by Prof. Noël P. Wilkins.

County Galway and Galway Bay have more fishery piers and quays than every other Irish county. Why is this? The reason may not be as obvious as one might expect.

This talk told the story of some of them – of the laws that governed them, the stones that make them up, the kindness of strangers who financed them and the human stories of those who built them. All of these aspects are intertwined in the overall story which is based on historical documentary evidence and personal examination of the sites mentioned.  The heritage of our fishery piers and quays is shown to be worth valuing and preserving for what it tells us regarding aspects of the ordinary lives of people of the county during the 19th century. Indeed, there are few other physical structures extant in our county and the bay area that speak as eloquently of the famines and distress of that difficult century. The stones do indeed cry out.  The talk is aimed at a general audience and is illustrated with numerous slides.

Noel Wilkins is an Emeritus Professor of NUI Galway where he lectured for many years in Zoology and carried out research on fish and shellfish.