A great citizen whose legacy will be felt in Galway for generations

A city is a patchwork quilt of faces, opinions, cultures, sounds, smells. It only becomes what it is through the juxtaposition of all of these things. From the difference which it has to other places, a difference created by the choices we make in terms of the type of place we want to live in. I think of this every week when the team and I here at the Advertiser sit down to put together a newspaper that we hope touches in some respect a variety of the issues and areas that go to make up Galway. A pot pourri to match the pot pourri that surrounds us all.

I also think of this every time we lose someone who has made a contribution to what is Galway, to the way we think and approach life. We are fortunate to have have myriad individuals who through their intellect, ability, and drive have gone on to plaster into place one of the building blocks of the city we have today and the city we will have in fifty years time.

I was shocked and saddened this week at the news of the passing of Dr Chris Coughlan who is one person who falls into this category. A man who was at the heart of everything progressive in the city over the past few decades, he was someone with a drive and an intelligence that allied itself to a strong belief in the possibility of a city to marry academia, culture, science, and technology — and still flourish.

Chris was someone who saw the possibility in everything, the benefit in dialogue, a man who saw the entire patchwork quilt, who knew the importance of culture and academia and infrastructure. He was a visionary we could ill afford to lose, but alas, he has passed on.

Over the years we have spoken many times on different topics relating to the progression of the city. He was someone who made a lasting legacy to the start-up state of mind that now permeates throughout everything entrepreneurial in Galway.

To his family, his wife Joan, his children Sean, Sinead, and Colm, we say thank you for sharing him with us. There is nothing we can say now that will lessen the pain and grief you feel, but please take some solace from the immense work he carried out in creating the Galway that surrounds us. His legacy and imagination will live on for generations.

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