A warm welcome despite the wet weather for President Robinson at the Galway Arts Festival.

President Mary Robinson, officially opens the 16th Galway Arts Festival which promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

A guard of honour made up of members from the spectacle and street performance company Macnas greeted President Mary Robinson as she arrived in Galway to open the 16th Galway Arts Festival. The theme of Macnas Arts Festival parade is Noah’s Ark and Little John Nee, Commander-in-Chief of the Right Regal Animals of Macnas assured the President,

There will always be a cup of tea for you at Macnas.

Along with race week, the Galway Arts Festival is the highlight of tourist season in the area and the turnover of the festival is in the region of £500,000. Northern Telecom and Smithwicks are the main festival sponsors but the sale of 40,000 tickets at the box office helps to keep the festival afloat.

Over 100 events are programmed for the 12 days and international performers include the Second Hand Dance Company form New York.

Bad weather did not dampen spirits, and the crowd attending the official festival opening in the Big Top gave Mrs Robinson a rousing reception. In her address the President spoke about the importance of the arts in Ireland.

Irish people are travelling all round the world and carrying a sense of the creativity of the modern Ireland.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 14 July 1993. The reporter is Charlie Bird.