Méara Chathair na Gaillimhe, aíonna speisialta, baill an Chumainn. Tá an-áthas orm fáilte a chur romhaibh go léir anseo inniu chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh linn ar Lá Fhéile Pádraig.
Is é seo an lá a dhéanann muid ceiliúradh ar chultúr na hÉireann agus ar gach rud atá iontach faoin tír álainn seo.
Is é seo an lá a dhéanann muid ceiliúradh ar an méid atá bainte amach agus muid ag súille bliain mhaith amach romhainn.
Mayor of Galway, Distinguished Guests, Chamber Members,
I’d like to welcome you all here today to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This is a day when we celebrate all that is good about Ireland, when we are proud to be Irish and when we take pride in our achievements and look with confidence to the future.
Today we are celebrating not just Ireland, but also Galway – the de facto economic and cultural capital of the Western seaboard of Ireland which is recognised and celebrated as the best city of its size in Europe in which to live, work and enjoy life.
In the course of the past year Galway was selected by the Financial Times as the Best Micro City (↓100k pop) in Europe for Business Friendliness and for Business Potential.
Gaillimh was also awarded by the World Travel bible Travel & Leisure as the world’s friendliest city. According to the New York based travel magazine “Galway took the highest accolade due to its festive nature, lively population and musicality”
“it is the warm welcome and “the craic” here that resonates with the overseas visitors and makes Galway such a great choice for a short break”
“It is known countrywide (and beyond) as the “most Irish” City”
We are also the Unesco City of Film, and last March were awarded a Purple Flag for our safe night time economy.
Of course, we are also putting in the winning application to be the European Capital of Culture 2020.
In this particular year of 2016 when we are commemorating and celebrating, we are all rightly proud of our City, passionate about its culture, and eager to share it with our visitors.
Cumann Tráchtála na Gailimhe
Since this time last year, and on your behalf, Galway Chamber has been proactive in promoting and improving business in Galway.
We have organised over 50 events to give members additional know-how and opportunities to network including the inaugural “Venture West” conference with over 400 participants.
The conference theme was “Funding innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship in the West of Ireland” and participants came from Europe and America including Mike Krenn President of San Diego Venture Group (almost 9k km of a flight).
We issued policy submissions on Traffic & Transport, Port Development, Cost of doing business, Supporting Local Enterprise by Local Authorities, our Pre-Budget Submission and General Election Manifesto as well as having over 30 interactions with Government Ministers and key stakeholders to promote Business in Galway.
Galway Chamber has taken the lead in establishing the Atlantic Economic Corridor, a coming together of all the Chambers along the West & N-West from Limerick to Letterkenny to bring a balance to the current Dublin-Cork investment centric situation.
The grouping of Chambers also jointly appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport to stress the importance of the Shannon-Heathrow connectivity for the continued growth of both our Tourism & In-Ward investment.
Our Economic Development Plan 2016-2021 was launched by An Taoiseach and submitted to the City & County Councils, BMW & the Western Development Commission.
One of the key proposals in our Economic Development Plan is the establishment of an inner City innovation district. I am pleased to announce that Galway Chamber of Commerce with the co-operation and collaboration of Galway City Council, Start-up Galway, Westbic, NUIG, GMIT LEO, and a number of corporate sponsors namely AIB, IBM & KPMG have just completed the first step in setting up this inner city innovation hub. It is called the Portershed – former Guinness depot beside Ceannt Station and as and from next month will be the home to approximately 100 budding innovators.
Our Port Development Committee has done enormous work. We look forward to good news for this important piece of key infrastructure. We have made our submission to the N6 Galway Transportation Project –we believe that a bypass is essential but that there must also be a sustainable and environmentally friendly plan for our inner city.
We will continue to champion what’s good for Galway. We have a lot going on and we have a lot to look forward to.
Before I finish I would like to take a moment to congratulate the City of Galway on being the first city in the country to be awarded Stádas Dátheangach
Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a ghabháil le Meara Chathair na Gaillimhe, an Comhairleoir Frank Fahy, le Comhairleoirí Cathrach na Gaillimhe agus Brendan McGrath, Príomhfheidhmeannach na Comhairle Cathrach. We are very proud to be the first Irish city to have been awarded bilingual status. I would like to congratulate our Mayor, Councillors, the City Manager and all who helped make this happen.
Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil le Cian. I’d like to thank Cian O’Broin, General Manager of Hotel Meyrick and his team who have kindly sponsored this event once again this year.
I’d also like to thank Frank Commins Parade Director of the Galway St. Patrick’s Day Parade and his team as well as the Mayor, the City Manager, the City Council and all at City Hall for their continuing support for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Galway.
Once again, thank you all for being here and enjoy the rest of our National Holiday.
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh go léir.