Corrib Connect


History of Rowing on the Corrib

Corrib Club

Competitive rowing on the Corrib began in 1864 when the Corrib Club was formed (officially called the Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club). The Club opened at Wood Quay for a short time, them moved to adjacent to the Weir and remained there until 1903 when it opened in its current location. Until 1875 when the Commerical Club was formed, competitive rowing was confined to Corrib Club members who held ‘badge races’ every Thursday. Such races even attracted national interest and a report on the Galway regatta appeared in the Irish Times of 21st August 1866.

Commercial Club

The current Commercial Club was formed in 1868 under the name of the ‘Galway Commerical’. Relations between the Corrib and Commercial clubs appear to have been cordial and it was proposed to have inter-club races every Monday evening. In fact, the Commerical Club did not get under way until 1875 by which time rowing was very active in Galway.In July 1880 a race between the two clubs finally took place. The Corrib won by five lengths, some say because they had a better boat.

The Royal Galway Yacht Club

The Royal Galway Yacht Club was founded in 1882 and competition in both rowing and yachting flourished on the rive and the lake. An advertisement for the Galway Bay Regatta on 22nd June 1885 to be run under the auspices of said club details races for yachts, hookers, sailing and rowing boats and outrigger boats.

Saint Patrick’s Rowing Club (The Temperance Club)

Saint Patrick’s Rowing Club, also know as the Temperance Club was formed between 1875 and 1885 to provide facilities for the members of the Temperance movement in Galway.

An annual regatta was held in Menlo and such was the public interest that Moons closed at noon on that day to allow staff to attend.

Between the three clubs referred to above, there were some 300 active oarsmen.

Celtic Rowing Club

In April 1910, the Ancient Order of Hibernians formed The Hibernian Boat Club with 40 members but later changed its name to the Celtic Rowing Club. This eventually became the Galway Rowing Club.

The Galway Athletic Rowing Club

The Galway Athletic Rowing Club opened at the same time as the Saint Patrick’s Temperance Club and participated in the local regattas.

Citie of the Tribes Rowing Club

In 1924 the Citie of the Tribes Rowing Club was formed for the Committees and Members of all the other clubs. The crews were selected from the best oarsmen of these clubs.

The Galway rowing clubs were very successful nationally and won many trophies over the years. Many of their exploits are documented by Maurice Semple in the chapter ‘Rowing on the Corrib’ of Reflection on Lough Corrib.

The Menlo Emmets Rowing Club

Having been refused membership of the Hibernian Rowing Club in the city, the men from Menlo formed The Menlo Emmets Rowing Club about 1920. From the beginning, they had the support of the villagers. At the 1927 Metropolitan Regatta in Dublin, the Menlo Emmets won both the Junior Four and Junior Eight competitions and in doing so came to the notice of not just the spectators at national level, but also the media.

The Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club

The Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club is one of the oldest inland waterway clubs in either Ireland or Great Britain and is located on Earls' Island, Distillery Road, Newcastle, Galway. It has a private function room and regularly provides updates on upcoming events and relevant news on its website (see ‘relevant links’ for more).

The National University of Ireland Rowing Club

Members of the NUI, Galway Rowing Club train in the Kingfisher club and on the River Corrib in preparation for events such as the Intervarsities and the Irish Rowing Championships. See ‘relevant links’ for further information.

Inland Waterways Association of Ireland

The Inland Waterway Association of Ireland (IWAI) is, according to its website (see ‘relevant links) ‘a voluntary organisation that advocates the use, maintenance, protection, restoration and improvement of the inland waterways of Ireland’. The IWAI was founded in 1954 and has a very useful website that is full of very useful information and would be of great use to anyone with an interest in boating activities on inland waterways such as Lough Corrib.

There is a Corrib branch of the IWAI and information on the branch can be accessed on the website under ‘waterways of Ireland’.. Information is contained under the ‘Navigation’ section of this part of the website on the Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees. It gives details of upcoming events, safety and even a classified advertisements section.

The Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees

The Lough Corrib Navigation Trustees was established and incorporated by Section 7 of the Drainage (Ireland) Act, 1856 (19 & 20 Vic. C 62). Further changes were made to accommodate the changing role of the trustees (see ‘relevant links’ for more). In the past, the Trustees were charged with the duty of dealing with navigation along the Corrib, primarily of a commercial nature but in recent times since the waterway is rarely used for this purpose, it has focussed on the ‘amenity’ aspect of the Corrib from 1948 onwards. Minutes of meetings held from 1857 onwards are in existence and further details about these can be read by going to the internet site link under ‘relevant links’.

There are currently eight trustees, three of whom are elected by Galway City Council, two by Galway County Council and one by Mayo County Council. The remaining  two trustees are coopted by the elected members.