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Diocesan coat of arms

Diocese of GalwayKilmacduagh & Kilfenora

Deoise na GaillimheChill Mac Duach & Chill Fhionnúrach

Diocesan Archive

old ledgerThe Galway Diocesan Archive is maintained in a secure location which is not immediately accessible or open to the public. Queries should be directed to the archivist, Mr Tom Hansberry, or to Dr Darina McCarthy, who can be contacted via

The archive contains items of historical interest relating to parishes, administrative matters relating to the diocese, and a library. Not all material is catalogued, and only part of the catalogues are electronically searchable. Work is ongoing to improve cataloguing, and to assess and catalogue the library.

Genealogy Queries

Please note that sacramental records are not kept at diocesan level: they remain with individual parishes. If you are searching for a baptismal, marriage or death record, please apply to the parish in which the sacrament was administered. You will find contact details for all parishes here.

Not all sacramental records are complete, nor do they all survive the passage of time. These parish-based records are not computerised, so all searches are made by hand. Accessing and searching through large hand-written registers takes a great deal of time, particularly when handwriting is faded through age or difficult to read. 

If you are unsure about family details, it may be useful to do some initial research before making your request at parish level. The National Library of Ireland has some helpful genealogy advisory web pages showing what’s available online and how to go about your family history search: see

The following websites may also be useful (some are subscription-based):
• Irish National Archives:
• National Library of Ireland – parish registers:
• Irish Graveyards:
• Find A Grave:
• From-Ireland:
• Galway Family History Society:
• Roots Ireland:
• Irish Family History Centre:
• Irish Genealogy:
• And for an idea of costs, see Irish Genealogy Services:

An explosion and fire in the Public Record Office in Dublin in 1922 destroyed many administrative records from the 13th to the 19th century, which makes family and other research that much more difficult.

Direct access to parish registers by members of the public is not permitted for reasons of data protection, so you or your local nominee will not be able to search through record books yourself. Instead, you will need to make a record/s request. When making record requests, please be specific in stating what information you are seeking, and give full names and dates. If you wish to make a record request for a living person, please note that person must give their permission in writing, along with photo ID, nominating you to obtain the record on their behalf. You must also provide proof of identity.

From the Archive

Edward MacLysaght & H.F. Berry, 'Report on documents relating to the Wardenship of Galway'Analecta Hibernica no.14 (The Irish Manuscripts Commission Ltd, 1944).
This issue of Analecta Hibernica is devoted to material relating to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction known as the Wardenship of Galway. Its history covers a period of three and a half centuries: from 1484, when the Wardenship was created, to 1831, in which year the Catholic Diocese of Galway, subsequently united to the Dioceses of Kilfenora and Kilmacduagh, was formed.


Cardinal Cushing dedicates Galway cathedral


A clip from the British Pathé archives concerning the dedication of Galway Cathedral in 1965 is here.

(As British Pathé needs commercial advertisers to support its work, you may have to wait for a few seconds to skip an advertisement before accessing the video. The content of such advertisements is outside our control.)