The famous Irish writer, James Joyce once described Galway as “The graveyard of ambition”. His rationale was simple and drew heavily from life in Galway. For in Galway, you are never more than a 10 minute walk from anything – City Centre, University or its excellent pubs (on that note, Tí Neachtain on Quay st deserves a mention for its great Guinness). With such proximity, sadly comes complacency.

To those of you unfamiliar (or as geographically inept as a Scotsman on the highlands) with the small Irish city on the Western Seaboard, she sits either side of the River Corrib where freshwater meets the saltwater of Galway Bay. Nestled close to the end of the Bay is this city, alive and bustling. It has strong connections with the sea, through fishing and the famous workhouse of the west- The Galway Hooker.

Late May 2009, the Volvo Ocean Race visited the city, and the city erupted. Two weeks of excellent weather coupled with lively race village attracted close to 500,000 visitors.
Galway woke up!

Now she holds her breath, will she get a visit off the race in 2012? With Lisbon and Lorient both named and with their proximity to each other and Galway, our chances of another visit are slim. Fingers are crossed in Galway and Ireland that the great race will return, all the while, the Irish trump card- the Green Dragon sits gathering dust, hoping for a new keel and a new lease of life.

Buoyed from the success of the Stopover, the Galway Harbour Company is pushing hard for planning approval for the expansion of the Galway Harbour. This clip offers valuable insight into the ambition of the Company and their desire to see Galway Bay fill with boats and challenge the monotony of the Dún Laoghaire sailing scene.

The Galway Harbour Company are wholly deserving of their planning permission, for their bravery in testing times allied to their ambition should see them succeed. A great example of championing such ambition was the development of Auckland Harbour after winning the America’s Cup and burdened with the task of defending it. The harbour was transformed into a hub of sailing and socialising-through marinas and bars/ restaurants being built on the waterfront.

 I am loath to quote politics, but it was one of Barack Obama’s advisors that stated “let’s not waste a good recession”. With that in mind, by pushing our boundaries and increasing our potential for export, Ireland may emerge from the recession with reason to be optimistic for the future.

It is encouraging to see this nation make strides towards harvesting the bounty of the sea, as an island nation, she cannot afford to neglect her any longer. –