Editor’s note: This article was co-written by Lucy Spaziano.
On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, Menlo Park welcomed Galway City’s Mayor Donal Lyons (left in photo) and Chief Executive Brendan McGrath (right) for a two-day visit March 11th and 12th. This visit continues the Friendship Agreement signed by the two cities in 2013.
Galway is a city of about 70,000 located on the western coast of Ireland. In 1840, at the age of 17, Dennis Oliver immigrated to New York City from Galway City, and then in 1849 migrated to San Francisco. Soon thereafter he and his business partner Daniel McGlynn purchased land just north of the San Francisquito Creek where they started a ranch they named Menlo Park after the park-like village of Menlo on the edge of Galway City where Oliver had enjoyed family holidays.
In addition to tours of local businesses, including Facebook, Bootup Ventures, CS Bio and HP Corporate Headquarters (note that the European headquarters of HP is in Galway City) and also St. Patrick’s Seminary, Lyons and McGrath met privately Tuesday morning with Menlo Park’s Mayor Catherine Carlton (middle in photo) and Economics Developer Jim Cogan.
Afterwards Mayor Carlton, along with City Manager Alex McIntyre and others, hosted Lyons and Brendon for lunch at Menlo Park’s Left Bank Restaurant. That evening at the City’s regular Council Meeting, Mayor Carlton made an official proclamation marking the visit and the two mayors then exchanged gifts.
Throughout the visit, members of Two Menlos, a local organization that supports the Friendship Agreement, assisted in hosting, especially Jim Lewis. Lyons and McGrath will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Seattle, which is a Sister City with Galway.
Galway City was founded in the 12th century by Norman traders. It was granted a charter in the 15th century by Richard III (of England). Today the center of the city consists of well-preserved buildings with many busy restaurants, bars and retail shops.