Deputy Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard delivered a welcome address at Eyre Square this morning, kicking off this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in front of representatives from many nations.
In the address, Cllr. Mike Cubbard placed a special emphasis on Galway being European Region of Gastronomy 2018 and paid tribute to the All-Ireland-winning Galway hurlers.
After the parade, Galway band the Clandestinos will keep the carnival atmosphere alive in Eyre Square from 1.30pm.
At the opening of this year’s parade (featuring the award-winning Macnas and highlighting Galway’s gastronomy), Cllr. Mike Cubbard said:
“Dhaoine Uaisle agus Pobal na Gaillimhe, tá failte róimh go léir go dtí An Fhaiche Mhór ar son Paráid Lá Féile Padraig.
“Councillors, members of the Oireachtas, Members of the European Parliament, Honorary Consuls of a range of countries, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen and children, you are all very welcome to Eyre Square today to celebrate our national day and to celebrate our city.
“I am delighted to be here to deputise for the Mayor of Galway, Cllr Pearse Flannery, who is in our sister city of Seattle, Washington representing and promoting our city at their St. Patrick’s Festival.
“I would like to welcome all the visitors from around the world who have made their way to Galway today.
“Taking part in the parade, sitting here on the reviewing stand and indeed all along the route of the parade we have visitors from all over Europe, the UK, Asia, Africa, Australia, and from all over the Americas including Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and from all over Latin America.
“I would like to especially welcome to Eyre Square this morning, the Honorary Consuls to Galway representing the Embassies of Mexico, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Norway and Spain. Together, we are celebrating Galway’s connections to the world and to world culture today.
“I would like to give a special mention to our visitors from our twin city of Aalborg in Denmark who are on the stand here behind me.
“On behalf of the city of Galway, I would like to welcome all our visitors to today’s events from wherever you may have travelled:
“Céad Míle Fáilte Romhaimh go léir!
“I hope that, like me, you are all looking forward to seeing some of the many vibrant groups in today’s Parade which make Galway such a diverse and exciting place to be – our schools, youth, social, sporting, arts and community groups are all heading our way.
“Let us celebrate our National Day in a spirit of community and togetherness as we gather on this St Patrick’s Day.
“This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade recognizes and celebrates Galway , West of Ireland European Region of Gastronomy 2018 and I was delighted to attend the spectacular launch event for the year at the Spanish Arch last night. Galway , West of Ireland European Region of Gastronomy 2018 is about showcasing our farmers, fishermen, food producers, our hospitality sector, our small businesses, our health workers, our teachers, our parents and our children…in short, all of us, with a vision for a local food culture that is of a world-class standard.
“The theme of gastronomy will be reflected throughout the various entries in today’s parade.
“I am delighted that we are joined here in Eyre Square by representatives from Europe including Diane Dodd, the Director of the Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts & Tourism in Barcelona and Anja Van Hout and Pieter De Boers, from Noord Brabant in Holland which is also a European Region of Gastronomy this year.
“Shortly, we will welcome on stage the Liam McCarthy Cup, the coveted silverware which we were delighted to welcome back to Galway and the West last September for the first time since 1988 after an entertaining, and well deserved win by our Galway Senior Hurling team. Galwegians around the world celebrated after the Tribesmen claimed the All-Ireland Championship hurling title for the first time in 29 years.
“I am delighted to welcome the Officer Commanding of An Chéad Chath in Dún Uí Mhaelíosa, Lieutenant Colonel Campion to the reviewing stand and to thank the Defence Forces for their continued involvement in Galway’s Parade this year.
“The involvement of Óglaigh na hÉireann in the parade today is particularly appreciated following the great engagement they had both locally and nationally in our commemoration of the Centenary of 1916 in the last year.
“I also want to commend and thank, on my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Galway, all our uniformed services represented here today: An Gárda Siochána, Civil Defence and Galway Fire & Rescue Services. In light of the tragic events which unfolded this week in Black Sod Bay, we join together to offer our sincere thanks and support to those brave men and women, these heroes! who, by their deep commitment and service, protect our community.
“Go raibh maith agaibh!
“In conclusion, I hope you enjoy the parade and also enjoy the day with friends and family here in Galway City.
“Bain taitneamh as an lá inniu agus go raibh maith agaibh go léir.”