Detail from Lynch's Castle
Description:A photograph of Lynch's Castle in Galway. The city of Galway at one time carried on a large commerce with Spain. Today, the only example of perfectly preserved Spanish architecture is Lynch's Castle, a large, stately edifice, at the corner of Shop Street and Abbeygate Street. Its decorations, ornamental mouldings and picturesque cornices denote its Spanish character, which less than a century ago was noticeable in most of the chief buildings of the city. Other items of interest are decoratively carved windows, and finely carved gargoyles or water spouts that project outwards from the building. The Lynchs were one of the thirteen so-called Tribes of Galway, all of whom were of Anglo-Norman descent. Lynch's Castle was the home of the family for several generations. During a period of 169 years, 84 members of the family were mayors of the city. One member of the family, James Lynch Fitzstephen became mayor in 1493. He found his own son guilty of the jealous murder of a Spanish visitor. The boy was very popular in town, so much so that no one would take on the job of hanging him. Desperate to carry out the letter of the law, James executed his own son, hanging him from the balcony of the house. The Castle was acquired by Allied Irish Banks in 1930 and carefully restored to its former splendour.