Bridge sums up a week of pride for city and county

Galway's new bridge - Photo: Xposure

Galway's new bridge - Photo: Xposure

There was never anything like the visit by the Yanks to get the best delph out in the house. The blue willow cups with the delicate handles and the immaculately-decorated plates which year round never saw our thick fingers, were paraded out to hold hot tea and Irish salads of ham and corned beef and scallions and ripe tomatoes. Lettuce not forget those days.

We’ve another visitor in town in the past week — the sun. And for the visit, we have put on the best clobber, welcomed the sun like an old friend and the highlight of that best show is the new bridge which we have plonked across the river.

There is no doubt that the new bridge across the Corrib has put a Spring in the step of the city. A sort of reminder that if we put our mind down to it, we can do the right thing from time to time. The city hasn’t had any new public architecture of such utility for some time, and there lies a great pride in it.

Pride was a commodity not in short supply across the city and county last week. As people poured across the bridge to share the moment, the City Council and the County Council took the opportunity to reward some of the thousands of you out there who give of your own time and energy for the betterment of our communities.

I was honoured to have helped Mayor Clodagh Higgins with the judging of the city Mayoral Awards, while out in the county, I was well aware of the great choices that Cathaoirleach Moegie Maher and his judges made in honouring those great volunteers in the towns and villages.

The ceremony in the city was particularly moving. More than 300 people gathered to be honoured in a variety of fields, all decent people, the sort you want to fill your communities with; people of all creed and nationality, with lived experiences, and those with life before them. There was a synergy within that excited and if mined properly, can energise our places for the next half century.

Life in Galway city and county is wonderful, but for many, it is not fair. Many days are a struggle, but the army of volunteers that populate our city, towns and villages, do all they can to ensure that Galway, city and county, is for everyone; that everyone is welcome; and welcome to contribute to the continuation of this. If you are a volunteer, let me pat on the back and thank you for your selfless work. If you are not yet a volunteer, seek out how you can help become part of this great team. Well done to you all, and to Mayor Higgins and Cathaoirleach Maher for continuing to honour the unsung heroes out there.


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