Thanks Mayor Niall McNelis for making such a wonderful speech and unveiling a plaque at the Computer & Communications Museum NUI Galway in honour of my friend Dr. Chris Coughlan - The Legend and the Legacy., co-founder of this important technology heritage learning facility.
I was honoured on the night to follow the speech of the Mayor by saying a few words of my own on the legend that was Chris Coughlan.
He was truly a giant amongst men and has left a powerful beneficial legacy on so many fronts in Galway that will last for generations to come.
Chris was instrumental in establishing the TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, the Galway Technology Centre, WestBic, the Digital Entreprise Research Centre (DERI) NUI Galway as well as the computer museum that we co-founded along with Liam Ferrie (Celtic Rambler), Pat Moran, Frank McCurry and Tom Frawley. He was a director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Galway, adjunct Professor of Business at NUI Galway, former President of the Galway Chamber of Commerce, former President of the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland and former chairperson of the Galway Civic Trust.
A man on a mission with a powerful vision of where Galway needed to be, Chris did not take fools gladly and was refreshingly honest, blunt and forthright in his views. He had a generosity of spirit that was unique and he served as an important mentor to so many people from the world of business to that of the arts. Chris also had a deep sense of social responsibility and secured for instance the provision of computer facilities to a number of educational establishments in disadvantaged communities over so many years. He and myself would agree to disagree on a number of political issues but that never got in the way of us seeing a common goal or aspiration that we worked towards for the good of society. Anyway he told me often that he looked on himself sometimes as a bit like me, “a good natured Bolshie” which pleased me no end! We shared a lot of other things in common too including early careers in our youth as managers of small computer stores!
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.