Galway's St Nicholas Market Research Project

A Research Experience and Learning (REaL) Project

The trend towards urbanisation continues at an increasing pace and town and city dwellers now form the majority of the global population for the first time in history. The early decade of the 21st century has been characterised by increasing economic, social, political challenges that municipalities have to administer according to the interests of urban citizenship. Indeed, a fundamental condition of urban living is the necessity for urban dwellers to obtain goods and food from outside the city limits. Markets have existed in towns and cities for hundreds of years and are frequently viewed as valuable assets in promoting sustainable food policies and economic activities, and contributing to the cultural vibrancy of the urban environment. Municipal markets have long been recognised as valuable social spaces that can address growing public health issues in urban areas, such as obesity, yet there is a lack of evidence linking markets to the public health and social impacts that are claimed due to a historic lack of research on urban municipal markets. This research project will focus on Galway’s St Nicholas Market situated in Galway City on the west coast of Ireland, which has been located and has operated from its central location in the city for a number of centuries. The market showcases the produce of local artisans ranging from different types of foods, home-baked goods, crafts and paintings. This study will investigate the market from the perspectives of its present condition and its potential for the future, with the aim of understanding its position within the cultural, social and economic life of the city, and enhancing our overall knowledge of the impacts of such municipal markets on urban livings. Data collection will be carried out by researchers and undergraduate students from the School of Political Science & Sociology at the National University of Ireland Galway. The desire to connect research and teaching to create a productive and progressive agenda for undergraduate teaching and learning has become one of the most significant areas for academic development in higher education hence this innovative research aimed to satisfy two goals. The positive effect on student learning through the inclusion of real-life, complex and unstructured research-like activities is at the core of undergraduate education and thus students learn through their own discovery, supported by academic advisors and their peers in a research-rich environment. In addition, the research stood to benefit broadly from the addition of motivated and energetic student researchers who bring a positive and cooperative-learning perspective to the project, particularly to the data collection process.

Project Significant Outputs

Some of the Academic Articles and Presentations

Acknowledgements

Who helped and supported the project

This student-centred research project was made possible via the Research Experience and Learning (REaL) initiative supported by the Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC) at NUI Galway. Funding for the project has been secured through the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies Research Support Scheme at NUI Galway.

Meet the Project Team

Researchers from the School of Political Science and Sociology

Dr. Mike Hynes

Principal Investigator

Dr. Mike Hynes

Dr. Tony Varley

Principal Investigator

Dr Tony Varley

Dylan Chambers

Student Researcher

Dylan Chambers

Elsa Lee

Student Researcher

Elsa Lee


Darragh Gilmartin

Student Researcher

Darragh Gilmartin