Strong links between Galway and Chicago are reinforcedAugust 21, 2012 - 7:00am
BY KATIE FINNEGAN
THE relationship between Galway and Chicago is the strongest relationship that the Windy City has in its Sister Cities programme according to Mayor of the City, Rahm Emanuel.
He spoke to a substantial delegation representing Galway County Council, Galway City Council, Fáilte Ireland and Ireland Reaching Out on the annual trip to the States where the delegation attend several functions in Chicago before going to the Milwaukee Irish Festival to promote the city and strengthen business links there.
Speaking to the delegation the Mayor spoke very highly about the excellent education system in Ireland and further stated that he was using certain aspects of the Irish model to improve the education system in Chicago.
Actor John Mahony was also at the meeting where he said he would love to live in Galway full-time and as his grandfather is from County Cork, he is now going to apply for Irish citizenship.
Mayor Terry O'Flaherty accepted a sculpture by the late Matt Lamb, which is being donated by the Sisters Cities committee of Chicago. This installation is to be located at City Hall and will be unveiled in the next few months.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel thanked the Mayor for "Gráinne", a sculpture presented by Galway City to Chicago a number of years ago. He also stated that he was looking forward to visiting Galway and was hoping to do a cycling tour of Connemara.
The delegation also visited the Irish Heritage Centre and Gaelic Park in Chicago. Both of these Irish centres are used by the Irish Diaspora to promote Irish culture, language, music, dance and sport. In excess of 150 people attended both venues where Mike Feerick and Henry Healy of Ireland Reaching Out explained their work. There were other presentations by Fáilte Ireland and both Galway City and Galway County Councils.
The delegation then moved to Milwaukee to attend the annual Irish Fest and also met with Mayor Tom Barrett and many other high ranking political figures all of whom hold Galway and Ireland in very high esteem.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.