Seattle’s Sister City since March 12, 1986
Population: 75,000. Language: Irish (Gaelic) and English. Distance from Seattle: 4,464 miles. Temperate climate, moderately wet winters, warm summers. Industry: Computers, Refrigeration units, Medical instruments, Electric motors. Exports: Crystal, Wool, Agricultural products, Marble, China.
Galway City is the third largest city in Ireland and is also one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe. Situated on Ireland’s western seaboard, Galway City is next door to Ireland’s largest Gaelic speaking area (Connemara) and across Galway Bay from the famous Aran Islands. The capital of the West of Ireland, it is a thriving city with a University, Regional Technical College, shipping port and airport. In medieval times Galway was a powerful city trading with the European continent in wine, spices, salt, animal products and fish. Key medieval landmarks today include the Spanish Arch, Lynch’s Castle, Eyre Square, and Blake’s Tower. Although it celebrated its Quincenntenial (500 years as a Mayoral City) in 1984, Galway is also a very modern city with three of every four houses in the city today having been built in the last 40 years.
Seattle and Galway formalized their Sister City relationship when Seattle Mayor Charles Royer and Galway Mayor Bridie O’Flaherty signed the Sister City agreement at Seattle City Hall on March 12, 1986. In the agreement signed March 12, 1986, the two cities agreed to the following:
- To regard the officials and citizens of one another’s city with the utmost respect, friendship, and goodwill;
- To communicate with one another on a frequent and continual basis, always responsive to special needs and requests;
- To explore new and creative opportunities to promote trade and tourism between our two cities;
- To identify and implement projects that would provide specific, meaningful contributions to the health and welfare of the people of Galway and Seattle; and
- To continue to design and implement cultural and educational exchanges between our two cities including, but not limited to, student and teacher exchanges; athletic teams; visual and performing arts exchanges; seminars; and any other exchanges that would promote mutual understanding and communication between our two countries and cities.
To mark the relationship, a stone monument was unveiled in Galway in 1993 that carries on a bronze marker the geophysical data of Seattle with an arrow pointing in the true direction of Seattle. A similar stone monument was unveiled in Seattle in 2001 carrying Galway’s geophysical data with an arrow pointing in the true direction of Galway. Thus, the two monuments point directly to each other. Like the waterfront location of the Seattle Stone in Galway, the Galway Stone in Seattle is on Seattle’s waterfront, in a courtyard beside the Bell Street Trolley Stop opposite Pier 66.