The River Corrib (Irish -Gaillimh / Abhainn na Gaillimhe) in the west of Ireland flows from Loch Coirib / Lough Corrib through Galway to Galway Bay. The river has only a length of six kilometres from the lough to the sea, and is said to be the shortest in Europe. It is also among the most powerful, especially after a few days rain. It is popular with local whitewater kayakers and is the training ground of NUI, Galway Kayak club
The correct name for river in English is the Galway river i.e. from Gaillimh. In Irish it is sometimes called An Ghaillimh ("the Galway") and also incorrectly called the Abhainn na Coiribe. The legend concerning its naming states that it was called after Gailleamh the daughter of a Fir Bolg chieftain who drowned in the river. The word Gaillimh is believed to mean "stony" as in "stony river". The commonly held myth that the city takes its name from the Irish word Gallaibh, "foreigners" i.e. "the town of the foreigners" (from Gall, a foreigner) is incorrect as the name Gaillimh was applied to the river first and then later onto the town. Indeed, the earliest settlement at Galway was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe, or "the town at the end of the Galway (river)".
The river gave its name to the town, which grew to a city, and from c. 1570 onwards, the city gave its name to the county. It also aided massively in the industrial development of the town, allowing it to develop electrical power before London. At the height of water power, there were over twenty mill wheels in operation from races built on the river and its accompanying cut, the Eglinton Canal, which was built as part of the "Drainage and Navigation scheme of Loughs Carra, Corrib and Mask" in the mid 1800s.
Lough Corrib is the anglicised form of Loch Coirib which itself is a corruption of Loch nOrbsean which according to placename lore is named after the Irish god of the sea. There is good fishing to be had on both the lake and river.
The part of the river that flows from the southern end of the lake to the Salmon Weir is known as the Upper Corrib. The Salmon weir, a set of weir gates also built during the above navigation scheme, was originally built from stone and timber but now only two of these gates remain and are only opened in times of flood. The rest have been replaced by fourteen steel gates, as shown in the photograph above.
The section of the river that runs from the Salmon Weir through Galway city and out into Galway Bay is known as the Lower Corrib. Three bridges cross the Lower - the Salmon Weir Bridge, William O'Brien Bridge and Wolfe Tone Bridge.
The only tributary of the Lower Corrib is Sruthán na gCaisláin (Castle Stream), a small stream that flows through Newcastle, the grounds of NUI, Galway, and empties into the Lower just downstream of Kings weir, commonly known as the fish gates.
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