The symbols of the crest are the Spring Gentian and the Arch. The Gentian represents the unique flora found on the golf course while the Arch represents Athenry's unique historical legacy.
The North Gate know locally as the "Arch" is part of the old gates through which one entered old Athenry. In 1310 a murage grant from the King was allowed so that money could be collected to build the walls around the town. The walls were built after the Battle of Athenry. The walls had six towers and five gates. There are the remnants of the towers still standing today but only on gate has survived - The North Gate. This gate was rebuilt in the 1970's though most of the gate was actually still in good repair. The "Gate" still retains its "Murder Hole" - this is where soldiers hid and if the enemy got under the Gate, the soldiers would drop boiling water and stones on them.
The Spring Gentian Gentiana Verna
This flower has its Irish headquarters in the Burren from which it extends Northwards along a narrow corridor to the southern part of Lough Carra, South Mayo. The plants on the Athenry Golf Course represents its most easterly extension in Ireland. Its European distribution is distinctly Alpine. It can be found up to 2600 metres elevation, which makes its occurrence in Ireland near sea level the remarkable.
Its deep blue star-like flower with five pointed petal are usually at their best in mid-May. After a short flowering season of about three weeks the plant, which is perennial, becomes lost in the grassy sward.It multiplies vegetatively by means of stolons but also produces viable seed. Land management practices such as the application of fertilizers which encourages the more competitive grasses and herb, result in the demise of the Spring Gentian.
This plant is thought to have been transported to Ireland during our last ice age. The Burren is unique in Ireland in that its distinctive flora is not native to Ireland. The plants in the Burren are found among the rock crevices - grykes in the limestone pavement. As limestone is the local rock the similarity between our golf course and the Burren is quite obvious. The effects of glaciations in the removal of the covering rock and soil makes the similarity all the more striking. Unlike the Burren there are no known underground caves but the course is very liable to flooding when the water table rises beneath the surface.The early developers of our course are all too familiar with the rocky nature of the terrain and the absence of a thick covering of soil.