Student survey finds public wants Lynch's Castle as a heritage facility

Wednesday, January 08, 2014 Press Office
Press Release

88% of people want the building to become a museum or gallery

A GMIT student survey of public opinion on the ownership and use of Lynch’s Castle building in Galway city indicates there is overwhelming support for the historic building to be converted into a heritage facility.


988 people in Galway were questioned by GMIT heritage degree students during a two-day street survey on Shop Street (Friday 16 and Saturday 17 November, 2013). The students posed a single question ‘Should Lynch’s Castle be converted into a heritage facility’; 88% (868 people) replied ‘Yes’ and 12 % (120 people) ‘No’.


An online survey using Survey Monkey was also conducted by the students from 11 to 26 November and linked to Facebook and Twitter accounts. A total of seven questions were put to participants, including the same question posed to people on the street which had almost the same response (90%).


The overall objective of the student survey was to ascertain people’s knowledge of the building and its ownership as part of a campaign called Lynch’s Castle, Whose Castle? The students are all first years on the BA in Heritage Studies programme based in GMIT’s Dublin Road campus, and were facilitated by their lecturer Paul Gosling.


The seven online survey questions (and responses) were:


1. Who owns Lynch’s castle in Shop St Galway? [Response: AIB 75%, Galway City Council 25%]
2. Who owns Allied Irish Bank (AIB)?  [Response: AIB 30%, The State 70%]
3. Do you use the banking facilities at Lynch’s Castle? [Response: Yes 42% No 58%]
4. The heritage value of Lynch’s Castle is ….? [Response choice: Local 28%, Regional 24%, National  44%, International 22%]
5. Did you know that after the financial collapse of 2007 tax-payers money was used to bail out the banks, including AIB? [Response:        Yes 90%, No 10%]
6. Should Lynch’s Castle be converted into a heritage facility (museum, gallery)? [Response: Yes 90%, No 10%]

7. If Lynch’s Castle were converted for heritage use, who should manage the facility? [Response: AIB 5%, Galway City Council 30%, Galway Civic Trust  44%, OPW 33%].


GMIT Heritage lecture Paul Gosling says conducting the survey was an excellent learning experience for the students and a worthwhile exercise that will enhance their research skills.


“It was a success both from a pedagogical and practical point of view. Class participation and groupwork was near 100%. Regarding the topic Lynch’s Castle, Whose Castle? the public were unequivocal in their support for the proposition that Lynch’s Castle should be converted into a heritage facility. It is interesting to note that Galway Civic Trust was the first choice of the public in terms of who should manage the facility.”


Student Marta Krzywda says “The survey taught me that people are aware of their local heritage and moreover care greatly about it.”


Students involved in this project Jonthan Concannon, Jamie Costello, Tommy Crehan, Brid Croke, Marie Donnellan, Martin Delaney, Brendan Flynn, Hannah Forde, Alan Fox, Zoe Geoghegan, Mike Kelly, Breege Kenny, Marta Krzywda, Mags McGovern, Brendan McHugh, Brendan Mohan, Sarah  Murtagh, Nicky O’Malley, Rosemary O’Malley, Emma O’Sullivan, David Pidgeon, Anthony Ryan, Mike Shalvey, Damien  Tuite, Noel Watts. Tutor: Paul Gosling.


A seven minute video clip of the students and their lecturer conducting the survey on shop street can be viewed on GMIT’s YouTube Channel . The video was shot and produced courtesy of independent film-maker Nigel O’Brien.