At the October meeting of Stirling Council a motion was passed declaring a cultural agreement between Galway and Stirling. The motion an exact replica of a motion proposed by Labour Councillor Billy Cameron at the June meeting of Galway City Council, is not a twinning arrangement but focuses on the exchange of ideas, cultural heritage, social, recreational, educational, sporting and other activities between both communities.
It also encourages the promotion of tourism between the cities of Galway and Stirling and indeed Ireland and Scotland.
Councillor Cameron explains the genesis of the idea: “This all came about following a chance meeting between a Scottish politician and an Irish publican with the common thread being that both were musicians. Provost (mayor ) of Stirling Fergus Wood is a drummer in his spare time with the Kinlochard Ceili Band and Mick Crehan plays whistle and is owner of the famed Crane Bar.
“They met some years ago when the Kinlochard Ceili Band came to play at a wedding in Galway, from that chance meeting a relationship was built which culminated in the Galway-Stirling sessions. The sessions have been held for the last two years and are proving to be a huge success on both sides of the Celtic divide.
“ I had the privilege of attending the festivities in the wonderful historic city of Stirling as deputy mayor in 2009 and was so impressed with the impact the Galway contingent had on the city of Stirling that along with Provost Wood I agreed to further the relationship through Galway City Council.
“I have worked with Mick and Fergus over the last few years in progressing a relationship which I felt was only natural given the historic links and bond we have in language, music, and sport as Celtic brothers and close neighbours. It is now envisaged that formal documents will be signed early in the New Year in Stirling.”