Galway city councillor Pearce Flannery has opened up discussions about having the decommissioned Navy ship, LE Aisling, donated to the people of Galway in order for it to be used as a floating maritime museum moored at either Salthill or Galway Dock.
Cllr Flannery proposed the idea during the decommissioning ceremony of the LE Aisling at Galway Dock last week and has since brought the issue to Government.
“The LE Aisling has a strong cultural association with Galway, and to use it for the benefit of Galway at the end of its operational life would be both fitting, and beneficial,” said Cllr Flannery.
“Just because we haven’t done something like this before, does not mean that we cannot. We are a maritime city, and we should be proud of this heritage.
“That special relationship is visible in the inclusion of the city’s coat of arms on the insignia of the ship which was proudly on display every time the Aisling visited Galway.
“It has been a continual a source of pride for Galwegians to see this insignia, and indeed the ship itself, when the Aisling visited our harbour. We could make this a permanent situation if we can get agreement from Government.”
According to the councillor, once the ship has been decommissioned, it serves little purpose, and has relatively no value.
“However, its value to the tourism infrastructure to Salthill, to Galway, to the west of Ireland, and to the Wild Atlantic Way, would be inestimable. It would also have the added benefit of providing direct employment,” said Flannery.
The proposal has been discussed with members of the Oireachtas, and will be raised once again this week, with Flannery expecting a decision “sooner rather than later.”