Seattle’s Ed Murray is ditching the Emerald City for the Emerald Isle on his first overseas trip as mayor.
Murray, whose grandparents emigrated from Ireland in the early 20th century and who lived in Belfast himself in 1974, jetted off Wednesday.
He’s spending $2,020.84 in city funds on travel, with his Irish hosts footing the rest of the bill, according to a press release from his office.
Murray’s official itinerary begins Friday in Galway, Seattle’s Irish sister city since 1986. He and Galway Mayor Donal Lyons will slurp fresh oysters and listen to the Seattle Police Department’s Pipes and Drums band at an oyster festival.
The band raised private funds from the Seattle Police Foundation and other donors to pay for its trip, according to Murray’s office.
– Murray will talk with Galway University law students, administrators and faculty. He’ll lead a discussion about employment and marriage equality for Ireland’s LGBT community.
– On Monday, Murray will visit Dublin to meet with the American Chamber of Commerce. Joined by representatives from Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon, he’ll speak about business connections between Seattle and Ireland.
– Also in Dublin, Murray will meet with government legislators about a national referendum on marriage equality in the works for next year.
– On Tuesday, Murray will chat with Irish President Michael Higgins
Like Seattle, Galway is a wet coastal city and the forecast there calls for rain this weekend, with high temperatures in the low 60s. Murray should feel right at home.