[quote="jimg"]Galway has a smaller population than Limerick and is dwarved economically by Limerick. Limerick and Cork have "grand" centres]
Not so sure about the supposed "anti social problems" you mention. As someone who lives and works in Galway city centre I can honestly say it's one of the safest feeling places I have ever been at any time of the day or night. Sure there are rowdies about and it gets as messy as anywhere else on St.Patricks Day. However the overriding feeling in Galway is relaxed and friendly and it is a place that benefits rather than suffers from its nightlife and the "party" atmosphere. Galway has many other faults of course, the vast majority to do with poor planning and traffic chaos. However it is still a city in transition with huge land-banks on the verge of opening up right in the city centre. Proposals are in action to move the bus depot and goods yards away from the area behind the Great Southern in Eyre Sq. opening up a swathe of development land from the square to Lough Atalia. The first moves are being made to remove harbour activity from the city centre docks to a newly constructed facility thus clearing the way for marina and dockland developments replacing the current ugly array of scrapheaps, fuel tanks and wasteland. The potential for creating a proper city centre for Galway is huge. It remains to be seen if that opportunity will be grasped or not...
As for Limerick, Its a place I just can't warm to. Ok, so it has more of a city feel than galway but my overriding impression is of wide open streets clogged with traffic and a general dullness about the place - it's a bit like an english provincial town in that respect and especially since the ill advised Cruises St. development - nice idea but so poorly executed in 80s english high st. style. Give me Galway's characterful, colourful winding streets any day. The riverside is developing in a haphazard way with clashing building styles all screaming for attention. The Clarion Hotel is a downright monstrosity - no Idea how that got away with something so bulky, stumpy and lacking in any sort of grace. Nightlife in Limerick is pretty awful and I always find an edgyness to the place - especially since a mate of mine got his nose broken in a random act of violence outside a bar in the city centre.
Anyway, sorry about the Limerick-Bashing!! I'm just overcompensating for the previous criticism of Galway
They are both potentially great places that happen to have loads of various problems at the moment. For me, however, Galway wins out because it has a lot more energy and vibrancy as a place. Its diverse population (people from all over Ireland, Europe and beyond), great cultural life (just attended a great cuirt literature week and looking forward to the Arts Festival) and the leisurely, relaxed feel of the city centre (Limerick has plenty of ring-roads, roundabouts, shopping centres and suburban housing estates surrounding it as well!).
Maybe I should start a proper Galway info thread since I'm such a fan of it eh!!?