The medieval streets of Galway city are being officially rebranded in a tourist drive which industry experts are looking to adopt in towns and cities around the country, it emerged today.
Narrow routes, home to the city’s most historic landmarks and popular with hordes of exchange students, buskers and bohemian crowds, are to be renamed the Latin Quarter.
The aim is to have businesses working with council chiefs to have addresses, parts of company logos and signs, uniforms, street design and public areas in keeping with the Latin and medieval theme.
Ronnie Greaney, chairman of the local Committee, said: “The Latin Quarter in Galway is a magical place.
“From day-time to night-time it is buzzing with people who are enjoying what it has to offer, the businesses in the area are now working together to manage its future.”
The area covers St Nicholas’ Church, Ireland’s oldest parish church, running through the Saturday market to O’Brien’s Bridge and down the Corrib to the Spanish Arch and the Galway City Museum before turning up Middle Street and Buttermilk Lane.
The idea was conceived by local businessmen during preparations for the Volvo Ocean Race which hits the city this weekend.
A website, brochures and leaflets will be drawn up to market and promote the area, already known locally as the Latin Quarter thanks to its unique bars, shops and cafes and the large numbers of Spanish and foreign exchange students who socialise there.
Mr Greaney said businesses will keep individual shop fronts and signage as it stands, adding: “Part of the charm of the area is that everything has its own character.”
The tourist drive is backed by Fáilte Ireland.
John Concannon, director of regional development, said: “With the imminent arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway, the biggest event in the city in years, the Latin Quarter will be in place to enhance the enjoyment of all who come to the City of Tribes.”