The Charms of the City of the Tribes

A Mayo man in Galway
The charms of the City of the Tribes

Edwin McGreal

Eddie Durkan of the Hardy Bucks would be fierce jealous of me. As far as he’s concerned, I’ve made it. Made it to the big city, the capital of the west. Galway.
It’s Eddie’s lifetime’s ambition to move to Galway, the big schmoke as he puts it. To get out of Castletown (Swinford) and move with the city slickers.
Eddie reckons he had enough of small town life and wanted to move to the big city. But he couldn’t quite go through with it.
The lure of Galway was great but the pull of home, even though he might give out about it, was there too.
Eddie, let me tell you something, don’t mind Castletown. Leave that small town life behind. Galway is where it is at. Come up and I’ll show you the ropes. You won’t regret it, man.
Galway is where I am at anyhow. Another one of the thousands of Mayo folk up here. Eddie Durkan is right, Galway holds a certain huge attraction for us. It is our local metropolis. But it doesn’t scare our folk in the way Dublin does. It is big enough to get lost in, small enough to be ‘homely’. And sure when (not if) we get homesick, sure it’s only an hour down the road to home.
The Headford Road roundabout might frighten the bejaysus out of us when we first hit the city but you get used to it. You might never master it but you manage to get through it with only the odd hoot of the horn from someone telling you that you’re in the wrong lane. So long as they brake, you’re safe enough.
It’s my second time moving to Galway. I was here before as a green, naïve young student in the early part of this century. Now I’m back as a green, naïve, slightly older student.
It’s the thing to do these days. Why bother yourself with the concerns of the gloomy real world when you can place yourself in the parallel universe which is college? Although the lack of a regular income could be a problem but we’ll cross that bridge when our savings run out.
Probably in early October. Possibly sooner.
The completion of my college degree is what brings me back to Galway and so what was A Breaffy Man in Castlebar is now A Mayo Man in Galway.
Final year Arts is what I’m in for and unfortunately there’s a small bit of work involved, it being final year and all. It has yet to be finalised yet but I will have about 13 hours a week in my first semester. Tough life, isn’t it?
Plenty of time so to sample the charm of the City of the Tribes. I promise I won’t rub it in every week.