A day long symposium will be held in GMIT on Friday November 5 to create public debate on a vision for Galway for the next generation. Organised by the Galway 2040 Initiative it is led by Paul Shelly and Rory O’Connor, Jim Fennell (GMIT & Marine Institute ), Professor Kevin Leyden (NUIG CISC ) and Michael Coyle (Galway Chamber ).
This umbrella organisation with representatives drawn from business, academia, industry, agriculture, education, social inclusion and the arts has been working on developing a long range vision for Galway.
Members of the public are urged to participate in the event which organisers hope will be the first step in starting a public discussion on a future vision for Galway.
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. A wide range of topics to be addressed includes 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 are culture, tourism, and agriculture and food.
According to Rory O’Connor, chairperson GMIT, “We need to take a long term view of our 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, President Galway Chamber adds we want to hear the views of the people of Galway to the ideas presented in our 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, Galway 2040 Initiative are organising the Voice of Youth project aimed at both primary and post-primary schools in the Galway region. Students at post-primary level are invited to take part in a 'Soap Box' (public speaking ) competition where they submit entries via YouTube and the finalists have the opportunity to speak from The Eyre Square Soap Box on Thursday November 4.
At primary school level a specially developed programme developed by Mairead Ní Chróinín and conducted by volunteers as part of the Junior Achievement project will result in a poster exhibition on November 4 in Eyre Square Shopping Centre of third class pupils visual representations of life in Galway in 2040.
The initiative was launched by the Mayor of Galway, Cllr Michael Crowe and the Mayor of County Galway, Cllr Jimmy McClearn, in the City Museum on Monday evening.
Members of the public are invited to register for the one day public symposium on 5th November through www.galway2040.ie, The event is free of charge but registration is essential.