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Galway City is situated at the mouth of the River Corrib and on the western reaches of the Republic of Ireland. Founded by Anglo-Norman settlers in the 12th century and incorporated as a city in 1484, the city is as rich in heritage as it is in modern attractions. The population of the City is 72,000. Often referred to as the 'Capital of the West', Galway is a cultural Mecca of sorts, attracting thousands every year to the many lively festivals hosted by the town. A few of the biggest attractions are the Galway Film Fleadh, the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Races and the Oyster Festival. In addition to its status as a centre of language, art and culture, Galway is home to over 18, 000 students during the academic year, many of whom attend the National University of Ireland, Galway or  the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.  In addition, there are many language schools in the area.  Galway was an important mediaeval port, dominated, like Florence, by a few merchant and banking families, and the remains of several architecturally interesting mediaeval town houses and castles are evident in its narrow, lively streets.

The region features many attractions, including the single largest Gaeltacht in Ireland - an area in South Connemara where Irish has always been the first language. Other enticements include the stunning landscapes of Connemara, the celebrated Aran Islands, and the many lakes throughout the countryside the largest of which, Lough Corrib, is over 43 kilometers long.

Biologically, Ireland is more than just leaping salmon. Seals, whales, sharks and dolphins abound in Irish waters and one can take tours to view these magnificent sea creatures up close. Bird-watching is a real highlight in some of the country's more remote areas and majestic sea cliffs, with fulmars, puffins and razorbills all making an appearance. Inner Galway (the Claddagh) is well known for its rare waders and gulls. Also, unspoiled nature reserves and national parks are great places to spot badgers, deer, foxes and squirrels in their natural habitats.

We hope to see you in Galway at the  10th International Meeting of the Association for Public Economic Theory in  June 2009.