Eyre Square was officially named the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park in 1965 but the park is yet to be known by this name. It is a great place to relax within the city and on a sunny day is just perfect. The origin of the square comes from medieval open space in front of town gate, known as The Green. The land that became Eyre Square was officially presented to the city in 1710 by Mayor Edward Eyre.
The Spanish Arch
The Spanish Arch, located on the banks of the river Corrib was built in 1584. It was originally 4 archs providing an extension of the famous city walls, designed to protect the quays. In 1755, the arches were partially destroyed by the tsunami generated by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In 1270, the Normans began to surround the new town of Galway with a large stone wall to protect against the Irish. The fortification of the town was completed circa 1583, with the erection of a citadel that would later become known as the Spanish Arch. The Spanish Arch was built to access The Long Walk and the harbourm outside city walls at that time. This is where Spanish traders unloaded & loaded their ships for many centuries. The influence of Spain can be noted in the song 'The Galway Girl' by Steve Earles as the opening line is 'I took a stroll by the old Long Walk' and refers to a dark-haired, blue-eyed Galway girl who evidently got her features from Spanish sailors!!!
This is one of Galway’s great stories. It is said that in 1493, the mayor and magistrate of Galway James Lynch FitzStephen, hanged his own son from the window of his home. Lynch's son confessed to have murdered a man, a Spanish merchant sailor in the care of the family who had romanced his girlfriend. When no one could be found to carry out the execution, Judge Lynch hanged (or lynched as the practice became known around the world after this event) his son himself, ensuring that justice prevailed, before retiring into seclusion. The memorial is now embedded in stone above a Gothic doorway on Market Street near the graveyard at St. Nicholas’s Church.