Eyre Square, Galway City
Eyre Square was officially renamed Kennedy Memorial Park in 1965 in honour of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who visited Galway City a short time before his assassination. Now a public park, the plot of land originally took its name from Mayor Edward Eyre who presented the land to the city in 1710.
The square’s origins date back to medieval times and the large open space which could be found at the town gate, known as “The Green”. Mostly markets took place in the northern part of this space. The earliest recording of an attempt to glamourize the park was in 1631. A variety of ash-trees were planted and the park was enclosed by a wooden fence. Following that in 1801 General Meyrick raised a stone wall around the perimeter of the square, which was later known as Meyrick Square.
In the middle of the 19th Century, the whole park underwent a redevelopment in Georgian style. In the 1960’s a full-scale reconstruction started and iron railing were removed and raised around the backyard of St. Nicholas’ Church. In 1965 the park reopened with its new name.
Statues and attractions
Two large cast-iron cannons can be found in the park. They were presented in recognition of the service of the Connaught Rangers and the Irish regiment in the British Army, during the Crimean War. A statue of Irish language writer Pádraic Ó Conaire which was erected in his memory in 1935 once resided in the park, but has since been moved to the Galway City Museum. You’ll also find a bust of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in the park.
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