Mayor Hoare reflects on ‘honour and privilege’ of representing city
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Author: Declan Tierney
~ 4 minutes read
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Having served as Mayor of Galway for six months now, Cllr Eddie Hoare has described his election as the greatest honour and privilege he could have experienced.
In June, the former Galway football star became one of the youngest to hold the position of First Citizen for the city, aged 35.
A member of St Michael’s GAA club on the Westside, he was first elected in the Galway City Central ward in 2019 for Fine Gael.
Earlier this year, as part of a pact involving FG, Labour, the Greens and a number of independents, he was voted in as Mayor of Galway and, since then, he’s had something of a rollercoaster ride.
His office has brought him to events in Europe and the United States, representing Galway, and he is impressed at how well the city is regarded overseas. It has been busy on the domestic front as well, as the star forward and chartered accounted has attended almost 300 events all over Galway city since his election.
“The office has afforded me the opportunity to visit voluntary groups, sports clubs and other organisations, to witness first-hand the great work these groups continue to do for our citizens,” he said.
“I’ve had the opportunity to attend and officially launch a number of the city’s key festivals including The Galway Races, The Galway International Arts Festival, Galway Film Fleadh, Galway International Oyster Festival and Baboro.”
During his first six months, he also visited some of Galway’s ‘sister cities’, including Lorient in France for the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, when he was hosted by Mayor Fabrice Loher. It happened that Ireland was the country of honour at the 2023 event which made Mayor Hoare’s visit all the more special.
Then, in August, he and a delegation attended the Milwaukee Irish Festival and Chicago. While in Milwaukee, Mayor Cavalier Johnson hosted a Mayoral Reception in City Hall to celebrate the relationship between the two cities. And in Chicago, Mayor Brandon Johnson hosted the Galway delegation for a reception.
“I was the first Mayor to receive a reception and it was a very special event,” Cllr Hoare said. “My travels overseas reinforce my belief that Galway is one of the greatest cities in the world,” he added.
However, it has not been all plain sailing and he admitted that there have been some challenges during his term.
He referred to incidents of anti-social behaviour in the city that received a number of headlines, but he believed that the Garda response was excellent. And, he stressed, we all had a role to play.
“It is incumbent on us all to protect the great reputation of Galway city as a safe, friendly and welcoming location and I believe that reputation remains.”
He also singled out progress on a number of key projects.
“The Galway City Ring Road planning application was resubmitted to An Bord Pleanála in recent weeks,” he said.
“This project is a key part of the Galway Transport Strategy and needs to be prioritised by the higher planning authority.
“The Millar’s Lane Project is a transformative Active Travel Project and can be extended to Westside Park in time.
“This project has shown the potential of permeability between residential areas and helps connect cycle/walking paths neighbourhoods in a very safe manner.
“Parkrun Knocknacarra celebrated their 400th run in recent months and the University of Galway hosted their first Parkrun this month in Dangan. These are all initiative I strongly support.
“And we received Green Flag status in a number of our city’s playgrounds and parks.
“Also, a project panel has been created to progress both Southpark and Kingston Masterplans – these are two key projects for Galway City,” he added.
The Mayor also hoped to see progress and expected a funding announcement on the Newcastle Community Centre in early 2024.
This was a project he was passionate about and would continue to advocate for.
Mayor Hoare also wanted to see greater progress on the upgrade of footpaths in Galway in 2024 with the completion of the Multi Modal Transport Study.
This, he said, would identify local roads that required footpaths and lighting and ultimately make these areas safer for all road users.
Pictured: Mayor of Galway Cllr Eddie Hoare at the opening of the Milar’s Lane Permeability Route Upgrade Scheme this summer. He has described it as ‘a transformative Active Travel Project that can be extended to Westside Park in time’. Photo:Andrew Downes, Xposure.
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