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Druid Theatre Company can be touted as a torchbearer in promoting Irish theatre outside of Dublin. It owes a lot of its recognition and fame to the well-known Irish playwright of the early 1900's, John Millington Synge. One of his most acclaimed works, ‘The Playboy of the Western World', produced and performed in 1975 at this theatre, won huge accolades and shot the Druid straight into limelight. Since then it has been a never-ending journey of touring around (mainly Europe) and being a major platform for aspiring Irish writers. Although it's popularly known for showcasing productions of Synge's plays, it also has names like Martin McDonagh, Geraldine Aron, John B Keane Sive to embellish its status! Druid productions are held at two venues, at the Chapel Lane and at the Town Hall Theatre.
The Salmon Weir Bridge crosses the Corrib from the Cathedral on one side to the courthouse on the other. Hordes of people gather on this bridge from mid-April to early July to see the shoals of salmon make their way up the Corrib river to spawn. During the salmon season, people stop to watch anglers fishing in the waters below, applauding each catch. (However, the anglers are not always pleased to have an audience!) There is a magnificent view of the Cathedral from the bridge itself, and the view remains impressive all the way down to Wolfe Tone Bridge.
Cross the Salmon Weir Bridge from the Cathedral and turn right to find the recently restored Riverside Walk. This walk runs from the Weir to Mainguard Street and can be quite invigorating early in the day, as the river becomes quite turbulent here before it meets the sea. The walk provides a great vantage point for viewing the eel boxes and anglers fishing on the river below the Salmon Weir Bridge. Folklore states this was the section of the river where Galvia (daughter of the mythic king Breasal) was drowned. This is the same Galvia who, legend has it, lent her name to the city.
History does not clearly indicate whether the arch that still stands here is part of the medieval city wall.It is believed that the arch may well be an extension built in 1584.It was utilised as a lookout post, from which the advance of unwanted buccaneers could be spotted. The "Spanish Arch" actually consists of two arches.The front of the Arch is part of the historic Fishmarket area, where Claddagh women would traditionally sell freshly caught fish.
The Quays Bar first got a licence to serve alcoholic beverages back in the 1600s. When you enter, it initially appears that nothing has changed since then. The welcoming atmosphere and impressive embossed wooden decor have withstood the test of time. The Quays features live music most nights, ranging from good traditional bands to more mainstream covers of contemporary music. Winner of the Traditional Irish Music Pub of the Year, this pub/venue is always buzzing, and attracts tourists and locals alike.