As shops re-open their doors and the Christmas shopping gets into full swing, citizens of Galway and visitors to the city can look forward to seeing the new festive lights in Eyre Square, from 4pm daily until the New Year.
The lights were officially switched on on Tuesday by the Mayor of Galway, Independent Galway City Central councillor, Mike Cubbard. As a result of Covid-19 and its impact on local businesses, the Galway City Council has invested more than €160,000 in the Christmas in Galway Experience this year.
The major features of Galway city's Christmas lights are the ‘Lights of Hope’, centred on the iconic Galway Hooker monument, and which can be seen from across the city. "These lights of hope come at time as the country exits Level 5 restrictions," said a spokesperson for City Hall. "They act as a symbol of the hope of a bright future in 2021 as we look forward to emerging from Covid-19."
More lights and Christmas trees will be added across the city in the coming days. Meanwhile, the city council has further plans in place to help boost spirits this Christmas. In partnership with Badoirí an Cladaigh, Galways Hookers will be on display in the Claddagh Basin each weekend in the lead up to Christmas, weather permitting, while a new exhibition, with art work from members of Youth Work Ireland, will open in Eyre Square Shopping Centre.
Be mindful of others
"We urge people at this time to enjoy Galway city centre, to shop local and support businesses that are providing employment and support for our communities," said the council spokesperson. "However, it is essential that we continue to observe social distancing and take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe Christmas for all."
The council is calling on the public to be considerate of people with mobility issues when you are shopping; to continue to wear a face mask; to maintain social distancing; continue to sanitise hands; and to comply with queuing guidelines and directions from businesses.
"The people of Galway have worked extremely hard in the last few weeks to suppress the virus," said the spokesperson, "and we need to continue that work in the coming weeks."