Eyre Square Review
The largest open space in central Galway and the heart of the city, and a favorite chill-out spot on a sunny day for students, visitors, and lunching locals, Eyre Square on the east side of the River Corrib, incorporates a sculpture garden and children's play area on its east side, while its west side is bound by a heavily traveled road. In the center is Kennedy Park, a patch of lawn named in honor of John F. Kennedy, who spoke here when he visited the city in June 1963. At the north end of the park, a 20-foot-high steel sculpture standing in the pool of a fountain represents the brown sails seen on Galway hookers, the area's traditional sailing boats. Now a feature of Kennedy Park, the Browne Doorway was taken in 1905 from the Browne family's town house on Upper Abbeygate Street; it has the 17th-century coats of arms of both the Browne and Lynch families (two of Galway's 14 founding families), called a "marriage stone" because when the families were joined in marriage their coats of arms were, too. Keep an eye out for similar if less elaborate Browne doorways as you walk around the old part of town.
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