The links between Galway city and her home city of Rijeka were highlighted in ceremonies in the city yesterday (Wednesday ) as Galway welcomed Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the President of Croatia.
President Grabar-Kitarovic, who is on a three day State visit, was in the city to highlight the cultural link between Galway and her home town of Rijeka; both European Capitals of Culture for 2020.
The Croatian president was greeted by City Mayor Noel Larkin and city councillors at a civic reception at City Hall.
President Grabar-Kitarovic, the first woman elected to the position in Croatia, addressed the chamber where she spoke of her “native port and the many similarities it shared with Galway.”
Mayor Larkin also highlighted the strong connections and similarities between the two cities.
“In recent years, the city of Galway has been working hard at building a closer connection to Europe. I had the great fortune last summer, just after I was elected mayor, to travel over the course a short few days from Denmark to Slovenia to Croatia to arrive in your home city of Rijeka.
“ In Rijeka we met and planned and celebrated our mutual designation as European Capital’s of Culture for 2020. At the end of our journey of European achievement and ambition, we were met in Rijeka by an overwhelming openness and friendship. Together we are working towards thrilling and ambitious programmes for 2020 – Rijeka with its ‘Ports of Diversity’ and Galway ‘Making Waves.’
“I was struck by the commonalities shared by our cities. Port cities; university cities; at times wet and windy cities; but also cities and citizens who have a dynamism and ambition to make and transform our futures with culture at the heart of that transformation.”
After the City Hall reception President Grabar-Kitarovic was given a tour of the Galway 2020 Community Hub and met with NUI Galway President James Browne and engaged in a meet and greet with students.
President Grabar-Kitarovic’s visit concluded with a local food demonstration to mark Galway being the European Region of Gastronomy 2018.
Representing the Government during President Grabar-Kitarovic’s visit to the city was Galway East TD and OPW Minister Sean Canney.
For more pictures see page 69.