries are invited to experience the story of Irish country life between 1850 and 1950 through the innovative combination of artefacts and displays, archival video footage and interactive screens. The National Museum of Country Life is located in the spectacular grounds of Turlough Park amid magnificent gardens and an artificial lake, and located alongside the restored Turlough Park House and its adjoining courtyards. Visitors can enjoy a range of public programmes including weekly craft demonstrations/workshops. Admission to these events is free, but booking is necessary. For bookings, please contact the Education and Outreach Dept. (Mon-Fri 10.00-14.00) on Tel: +353 949031751 or +353 16486304; or Fax: +353 949031498. E-mail: educationtph@museum.ie

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5. Arigna Mining Experience

Arigna Mining Experience Co. Ltd., Enterprise Centre, Arigna, Co. Roscommon

Fax: +353 71 9646466

Web: http://www.arignaminingexperience.ie

Ireland's First Coal Mining Museum - Ireland's First and Last Coal Mines. In the hill country of North Roscommon, Arigna is situated in a picturesque valley with breathtaking scenery and an unspoiled landscape. Mining was carried out in Arigna for 400 years until 1990 when the last mines closed. The work of a Minor was exhausting and often hazardous, with working conditions that were very harsh and cramped. Experience this for yourself at Arigna Mining Museum. Walk underground through what was the last working mine in Arigna and see how the coal was mined. Take a journey through a part of our national history which you have only ever been able to read about until now.

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6. Clewbay Heritage Centre

The Quay, Westport, Co. Mayo

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7. Dillon's Claddagh Gold

1 Quay Street, Galway

Web: http://www.claddaghring.ie/

Thomas Dillon of Galway have been making the world famous Claddagh Friendship Ring since 1750. The shop relocated from its original premises in William Street to Quay Street in the 1990s. The shop also features a small museum with Claddagh Rings and other exhibits. Admission is free of charge.

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8. Lackagh Museum & Hertiage Centre

Lackagh, Turloughmore, Co. Galway

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9. Connemara Heritage & History Centre / Dan O'Hara's Homestead

Lettershea, Clifden, Co. Galway

Fax: +353 95 22098

Web: http://www.connemaraheritage.com/

Nestling into the hillside beneath the Twelve Bens is the restored cottage of Dan O'Hara, a man made famous in song and story. From the hilltop above the farm, there is a spectacular view of the Roundstone Bog as it stretches towards the Atlantic. Left of the viewing site is an Upland Burial Site (5000 years old) which has revealed much about Neolithic and early Bronze Age activity in Connemara.

The Audio-visual and History Presentation introduce the main events which have shaped Connemara from pre-historic to the present - this is in several languages. Other features include reconstructions of a crannóg (pre-historic lake dwelling), ring fort and clochaun (Early christian Oratory).

An old-style carriage takes visitors on a guided tour through the Centre by prior appointment. Turf cutting demonstrations, sheep herding and other activities demonstrated for groups on request.

Facilities at the Centre include a large craft shop, tea room (serving soups, salads and cakes), telephone and toilets. Major Credit Cards accepted.

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10. Nora Barnacle House Museum

Bowling Green, Galway

James Joyce, the famous Irish author, was a regular visitor to Galway, as his wife and chief inspiration was born in the city's Bowling Green area. Nora Barnacle (1884 - 1951) was to provide the inspiration for the character of Molly Bloom in 'Ulysses'.

The Nora Barnacle House is now a small private museum which has retained its former character. It's open to the public during the Summer months and the charming and knowledgable guide, Stephen, will be happy to show you around.

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11. Quiet Man Cottage Museum

Circular Road, Cong, Co. Mayo

Web: http://www.quietman-cong.com/

A museum dedicated to John Ford's famous 1951 movie The Quiet Man starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. It was filmed in the village of Cong and surrounding areas. The museum is open daily from 10:00 to 17:00.

Guided tours of the Quiet Man flim locations depart daily at 12:00 from the museum (summer months only).

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12. Glengowla Mines

Oughterard, County Galway

Fax: +353 91 552360

This Connemara mine, abandoned in 1865, is a unique reminder of the 19th century methods of ore extraction and processing. The tour explores large marble chambers and caverns studded with lead and silver pyrite and veins of calcite and quartz.

