Constructed in the 1960s, Galway Cathedral is among the youngest cathedrals in Ireland and one of Europe’s youngest stone cathedrals. While it’s a relatively modern build, the cathedral borrows elements from architectural eras past, with Renaissance, Romanesque, and Gothic detailing combined with Irish artwork and adornments.
Many visitors glimpse the copper-domed silhouette of the Galway Cathedral from afar while exploring the city on foot. But the real beauty of this building is in the interior, which contains colorful mosaics, stained glass, and local Connemara marble. Visitors can take self-guided tours of the interior, and the church also hosts occasional concerts and music recitals.
Things to Know Before You Go
Galway Cathedral is a must for art and architecture enthusiasts.
The cathedral toilet is open only during service times.
The cathedral is accessible to wheelchair users via a ramp at the main entrance, which faces the Salmon Weir Bridge.
How to Get There
Find the Galway Cathedral on the left bank of the River Corrib, west of the city center. Walking from Eyre Square will take about 10 minutes. Bus numbers 433 and 964 stop outside the cathedral.
When to Get There
The cathedral is typically open from early morning until evening. Masses is usually held three times daily Monday–Friday, twice on Saturdays, and even more frequently on Sundays. Avoid visiting during services, so as not to disturb worshippers.
Inside the Cathedral
The cathedral’s interior is filled with local materials—such as Connemara marble—and art works. The large mosaic depicting the Crucifixion behind the altar was made by London-born artist Patrick Pollen, while the stained-glass rose window at the opposite end of the cathedral is the work of Irish artist George Campbell. In an alcove of a side chapel, visitors will find a mosaic depicting President John F. Kennedy in prayer, which was inspired by the U.S. president’s 1963 visit to Ireland.