Let's honour the arts architects of Galway with a wall memorial
I first came to Galway on the Lisdoonvarna bus in 1974. It was a busy market town with charm and hospitality. I have fond memories of my student days in NUI, Galway. We walked and cycled safely around the city both day and night. There are lots of people and places that spring to mind with fond memories including Mrs Mc Donagh in Quay Street who generously fed all the hungry students with fresh fish at very affordable prices.
However, at that time Galway city had little or no knowledge of itself or what it had to offer. Today all that has changed. From the early plays of the Druid Theatre and the Macnas parades Galway has come of age. It nowadays celebrates every calendar month of the year and offers a world class film festival, arts festival, oyster festival and Galway Races each year, not to mention the new-found Volvo Ocean Race. Galway is now without doubt the cultural and artistic capital of Ireland.
We have a lot of creative and visionary people to thank for giving so generously of their talent and commitment to making Galway what it is today. The question we need to ask is how might the city honour the creative and artistic people who have played such an active part in the creation of this vibrant city. This question is particularly timely with the recent sad death of Mike Diskin from the Town Hall Theatre.
How about recreating a new Wall of Galway City, or using one of the old city walls, as a way of remembering and honouring these people. Each brick in the wall could be dedicated to the memory of these exceptional people who have made an artistic contribution to Galway life and whose passing is such a sad loss to the cultural life of the city. As well as Mike Diskin I am thinking of the puppeteer Pat Bracken, the jazz musician and singer Kieran Dooley and the recent untimely death of the composer and musician Eugene Kelly. Without their willingness to give of their talent and artistic vision Galway would not be the lively cosmopolitan, cultural and confident city that it is today.
Dr. Geraldine Moooney Simmie