Looking back and to the future of the city’s docklands

By the time the Volvo Ocean Race sails into town, the city’s docklands will have begun to change dramatically as the massive oil tanks will be gone - but a new project will ensure they are unlikely to be forgotten.

While many find them unsightly and will not be sorry to see them go, the fact is that the tanks have been an essential part of the docks for as long as many Galwegians can remember. As such they have an iconic value and their removal will change the look of the city docklands dramatically.

The removal of the tanks and the beginning of a new era in Galway’s docklands is set to be recorded and commented on by artists in the city.

The idea to record and react to this change is from Aoife Considine, the author of the Towards A Creative City document on the future planning and development of Galway city, who is behind the www.2020visionforgalway.com site to generate ideas of the city’s future.

“The tanks are a big part of the psyche of the city,” Ms Considine told the Galway Advertiser. “The docks are about to change. The tanks will be gone and the trawlers will move to another location. The docks area will be redeveloped and become more ‘gentrified’.”

For this project, Ms Considine is researching the history of the Galway docks and she has asked local artists to provide images and ideas of what the docks look like and how they might like to see it develop into the future.

“When the tanks are gone, people will see what a large space that is and how this area connects with Ceannt Station,” said Ms Considine. “It will show just what a big change this is.”

Ms Considine hopes the resulting work can be collected into a major exhibition on the city docklands to be shown either during the Volvo Ocean Race or as part of the Galway Arts Festival.

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