Galway Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International Supports “Circle of Life Garden” in Galway Ireland

Categories: Press Release


CHICAGO (August 22, 2013) – The Galway Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) has become a major sponsor of the Circle of Life National Organ Donor Commemorative Garden in Galway, donating $32,500 to the cause. The garden will remember and give thanks for the generosity of spirit of the over 2,200 people in Ireland who have given the gift of life through organ donation.

The Circle of Life Commemorative Garden was initiated by the Strange Boat Donor Foundation, established by Denis and Martina Goggin, parents of Éamonn Goggin, a young County Galway man who was involved in a fatal car crash in 2006 and became an organ donor.

“The support and endorsement of the project from such an influential body as Chicago Sister Cities International,” Denis Goggin said, “will add immeasurably to the stature and standing of this very deserving national garden which, when completed, will be a special place of comfort, inspiration and healing for all, but of particular significance to those affected by organ donation and transplantation.”

The Goggins traveled to Chicago with Mayor of Galway Padraig Conneely and the Spirit of Galway delegation where they were presented with the $32,500 check by the Galway Committee of CSCI on August 20, 2013.

Chicago resident and Galway native Billy Lawless, who also serves as Vice Chairman of the Galway Committee of CSCI, said, “Our decision to support the commemorative garden project is indicative of our commitment to increasing community, cultural, artistic and philanthropic engagement with the city of Galway.”

Stones from iconic heritage sites from each of the 32 counties of Ireland will be assimilated into the garden design to represent donors from their respective counties. There will also be iconic stones donated from each continent, including from South Africa (where the first heart transplant took place) and Ellis Island. The garden will be located in a beautifully landscaped two-acre park on the seafront in Salthill, Galway and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.

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Known as “Ireland’s Cultural Heart” (Croí Cultúrtha na hÉireann) for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events, Galway has been Chicago’s sister city since 1997. The city has long had a reputation among Irish cities for being associated with the Irish language, music, song and dancing traditions. Galway lies on the River Corrib on the west coast of Ireland between Lough Corrib and Galway Bay and is surrounded by County Galway. It is the fourth most populous city in the state and the sixth most populous on the island of Ireland.

Strange Boat Donor Foundation
The Strange Boat Donor Foundation is an Irish registered charity established by the parents of Éamonn Goggin, a young county Galway man whose organs were donated following a road crash in 2006. Since its inception, the Foundation is engaged in various related activities, all of which aim to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and to give comfort, consolation and support to all those affected by organ donation and transplantation.

Chicago Sister Cities International
Chicago Sister Cities International, a division of World Business Chicago, provides leadership to develop, manage and coordinate comprehensive programs and projects with Chicago’s sister cities. It aims to increase international trade, promote economic development and support exchanges in the fields of arts and culture, education, health, social services, environment and technology with its sister cities for the benefit of the City of Chicago, its residents and businesses.

Chicago’s 28 sister cities include: Accra, Ghana (1989); Amman, Jordan (2004); Athens, Greece (1997); Belgrade, Serbia (2005); Birmingham, United Kingdom (1993); Bogota, Colombia (2009); Busan, Republic of Korea (2007); Casablanca, Morocco (1982); Delhi, India (2001); Durban, South Africa (1997); Galway, Ireland (1997); Gothenburg, Sweden (1987); Hamburg, Germany (1994); Kyiv, Ukraine (1991); Lahore, Pakistan (2007); Lucerne, Switzerland (1998); Mexico City, Mexico (1991); Milan, Italy (1973); Moscow, Russia (1997); Osaka, Japan (1973); Paris, France (1996); Petach Tikva, Israel (1994); Prague, Czech Republic (1990); Shanghai, China (1985); Shenyang, China (1985); Toronto, Canada (1991); Vilnius, Lithuania (1993); and Warsaw, Poland (1960).

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Press Contact
Benjamin Kelner