As another eventful year for Dúchas na Gaillimhe – Galway Civic Trust draws to a close we would like to wish all our friends and associates a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. Throughout 2017, the Trust once again sought to further its mission to ‘conserve, protect and enhance the natural, built and cultural heritage of Galway’ for the benefit of both residents and visitors. We look forward to your ongoing support in 2018 as we seek to continue our good work.
2017 in review
2017 marked 25 years of operations by Dúchas na Gaillimhe – Galway Civic Trust and we started the year with a number of heritage walks with local and visiting group. These included historic walks of Galway with Presentation Primary School, Galway and also with Nebraska University. In February, our Development Officer gave talks to Doughiska, Roscam and Arduan Active Retirement Association and to Engineer’s Ireland West as part of their spring lecture series in GMIT. March saw a focus on our Galway Tribal Diaspora Project with a number of fascinating new stories added to our on-line exhibition: www.galwaytribe.com
Our Community Employment Scheme Tour Guide Pauline shows a group from St. Michael’s Primary School around The Hall of the Red Earl
A group from Coláiste Ghobnait secondary school on Inisheer were just one of the school tours we welcomed to the Fishery Watchtower Museum in April. In May the awards event for our Capturing Galway’s Heritage Competition for Transition Year Students took place in GMIT with Presentation College, Headford being crowned as winners for 2017. May also saw us host Galway’s first Medieval Walk, Talk & Banquet in conjunction with The King’s Head and Claoímh Living History Group. This event raised €1,000 for Galway Simon Community. June and July saw visitor numbers peak at both the Hall of the Red Earl and the Fishery Watchtower Museum while numbers were also significantly up on our Medieval Walking Tour of Galway which runs every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer months.
All funds raised from our Mediaeval Walk, Talk and Banquet went to Galway Simon Community
With over 1,800 participants across 30 events, August was as ever, dedicated to National Heritage Week and this year we were once again delighted to host the most extensive programme of any organisation in the country. In September we were pleased to contribute to Culture Night as we hosted an evening of traditional music and historic tours in the Hall of the Red Earl. This month also saw us nominated for a Junior Chamber ‘Friendly Business Award’ in recognition of the warm welcome we provide to thousands of visitors to Galway each year. Our AGM also took place in September where we said farewell to a number of outgoing board members and welcomed new and returning members.
Over 1,800 people participated in our Heritage Week events
In October, our Development Officer, Michael Quinn was honoured to deliver the Donal Taheny Memorial Lecture to the Old Galway Society. Two Board members also took part in a governance workshop hosted by The Wheel which led to us signing up to the Code of Practice for Good Governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations in Ireland. Our Galway Tribal Diaspora Project along with a number of other local diaspora initiatives was officially launched by Ciaran Cannon T.D Minister of State with special responsibility for the Diaspora and International Development at an event in Cloonacauneen Castle in November. We were also delighted to welcome a group of young Galway Travellers to both the Hall of the Red Earl and the Fishery Watchtower Museum as part of their training for ‘Takeover Day’ which saw the group assume the running of Galway City Museum for an entire day. Finally, we rounded off the year in style with a celebratory 25th birthday coffee morning at our office on Druid Lane in December. This event saw our showcase the various projects which we have completed over the past quarter of a century and also raised €350 for Galway Hospice into the bargain!
Directors, staff and friends, pictured with the Croi and Cladaig Hooker during our coffee morning to celebrate our 25th birthday!
Medtronic / The Wheel Event
The Trust was pleased to take part in a ‘Charity Impact’ day which was hosted by The Wheel at Medtronic’s Mervue Facility in November. The event gave the Trust, along with 15 other Galway charities, the opportunity to showcase our work to the staff and management of one of Galway’s largest employers.
Mayor of Menlo Visit
We were delighted to welcome Mayor of City of Menlo Park, California, Kirsten Keith and her husband John Woodell to the Hall of the Red Earl while on a recent visit to Galway. The Mayor’s visit was part of a walking tour of historic Galway which was led by Galway City Heritage Officer, Dr Jim Higgins. We also caught up with the Mayor at Menlo, Galway where we presented her with a cheque towards the completion of a replica gateway in her native city which was erected by the towns’ founders Dennis Oliver and Daniel McGlynn, Irish immigrants originally from Menlo.