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Royal Galway Yacht Club, Ireland

Last modified: 2019-03-10 by rob raeside
Keywords: royal galway yacht club | galway |
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[Royal Galway Yacht Club burgee] image located by Peter Edwards, 14 October 2018

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Burgee: Pennant 7:10 (print image). Field turquoise divided horizontally by four thin white wavy lines, charged with the arms of Galway within a light green circle, incorporating a crown and heart, fimbriated white. Between the second and third white lines, and from the arms to the fly point, the white words ROYAL GALWAY Y.C. Est 1882.
Source: accessed 14 September 2018,

"In the early 1990s the club gradually re-established itself . . .when Ireland and Galway decided to put a team in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2008/2009, the Green Dragon, it was done under the burgee of the Royal Galway Yacht Club. With this, the membership fee was €100,000 and 16 paid the fee together with others who became members for services to Galway and Sailing including Ian Walker, Skipper of the Green Dragon. His core team, supported by Jamie Boag, went on to win the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Race for Abu Dhabi. . . . Now the club, professionally managed by EnCircle 360, is being developed on a global basis with Round the World plans for 2016 and beyond. . . . And while always maintaining its root on Galway Bay, and supporting Galway Bay Sailing Club it is developing as a ‘virtual’ club on a worldwide basis. . . . Above all, the club has a focus on youth development and making the world a better place in the spirit of Irish excellence and adventure around the world. Membership is only granted to those who have contributed financially or through great deeds and services to worthwhile causes. . . . Other than being ‘serious’ in the core values and transparency when raising funds for charities and worthwhile causes such as the ATLANTIC Youth Trust a core rule of the club is that members who take membership of the Royal Galway Yacht Club too seriously, will be expelled.”
Source: accessed 14 September 2018,

"YACHT CLUB – Volvo Ocean Race Organisers in Galway have revived a 120-year old Yacht Club with 'Royal' connections . . . . The 'Royal Galway Yacht Club' (RGYC) was established in 1892 but had not been heard of for quite some time. But in 2011 it has set sail again, becoming the latest Yacht Club on the Irish sailing scene and an addition to the clubs operating on Galway Bay.. . . It has four flag officers (three Commodores and one Admiral) and it will have 'no royal aspirations’ in spite of the name according to promoter Enda O’Coineen. . . . In an open letter sent recently to VOR supporters, O'Coineen says the RGYC has been revived as a ‘slightly unconventional club’. . . . Anyone taking matters too seriously in the newly revived club Afloat. i.e., understands runs the risk of being 'black balled’. . . . Presumably what a yacht club in the Republic of Ireland cares to call itself is no longer of any concern to the British Home Office?”
Source: accessed 15 September 2018,
Peter Edwards, 26 September 2018

Historic flags

[Royal Galway Yacht Club burgee] image located by Jan Mertens, 9 May 2011

The burgee was a blue field, white cross throughout and near the hoist, a yellow heraldic ship on stylized waves, with sails furled and a tiny royal crown (in full colour) above, the hull bearing a yellow shield with a green? lion, rampant. Surely these are the arms of Galway, also the former arms of County Galway (the lion is coloured differently)? :

The image above is found in the 1923 French ‘Album des pavillons nationaux et des marques distinctives’ in spite of spelling “Golway” (Plate CI, ill. 24). The crown (Tudor model) is much larger and the shield is left bare; a bonus is the undifferentiated Red Ensign of the period.
Jan Mertens, 9 May 2011

[Royal Galway Yacht Club burgee] image by Jose C. Alegria, 17 October 2013

Sometime ago while heading off in a round the world race the Late Lord Killanin presented me with the burgee of the Royal Galway. He asked me to fly the flag and continue the tradition. We are rebuilding the club on the back of a syndicate who are building a boat for the Volvo round the world race in 2009.
Enda O'Coineen, 30 December 2007

Flying the burgee of a defunct yacht club should not be a problem, though I suggest that it should be flown as a personal or house flag, and not in the position that a club burgee would normally be flown. Reviving the club and using the same burgee is a slightly more doubtful proposition. The title 'royal' was granted to the Galway Yacht Club in 1882. What a yacht club in the Republic of Ireland cares to call itself is no longer of any concern to the British Home Office. There are still 'royal' yacht clubs in the Republic of Ireland so presumably the Irish government would have no objection to the use of an historic title by a revived club. Using the same burgee should not be a problem as long as it does not contravene any Irish regulations. The crown is still used on the burgees of three Irish yacht clubs. A record of which clubs have been granted the title 'royal' should be held by the Home Office in London. The title 'royal' does not in itself have any significance as far as flags are concerned. Most British yacht clubs that had/have the title 'royal' have also been granted, quite separately, the right to have a special club ensign. The Royal Galway was one of the very few royal clubs that did not have this right.
David Prothero, 31 December 2007

It looks like the new burgee can be seen on the right at
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 15 September 2009

I found the burgee (image above) in Alicante's yacht club, port of exit of the last Volvo Ocean Race. I read that the club was revived for this race that ended in Galway:
Jose C. Alegria, 18 October 2013

Though it may be that the Royal Galway Yacht Club was revived, specifically for a race, it doesn't seem very alive today. While the organisation does have a business address, it doesn't have an Internet presence of any kind that I could find.

No information on officers' flags, alas, for lack of officers' addresses for asking about flags. In the old club, of course, the officers had stars on the collars of their club uniforms. I've so far found no mention of officer's flags, though.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 23 June 2014