Have a sailing and civilian aircraft festival not a warplanes show says Connolly

It is vital for Galway to build on the success of the Volvo Ocean Race and having an airshow could be the way to do it, but it should be a civilian air display not one featuring war planes.

This is the view of Independent councillor Catherine Connolly who said an airshow should “celebrate the wonders of flying but should not celebrate war”.

She said she had “no difficulty” with an allocation of funds for an airshow in the Galway City Council budget but that it must be conditional on having a civilian air display. She said an airshow could be combined with a sailing festival for Galway.

“I always hoped one of the lasting legacies of the Volvo Ocean Race would be the promotion of sailing as a recreational pastime,” she said. “The Tostal Festival ran for years and drew enormous crowds to Galway. That festival was a celebration of Irish culture in its broadest sense with currach racing and sailing as the core events.”

Cllr Connolly feels there is “great scope” for an airshow as part of a new ‘Tostal Festival’ but with a civilian airshow with a variety of different aircraft and gliders.

“I would have no difficulty supporting and indeed working for this type of airshow,” she said. “It would be the most positive solution to the problems that have arisen in relation to the Salthill Airshow in the past. Such an airshow would also be much more environmentally friendly, cause much less noise, and fit in much better with a festival based on sailing craft.”

She said she would be “delighted to work” with the Salthill Airshow Committee in relation to a civilian air display as part of an overall festival celebrating sailing and Galway’s status as a bilingual city.

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