Galway 2020 - Let's Take Ownership

I enjoyed attending, along with my lovely wife Cepta (centre), and good friends Niall O Brolchain​ and Joyce McGreevy​, the party at the Cornstore to celebrate Galway city and county being awarded European City of Culture 2020.  Good to meet up too with people such as Karl Sweeney​  who are prime proponents of volunteer leadership in our region.
Galway 2020 volunteer Marto Hoary with Cepta & Joyce
I thought that it was appropriate that the happy gathering took place outside the legendary bookshop of Charlie Byrne. His premises is of course a repository of world and Irish cultural literature. The man himself was also a fellow student (& housemate) of mine when the Galway Arts Festival, spawned from Ollie Jennings​ and his associates in the UCG ArtsSoc, was in its infancy.
As mentioned in a previous posting, the 2020 team, that included Marilyn Gaughan Reddan​, Tracy Geraghty​, Nollaig McGuinness​, Niall O'Hara and Patricia Philbin, enthusiastically embraced so many elements of local society in the bidding process- neighborhoods, localities, asylum seekers, environmentalists. schools, colleges, youth, heritage, technology, arts, science, rural and urban. All were made to feel active contributors if they so wished. In so doing, the team recognised 'Culture' as being part of everything that makes us Galwegian, from our work to our play, from indigenous to new ethnicity.
Galway's most famous photographer Joe Shaughnessy with Joyce, Cepta and Philip Cloherty

Now it is up to each of us who value our peoples to grab the opportunities now being presented and to ensure that our own sectoral  vision comes through.
I recognize this in my own professional areas of technology, science and heritage learning. But wearing 'my other hat',  I also want to encourage my fellow community and environmental activists also do likewise especially as we have recently being awarded European Green Leaf City for 2017 which was led by Sharon Carroll​, another great advocate of progressive change and a strong supporter of community engagement.
Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture​ -it is ours to lose.

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