Symposium to discuss a vision for Galway

A day long symposium aimed at creating public debate on a vision for Galway for the next generation will be held at GMIT on Friday November 5.

It is being organised by the Galway 2040 Initiative, an umbrella group with representatives from business, academia, industry, agriculture, education, social inclusion and the arts.

Members of the public are urged to participate in the event which the organisers hope will be the first step in starting a public discussion on a future vision for Galway.

Discussion papers have been prepared by working groups led by Macnas founder Páraic Breathnach and businessman John Killeen of Volvo Ocean Race, Professor Michael Cuddy, Dr Sean McDonagh (former president DKIT ), Joe Cunningham (SIPTU ), Fiona Monaghan (Failte Ireland West ), David Heffernan (Heffernan & Associates ), Mike Devane (Quilly Consultancy ), Mark Gantly (HP ), Professor Terry Smith and Captain Brian Sheridan (harbour master ).

The one day debate will see the presentation of white papers from a panel of leading experts. Topics on the day will include research, social inclusion, education, enterprise and innovation, infrastructure and environment. A maritime city, marine and energy and the potential Galway harbour and dockland’s development are also on the agenda as culture, tourism and agriculture and food.

Rory O’Connor, the chairperson GMIT, believes people must take a long term view of their future.

“If we want a better life for our children in 2040 then we need to plan ahead but first set out what it is we want to achieve.”

Paul Shelly, the president of Galway Chamber, says the group want to hear Galway people’s views on the ideas presented in its white papers.

“By harnessing the opinions of local people and industry experts we can collectively take responsibility for creating a better future. We want to create a Vision without limits (Fís gan Teorainn ).”

Ensuring the participation of all age groups, the Galway 2040 Initiative is organising the “Voice of Youth” project aimed at primary and post-primary schools in the Galway region.

Students at post-primary level are invited to take part in a public speaking competition whereby they submit entries via YouTube. The finalists will speak from the Eyre Square Soap Box on Thursday November 4.

People can register for the public symposium by logging onto The event is free but registration is essential.


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