No sooner had the news emerged from America that Barack Obama had been elected the 44th president of the USA yesterday morning, than the Mayor of Galway Cllr Padraig Conneely had drafted a letter of invitation for the president-elect to offically visit Galway city.
In his letter, Mayor Conneely extends his “warmest congratulations” to Barack Obama and offers his best wishes to him for his term as president. “With your dedication, experience, and vision, I am confident you will serve as an effective and dynamic leader,” Cllr Conneely wrote.
Barack Obama has lived in Chicago, Illinois for many years and has represented the State in the US Senate since 2004. Chicago has been an official Sister City of Galway since 1997 and Galway conferred the Freedom of the City on Chicago’s Mayor Richard M Daley in June 2004.
Mayor Conneely refers to the city’s relationship in his letter and says he looks forward to “strengthening the ties” between them. “In that context,” wrote Mayor Conneely, “it is my great pleasure to invite you to visit Galway during your term as president.”
The mayor concludes his letter by informing president-elect Obama that both John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan visited Galway during their time as president and that Sen Hillary Clinton came to the city in 1999.
Cllr Conneely believes Obama’s presidency will restore America’s reputation abroad, a reputation which had been near fatally undermined by the Bush Administration and its Neo-Con ideology. He also believes an Obama visit to Galway would prove an undoubted success.
“When Barack Obama visited Berlin recently a quarter of a million people turned out to see him,” he said. “If he came to Galway it would be a major event and draw thousands. It would be bigger than Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1979.”