The Tall Ships Races – one of Europe’s biggest festivals – could be set to come to Galway in 2019.
Fine Gael Cllr Padraig Conneely this week put forward a motion for Galway City Council to explore the possibility of Galway hosting the Tall Ships in four years’ time.
Cllr. Conneely said it is an opportunity that the city should seize if possible.
“The Tall Ships has already visited Dublin, Waterford, Cork and Belfast but they have yet to visit Galway so it’s up for grabs for us and I think if we can dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s it could be a real possibility for the city.”
Earlier this month Dublin City Council bosses confirmed they would not be placing a bid to host the festival in 2019 because they believe the three million euro price tag is too much.
While Cllr Conneely acknowledged the financial investment required, he believes the city could raise the funds with financial aid potentially available from the Department of Tourism and Fáilte Ireland as well as corporate sponsorship.
Speaking at Monday’s council meeting, he praised the Chief Executive Brendan McGrath and said he is confident Galway would be successful if they put forward a bid.
“The Chief Executive is ambitious and he does push out the boat to excuse the pun.
“He’s very good at putting things together and with him at the helm I would have confidence,” he added.
Cllr Conneely was Mayor of Galway when the Volvo Ocean Race came to the city first in June 2009 and believes the impact left behind by the world’s most prestigious offshore race will stand to Galway if they host the Tall Ships in 2019.
“We have experience in this sector because of the Volvo Ocean Race and we have expertise in how to host festivals like the Tall Ships.
“As well as that the council also has consultants in association with NUI Galway who are preparing and working on our bid for 2020 and I will be suggesting that those consultants be used as part of the Tall Ships bid as well,” he added.