Catherine Carlton, Mayor of Menlo Park city in California’s Silicone Valley, paid a visit to Menlo Village in Galway last Saturday morning. Mayor Carlton is currently holidaying in Ireland with her husband and is the 2nd Mayor of Menlo Park city to visit and enjoy the hidden beauty of the village on the shores of the Corrib. In December 2013, the then Mayor Peter Ohtaki also visited. “We’re united by so much more than what divides us,” said Ms. Carlton shortly after she was appointed in Dec of last year. When asked her first impressions of Galway, the Mayor said she loves it but what makes the city so special is the people. Friday afternoon she took a stroll with Mayor Frank Fahy to Charlie Byrne’s Book Store where Matt Mooney was launching his book of poetry ‘Earth to Earth’. Mayor Carlton got her own signed copy and enjoyed the hospitality of the store.
Menlo Park, California, is the heart of Silicon Valley’s tech scene – home to Sand Hill Road, where the region’s top venture capitalists are headquartered, as well as home to Facebook’s headquarters. But few realise Menlo Park owes its origins to two Galway brothers!
Galway City and the city of Menlo Park, California, have signed a friendship agreement in recognition of the fact that two Irish emigrants in the 19th century called Dennis Oliver and his brother-in-law DC McGlynn from the village of Menlo (Menlough, or ‘small lake’ as Gaeilge) in Galway bought a 1,700-acre tract of land in the 1850s, 48 kilometres (30 miles) south of San Francisco.
When asked about Menlo Park the Mayor said, “We are in the middle of Silicone Valley, in between San Francisco and San Jose so we are very close to the mountains where people can go walking and hiking, close to the water and close to the city so you can go to the ballet or opera but still have lots of space around for outdoor activities”.