Galway rain – soft and gentle and ever ready to soak you to the skin

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

How do you define Galway rain? It doesn’t require any explanation for those who’ve ever lived here or who have even visited – because hardly a day goes by that it doesn’t envelop the county – but for those who think that all rain is just rain, well, think again.

Galway rain doesn’t look like rain at all; more a fine mist that scarcely warrants the deployment of a coat – until you get to the end of your short walk and you couldn’t be wetter if someone dumped a bucket of the stuff all over you.

Galway rain, like the city itself, gets under your skin – or at least soaks you in a way that is entirely disproportionate to the actual levels falling from the clouds.

It’s not enough to make you think twice about venturing out into it, but like old age, it sort of sneaks up on you, catches you unawares and leaves you wondering how that happened without warning.

You walk out into it and it doesn’t seem that bad, but by the time you arrive at your destination, your trousers are stuck to you; your hair is matted to your head and your shoes are squelching from the small puddles that somehow found their way into your socks.

Galway rain isn’t torrential; it’s not the sort of sudden and all-consuming downpour they get in Florida or Thailand where getting caught in it is like falling into a river.

If you’ve ever gone to Disney and Universal Studios in Miami, you’ll be amazed by the way they deal with the reality of rain.

I’m sure this is replicated all over the place, but these theme parks have actual areas for visitors to shelter from sudden storms: a siren sounds, the outdoor rides are shut down and you stand there for ten or fifteen minutes while it looks like the world is coming to an end.

The rain is tumultuous, teeming from the blackened skies by the bucket. The ground becomes a fast-flowing stream and you think you’ve never seen anything like the ferocity of it all.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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