Galway East constituency is a vibrant area in the heart of the West. It embodies all that is good about Rural Ireland with hard-working people of immense talent and skill. In addition, its increasing resources and great potential for future economic development.
It is home to innovative industries, progressive educational establishments, growing healthcare facilities and expanding road networks. Furthermore, developing communications and a wide range of social, cultural and tourist amenities.
Our busy, thriving towns – Tuam, Athenry, Loughrea and Gort – connect via our M6 East-West and M17/M18 North-South motorway system. Together with this we have rail connectivity south to Limerick and east to Dublin.
Our Shannon River routes, anchor at Portumna, connect to Enniskillen, Athlone and Limerick. We also enjoy great proximity to Shannon and Ireland West airports and the ports of Galway and Foynes.
Galway East is at the core of the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) which runs from Kerry to Donegal. The AEC’s ambitions to grow connectivity, drive economic expansion and create jobs is reaping dividends in Galway East. We have seen job creation by key employers, building on the strengths of our new and enduring businesses.
Agriculture is the lifeblood of the constituency. Hence, our agri-food and farming sector is leading the way in agricultural innovation. This is underpinned by the ongpoing work at the Teagasc Research Centre in Athenry. Traditionally, beef and sheep are the mainstays of our agriculture in Galway East.
Thanks to the Rural Regeneration Fund, we have seen major investment in the constituency. In particular Athenry’s Bia Innovator project, which will make the town an international food and tourism hub. Likewise, we have exciting plans for a major regeneration of Tuam town centre. In addition, In addition, are constantly striving to improve civic amenities in all our towns and villages.
Furthermore, there are a range of other funding supports for our communities. Such as the Town and Village Scheme, the LEADER Programme, CLÁR and the Outdoor Recreation Scheme. These, along with capital funding grants, provide vital support for our community and sporting organisations.
However, Galway East has a deficiency in high-speed broadband, but it is an asset we must have. Bringing high-speed broadband to every home in Galway East under the National Broadband Plan will underpin our economic opportunity for inward investment. While, growing our small and medium enterprises, establishing start-up businesses and developing digital hubs and remote working.
Locally, we are continually working to improve our healthcare facilities and our educational opportunities. Great strides have been made in terms of our Primary Care Centres and new school buildings in Galway East.
The constituency is adjacent to third level facilities of NUI Galway, Galway–Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). Nearby we have Institute of Technology Sligo, Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), the University of Limerick (UL) and Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT).
It is a privilege to live in a beautiful part of the world, with such great tourist attractions. Those include Portumna Castle, Coole Park, Meelick Weir, the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna, Athenry Castle. Equally popular are Knockma, Ross Errilly Friary outside Headford and the breath-taking coastline at Kinvara. These and our many other cultural and historical sites are now key features of the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands brand under the promotion of Fáilte Ireland.
Locally, we also have great sporting clubs, not least the Galway footballers and hurlers. Also our local GAA clubs, soccer clubs, golf clubs, rugby clubs and many others. Our lakes and rivers for angling and cruising, such as Lough Corrib, Lough Rea and the Clare River.
We face many challenges but we are in a position to respond to them. Nonetheless, we can halt rural decline by investing in our communities, growing our businesses and protecting our farm incomes.
In summary, residents of East Galway live in a great place with great people, but we cannot rest on our laurels. We have many great advantages. But it is my job to ensure that we take all our opportunities to promote and grow our region as an outstanding place in which to live, work and raise our families.