Salthill has experienced a bumper summer so far thanks to the three-week spell of glorious weather as businesses make hay while the sun shines following a dismal winter and spring.
The season kicked off with a bang when Ed Sheeran came to town on the second weekend of May and since then the gods have been smiling down on the seaside village, admits Jeff Warde, spokesperson for community association known as The Village Salthill.
“There has been a large influx of people alright, nearly every day the place has been packed,” said Mr Warde, who worked in the Royal Villa Restaurant above the National Aquarium before it was taken over recently by the Papa Rich chain.
“Papa Rich has certainly had a good welcome to Salthill. I’ve spoken to the guys who run Curry’s Funpark beside Leisureland and they told me they’re opening every day instead of just at weekends because it’s been so busy with the weather.
“It’s been a very busy few weekends too for O’Connor’s and O’Reilly’s [pubs]. Really since Ed Sheeran arrived it’s been very good. But we needed it after a very soggy and cold January, February and March.”
Tom O’Connor – whose O’Connor’s pub was put on the world map when it featured in Sheeran’s Galway Girl video – agrees.
“Ed brought the sunshine to Salthill and it hasn’t left,” he laughed.
“It’s had a big impact on everybody, not just business in Salthill. It’s such a great start to the Summer and it’s been such a long stretch. The Prom is full, the funfair is packed everyday and everyone is sitting outside – it looks more like Spain driving through.
“It has been exceptionally busy, from the weekend of the concerts. Everyone thought he’d pop in but sure he can’t pop in anywhere anymore. We have a lot of Australians, lots of Americans, probably a lot to do with the self-catering and Airbnbs here.”
See full story in this week’s Galway City Tribune.