Galway unlikely to develop sister city agreement with Santa Monica

A city council spokesperson says Galway will unfortunately not be in a position to develop any sister city agreements in the forseeable future, despite the wishes of a Santa Monica public representative.

US Council member Kevin McKeown held a meeting with city officials during a visit to Galway last month, and expressed his desire to strengthen the relationship between Galway and the Californian city. On August 9, the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously for city staff and the Santa Monica Sister Cities Association to begin negotiations with Galway to add it to Santa Monica’s roster of sister cities.

In an article published in the Santa Monica Lookout Kevin McKeown said Galway becoming a sister city would allow "cultural and educational exchanges" between it and Santa Monica. Mr McKeown is very proud of his Irish heritage and is a frequent visitor to the country. He said Santa Monica and Galway shared many similarities, including population size, and being located on a bay named for their respective cities. Also, art and technology are major features in both areas.

However, speaking to the Galway Advertiser, Galway City Council senior executive officer Gary McMahon says it is highly unlikely Galway will develop another sister city relationship at present.

"We already have a number of sister city agreements in place and we are currently consolidating our existing relationships. It takes resources to maintain the relationships we already have, especially for the cities that are further away. We were delighted to meet with Mr McKeown, but we are really not in a position to develop any further agreements."

Galway has of course been recently named as the 2020 European Capital of Culture, and Mr McMahon says the city is in a lucky position to receive correspondence about twinning and friendship agreements on a regular basis.

Galway already has agreements in place with St Louis (Missouri ), Cambridge (Massachusetts ), Chicago, Seattle, Menlo Park (California ), and Milwaukee. Galway is also a sister city of Lorient in France, Bradford in the UK, and Aalborg Denmark.

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