Here’s how Galway is responding to the crisis in Ukraine

Local Government bodies, businesses, and individuals around Galway have been doing their bit to help those in need, in light of the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe.

Demonstrations

Vigils and anti-war demonstrations have taken place around the county since Russia began it’s invasion of Ukraine.

A candlelit vigil held in solidarity with those in Ukraine took place on Saturday in the town square of Tuam. Organiser Mary Ryan spoke on the demonstration the next day:

“Our hearts and thoughts are with you all Ukraine,” she said.

A demonstration of around 30 people took place in Eyre Square on Friday the 25th at 5 PM, organised by Kiran Emrich.

“I’ve been an anti-war activist for 20 years, so I just went ahead and did it. It was small but symbolic,” he said.

A large vigil with roughly 100 people in attendance occurred at 2 PM on Sunday. The Eyre Square vigil was organised by local woman Elizabeth Stolbova, who said:

“It’s to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine and to show them that we are here actually participating, standing with them and feeling all of this grief with them.”

Anna Heverin and Katie Harrington from the Galway East branch of the Labour Party at Sundays Vigil. Credit: David McDonagh

Flags

Elected members of Galway City Council unanimously passed a motion on Monday agreeing to raise a Ukrainian flag outside City Hall until a ceasefire has been agreed.

A motion was also raised in Galway County Council by Independent Cllr James Charity. It was unanimously decided that a Ukrainian flag would also be raised at the County Hall building.

Fianna Fail Cllr Alan Cheevers said: “I think as a council we need to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”

NUI Galway has announced this Tuesday that they will be lighting the on-campus Quadrangle in the colours of the Ukrainian flag for the foreseeable future. That is according to the President of NUIG, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh.

“We will continue to do this until hostilities cease. In the coming days and weeks, we will do whatever we can to support those affected and can only wish for the best in these very dark times,” he said.

The Quadrangle building, NUI Galway.

Donation collections

Many businesses around the city and greater county have begun putting out calls for psychical donations to be sent to those in need in Ukraine as well as collecting funds.

In total, there are five collection points, Smakoteka Polish Shop, Ballinasloe Community Creche, Keane’s Service Station, Kinvara Community Council, and the Community Aid Thrift Shop. Each location offers a list of items accepted.

Fit-for-purpose winter clothes, baby items, and blankets are amongst the most sought-after resources. Smakoteka Polish Shop at Kingsvalley has been organising a truck to be sent to Poland on Thursday for these items to get to the refugees there.

Galway City restaurant 56 Central devoted sales from today’s Pancake Tuesday event to those affected by the recent struggles. All those who wished to help were invited to the restaurant at 11 AM and a call was put out to the local Ukrainian community asking how they can help those in need best.

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