10 min walk from the Periwinkle B&B (Bed & Breakfast accommodation, Galway City).
Kirwan’s Lane is located off Cross Street and is one of the finest examples of Galway’s medieval heritage, it derived its name from associated with the Martin family, in particular Humanity Dick Martin. Tigh Neachtain’s pub was once Dick Martins town house.
In 1779 Martin founded Galway’s first theatre, located in Kirwin’s Lane where he and his wife frequently participated in plays performed there. In the past as well as the 100 seat theatre there was also two nunneries located here. Unsuspected by Martin, Theobald Wolfe Tone who also acted in the theatre from time to time and was later to become famous as one of the leaders of the 1798 Irish Rebellion, had an affair with Martin’s wife. The bridge near Kirwin’s Lane, between the Spanish Arch and The Claddagh is called the Wolfe Tone Bridge!. Martin later divorced his wife following another of her affairs and consequently was awarded a staggering sum of £20,000. However, mad with rage, he had his horses shoes forged in gold and on the long journey back to Galway he threw every last pound out the carriage window!.
In 1822 he successfully passed an act for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
In 1826 he fled to France to avoid being jailed for debt and died there in 1834.