1968 has become synonymous with the large-scale global protests of that year. International scholarship has increasingly sought to examine instances of these protests in global peripheries, and amongst the most studied examples is Northern Ireland. The growth of civil rights protest in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, which emerged from long-standing feelings of exclusion amongst the Catholic minority of the predominantly Protestant polity, was influenced by a broader international discourse of protest associated with the long 1968, notably the African-American civil rights movement. Simultaneously, in the west of Ireland, a number of protest groups also emerged in the late 1960s, frustrated at their communities’ perceived neglect by the government of the Republic of Ireland. This article will examine the emergence of these protest movements, discussing groups in the Galway Gaeltacht and other peripheral rural areas of Connacht, student activists in University College Galway, and campaigns challenging racism against the Travelling community. It will argue that they were influenced by the global protests associated with the long 1968, most notably by events across the border. For the purpose of the article, the ‘west of Ireland’ refers to the five Connacht counties of Galway, Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim.