Mayor wants permanent Volvo monument in Galway
Photo Ronan Palliser. www.ronanpalliser.ie
By Linley Mackenzie
The spin-off from this month’s Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Galway is expected to pump up to €100 million into the Irish economy.
With an estimated 800,000 visitors having attended the nine-day event, the Galway Chamber of Commerce believes the resulting boost to the economy could be as much as €100 million.
During the event Galway took centre stage in worldwide television broadcasts, and hosted dozens of foreign and Irish dignitaries, including the Crown Prince of Sweden who arrived on Saturday. In addition Volvo brought some 1,300 corporate visitors to the west of Ireland for the event, while representatives from bidding stopover countries also arrived in Ireland to use Galway as a future model.
The Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Terry O’Flaherty, says “huge congratulations and thank yous to everybody concerned” are in order, describing the festival as a “roaring success”.
“I can now see how important it is to have a port close to the city and it is one of the few cities in the world where everything is so close - that makes us unique.
“ I would like to convey my sense of pride in what has been achieved over the last nine days. As well as welcoming the six different skippers and crews of the Volvo Ocean Race, the people of Galway welcomed hundreds of thousands of new visitors from home and abroad to our city.”
The Mayor now hopes the city will erect a permanent memorial to mark the Volvo Ocean Race’s association with Galway - an association which Volvo communications director Jon Bramley believes is special.
“ It seems that the Volvo Ocean Race and this wonderful, historic city and its people have a very special relationship,” he says.
“It has been a truly memorable week in Galway. We were stunned by the passion and enthusiasm for the people of Galway and Ireland for our race and the fact that so many stayed in the rain until 5.30 in the morning on Tuesday to see all the boats come in said it all.”
“ We thought that 2009 would take some beating after Galway gave us such a welcome but I believe that we exceeded even that reception this time round.
Let’s Do It Global president John Killeen paid tribute to volunteers and the people of Galway, who, he said, had made this year’s event possible.
“The effort and the commitment of the small team of people who seized the opportunity to put Galway on the global stage and the hard work of the 1,500 volunteers who made it all possible has been one of the most inspiring things to have happened in our city for many years. We are very proud of those who helped us achieve such a stunning success.”