NUI Galway will tomorrow welcome President of the Republic of Croatia Mrs Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, as part of the official State visit to Ireland. The President’s visit to Galway is particularly celebratory as the city, together with Rijeka, was designated the European Capital of Culture 2020. The visit will also be an opportunity for the President to meet some of the Croatian community at the university.
NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, speaking in advance of the official visit, said: "It is a great pleasure to announce the visit of President Grabar-Kitarovic to NUI Galway, where she will engage with students and academics on a range of programmes from across the campus. We look forward to welcoming her and the Croatian delegation to the university. As the newest member of the European Union, this visit is a welcome opportunity to hear from the Croatian President and this dynamic young European state at a time when European ideals are being tested. Ireland and Croatia share much, not least the cultural bonds which will be further developed over the coming years, during the lead up to 2020 when Galway and Rijeka, (home town of President Grabar-Kitarovic ) will share the title of European Capital of Culture.”
The visit to NUI Galway will include an address by President Grabar-Kitarovic to students and academics, followed by a Q&A session moderated by Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs, NUI Galway. Among the topics of discussion will be: International Relations; Brexit and the Future of the European Union; Global Women's Studies; Geo-politics of South Eastern Europe; the Role of Croatia within Europe; Migration, Culture and Identity in Europe; and Peace-building and International Human Rights.
As part of the visit a showcase of Galway European Region of Gastronomy will take place in conjunction with Galway City and County Councils, featuring local artisanal food producers.
As part of the State visit the Croatian president held working meetings with her host, President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, and also with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and members of the Croatian-Irish Friendship Group.
The Croatian delegation will be accompanied by Minister of State Seán Canney, the Ambassador of Croatia to Ireland Mr Ivan Masina and the Ambassador of Ireland to Croatia, Her Excellency Olive Hempenstall.