The mine is noted for its rare and beautiful octahedral crystals of fluorite and quartz. Pitch pine timbers believed to be brought back to the west of Ireland by the emigrant coffin ships are still intact in the mine today.

Historic 19th Century silver and lead mine with guided underground tours every 20 minutes - last tour 5.30 pm. A unique heritage attraction being the only one of its kind in the country. A visit is a pleasurable experience.

Open March to November daily from 10:00 to 18:00. For visits at other times please call in advance.

Admission (2006 prices): Adult: EUR7.50; OAP: EUR6.50; Child: EUR4.00; Family (2 adults + 2 children): EUR22; Groups (16 or over) discount, by advance arrangement.

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13. King House

Main Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Fax: +353 71 9663243

Web: http://www.kinghouse.ie/

King House, a magnificently restored 18th Century Georgian mansion, was built around 1730, by Sir Henry King. The house has unique architectural qualities making it a building of international significance. After its first life as a home, King House became a military barracks to the famous Connaught Rangers from 1788 until 1922. In more recent years, King House has also been a barracks for the Irish Army.

Today, visitors can explore this unique architectural treasure and enjoy a range of interactive presentations that offer an appreciation of Ireland's heritage and culture.

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14. Derryglad Folk Museum

Curraghboy, Athlone, Co. Roscommon

Fax: +353 90 6488192

No trip to the midlands is complete without a visit to the award-winning Derryglad Folk Museum situated 7 miles (13km) from Athlone and 15 miles (24km) from Roscommon. The museum is privately owned and run, and houses a unique 25-year collection of horse-drawn machinery restored to its original working order, tradesman tools, collection of butter-making equipment, household utensils, old-style thatched bar and grocery, collection of hand shears, old-style garage, gramophones and old 78 records, old and rare washing machines and laundry memorabilia and a wide-ranging collection of indoor and outdoor rural artefacts. Why not pay a visit and view our collection of over 3,000 items. The Museum itself is situated in a rural setting in the peace and tranquility of unspoilt countryside, where you can enjoy a friendly relaxed atmosphere. The collection deals with the farm and folklife in Ireland from the 18th century to the recent past. Contact: Mr Charlie Finneran

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15. Kiltartan Gregory Museum

Kiltartan Cross, Kiltartan, Gort, Co. Galway

Fax: +353 91 631482

Web: http://www.gortonline.com/gregorymuseum/

Award-winning museum which includes works of Lady Gregory, local history, artefacts, photos, manuscripts and early 20th Century classroom.

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16. Strokestown Park House, Garden And Famine Museum

Strokestown, Co. Roscommon

Fax: +353 78 33712

Web: http://www.strokestownpark.ie

Strokestown Park House is an 18th Century restored mansion housing the Irish National Famine Museum and featuring a beautifully restored 6-acre Georgian Walled Garden complex which gives an insight into the horticultural practices and garden architecture from the 1700s to the present day. Restaurant and Famine Museum. Contact: Mr John O'Driscoll

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17. Tuam Mill Museum Society

Shop Street, Tuam, Co. Galway

Fax: +353 93 24463

Web: http://www.tuamcogalwayireland.net

The only preserved corn mill in the west of Ireland. Also seasonal tourist information office. Provides general information on the history of milling, the town of Tuam and assistance to visitors tracing their ancestry.

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18. Hell's Kitchen Railway Museum

Main Street, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon

Web: http://www.hellskitchenmuseum.com

The only railway museum of its type in the world. Preserved diesel loco plus lots of railway memorabilia on display. Open during public house hours or on request. Contact: Mr Sean / David Browne. Guided tours on request. Disabled access.

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19. Clonfert Diocesan Museum

Saint Brendan's Cathedral, Loughrea, Co. Galway

Fax: +353 91 847367

The museum holds a unique collection of chalices, carved wooden figures and vestments. Open during summer season.

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20. James Mitchell Geology Museum

The Quadrangle NUI, Galway University Road

Web: http://www.nuigalway.ie

A geological time capsule in the college quadrangle, the museum and its unique collection of rocks, minerals and fossils. Experience the charm and harmony of 19th century science, guided by 21st century experts.

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Galway Gallery
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18 Oct 2007. Dawn Walk. Photo: North Atlantic Skyline.

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