Galway City has retained its Purple Flag accreditation for the quality of its evening and night-time economy.
Galway was first awarded the purple flag, which is similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, in 2015, and has retained it ever since.
Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.
Speaking on the award, Ruairí Lehmann, Tourism Officer for Galway City Council said “The last few years have not been what anyone expected and we have had to tread new territory in the fight against COVID-19.”
“The evening and night-time economy has been one of the hardest hit sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially here in Galway City.”
“To retain this prestigious award shows a real resilience by the sector and we look forward to promoting what Galway City’s evening and night life has to offer for residents and visitors alike for the rest of 2022 and onwards.”
The Purple Flag is awarded by judges from the Association of Town and City Management, with the goal of broadening the appeal of town and city centres during the evening and night time.
Highlights from Galway’s submission, noted by the judges, include the work being done on water safety, the strong business engagement and partnership, and the addition of outdoor dining licenses in the area.
Galway City took steps to promote outdoor dinning during the pandemic, when restrictions on how many people could eat or drink indoors were in place.
Several streets around the city centre were closed, either for the evening or 24/7, to allow businesses to place more seating outside.
Short term licences were also brought in for businesses to put seating outdoors without having to get planning permission, and fees for licences were waived.
Despite these measures the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the hospitality sector in the city.
Two of Galway City’s largest nightclubs, Halo and Electric, were both forced to shut their doors permanently due to the