County Galway is located on the west coast of Ireland and is the second largest county in Ireland. Galway County has a strong local economy and offers a wide range of business sectors, including the manufacturing industry, tourism, retail and distribution, education, healthcare, and services that include financial, construction, cultural, and professional. The biomedical sector in particular is very strong in Galway with most of the largest biomedical companies in Ireland located there.

The Galway Gaeltacht covers extensive parts of County Galway mainly in the west of the County, and is the single largest and most populous Gaeltacht area in the country.

Galway Gaeltacht Facts

  • County Galway is located along the western coast of Ireland and has a population of 258,058. County Galway saw a population growth 6.6% in the period 2011-2016. 34 per cent of the population is under 25-years-old;
  • Galway is a key centre for many progressive Irish and multinational industries particularly in the software and medical devices Sectors. The National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) are the West’s most important educational and research resources. Bothe the University and the Institute have close links with industry sectors across the region;
  • The Galway Gaeltacht covers extensive parts of County Galway, mainly in the west of the County, and is the single largest and most populated Gaeltacht area in the country;
  • The Galway Gaeltacht has a population of 50,570 and represents 50.8% of total Gaeltacht population. However, about 15,300 of this population reside within the expanding suburbs of Galway City;
  • The Galway Gaeltacht encompasses a geographical area of 1,225km2. This represents 26% of total Gaeltacht land area;
  • The largest settlement areas are An Spidéal and An Cheathrú Rua. An Cheathrú Rua is located 48 km west of Galway City, An Spidéal is located 19 km west of Galway City;
  • In 2018 there were 2,978 people employed in a full-time capacity in Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies in the Galway Gaeltacht.

Local Industries/Enterprises

Údarás na Gaeltachta have selectively targeted certain areas of industry, in particular those which produce sophisticated and high value added products and services.

These offer the best growth potential and the best prospects of generating long term sustainable employment. Economic activities in the Galway Gaeltacht include information and communications technology, engineering, chemicals and pharmaceuticals/biopharmaceuticals, audio-visual activities and telecommunications, electronics, software, marine based natural resources, textiles, medical devices, internationally traded services, including financial services, call centres and shared services centres.

Transportation Systems

Galway is well served by international airports and has an extensive road and rail network to and from Galway from other major centres.

Three national primary roads serve Galway City:

  • N17 to the North (Tuam, Sligo and Donegal)
  • N6 to the East (Athlone and Dublin)
  • N18 to the South (Shannon, Limerick and Cork)
  • Distances from Galway to:

    • Dublin 136m/216km
    • Limerick 65m/105km
    • Shannon 54m/87km
    • Cork 128m/205km

    Air services

    Ireland West Airport Knock
    Ireland West Airport Knock is located near CharlestownCounty Mayo, and provide flights to Europe and America.
    Further information:

    Shannon Airport
    Shannon Airport mostly handles transatlantic flights and flights to Europe and Britain. Further information:

    Rail services

    Iarnród Éireann runs regular return passenger services each day between Dublin, Galway and intermediate stations.
    Further information visit:

    Bus services

    Bus travel to Galway from all major towns and airports is serviced by many private operators and the national bus company.
    Further information visit

    Medical Services in County Galway

    • University College Hospital
    • Merlin Park Regional Hospital
    • Bon Secours Hospital
    • Galway Clinic

    Education in the Gaeltacht

    • Pre-Schools: 17
    • Primary Schools: 43
    • Secondary Schools: 9

    Third Level Education

    Training for Industry

    SOLAS provide career advice and guidance including information on job and training opportunities as well as temporary employment options.

    Recreational Facilities

    County Galway offers everything you could ask for in terms of recreation and amenities. A natural playground for golf, equestrian, walking, angling, fishing, water sports, arts and crafts and cycling enthusiasts. Further information:

    Telecommunications services

    Advanced telecommunications services are critical for the attraction of direct investment, for the development of indigenous industry and the promotion of the knowledge economy.

    The Gaeltacht regions are fully integrated into Eircom’s National Fibre Network with access to all high speed and advanced services. Broadband availability is comparable with all other rural regions in Ireland and the EU with at least 62 per cent of lines being DSL enabled. In addition wireless based broadband services are available in many regions offering competitive options to companies and the community.

    Contact us for further information on telecommunication services in the Gaeltacht.