Letter to the editor of the Galway Advertiser, published Thursday 3rd November, 2022.
I am pleased to give you an update upon the current status of Galway Civic Trust / Dúchas na Gaillimhe, with regards to our recent progressions and successes during our post-pandemic operational phase. This includes one of the most successful Heritage Week series of events that we have experienced in recent years, where we received overwhelming positive responses from visitors to our city, and a noticeble increase of participation and interest from individuals living within our local communities. As they say; “It is an ill wind that blows no good”, and the noted increase of involvement and visits from local people, is no doubt, a very positive effect stemming from a shift in consciousness due to the period of lockdowns we all had to endure.
We were fortunate to have the support of a core group of professionals, many of whom are local Galwegians, proud of their local heritage, who selflessly volunteered their time in order to help us with public engagement and promotion of our heritage premises. Also, we have an enthusiastic and energetic team on a CE scheme here, under the management of Kilcornan Community Development Association, who are, and always have been, an integral part of the successful operation of Galway Civic Trust. Over the past 10 months we have established and implemented a new management framework, focused upon sustainable development goals. These include not only sustainable heritage, but biodiversity, the environment, and gender equality.
We are delighted to announce to our local community that Galway Civic Trust / Dúchas na Gaillimhe, have been members of the National Womens Council of Ireland (NWCI), since last March. The NWCI is an umbrella organisation, representing women nationwide who have diverse viewpoints, and we commend them for their challenging work and remarkable achievments. Galway Civic Trust’s membership of NWCI will focus solely upon heritage, while supporting their ongoing campaigns for gender equality and gender balance upon Boards nationwide. We had a very encouraging, insightful, and supportive meeting with the Director of the National Women’s Council, Orla O’Connor, some weeks ago, and look forward to Galway Civic Trust having an active relationship with NWCI for many years to come.
This year, Galway Civic Trust is celebrating 30 years in existence as a charity. When we think of the past three decades, we sometimes visually pause at the point where our charity was instrumental in Galway’s quest to be a host city for Europe’s Capital of Culture 2020, along with Rijeka, Croatia. We have to think of Galway Civic Trust not just as an organisation, but take into consideration all of the people we have interacted with over the past 30 years. When we do this we see the ‘soul’ of our organisation, which hopefully will have a long life, over the next 30 years, and beyond.
We wish to acknowledge both Galway City Council and the Heritage Council for funding our charity this year, without this we could not have possibly organised such a successful Heritage Week 2022. Our constitution at Dúchas na Gaillimhe stipulates that we have two councillors from Galway City Council as directors on our Board. We will be making a formal approach to Galway City Council in the near future to discuss nominations for these positions, along with a sit-down discussion of how we can be of the greatest service and benefit to Galway City and County over the coming years. We would also like to ammend our constitution to allow for the inclusion of County Councillors as permanent representatives on our Board. It was a great pleasure to meet our lady Mayor Clodagh Higgins and MEP Maria Walsh, along with other City Councillors, on our Heritage Week 2022 opening day at the Hall of the Red Earl. Finally, we encourage members of our local community to drop into our offices on Druid Lane, for a chat and perhaps to offer us some advice on promoting the heritage of Galway City and County.
Kind regards, Declan O’Shea (Chairman)
Dúchas na Gaillimhe
Galway Civic Trust
Hall of the Red Earl
Tel 353 91 564946