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Connacht Tribune

2020 Board still plans to raise €7m in private sponsorship

Dara Bradley



Galway 2020 has insisted its original objective of raising €7 million in private sponsorship funding ‘hasn’t changed’.

The company set up to deliver Galway’s European Capital of Culture in 2020 told this newspaper it hoped to make a number of positive announcements about private sector funding in the coming weeks.

In March of this year, a financial report by Galway 2020, prepared for Galway County Council, revealed that the company had raised less than €30,000 in private sponsorship income last year.

Despite this low level of sponsorship ‘in the bank’, Galway 2020 reiterated this week that it was still targeting €7 million in private sector funding.

“Galway 2020’s objective to raise private funding of €7m hasn’t changed,” a spokesperson said.

“A largescale fundraising drive is underway. Galway 2020’s fundraising team is engaging with local, national and international businesses very positively and effectively.

“Since the appointment of (creative company) Artichoke and the activation of the fundraising team in mid-January 2019, under the leadership of Development Director, Sarah Coop, almost 100 new business meetings have taken place and hundreds of new prospects identified and engaged with.

“A number of potential partnerships are at an advanced stage of negotiations and we look forward to making announcements in that regard in the coming weeks. This process to negotiate and agree packages with fundraising partners takes time to finalise for each individual business. We are passionate about ensuring that both sides get the same level of satisfaction from the partnership.

“As is normal for projects of this scale, it is envisaged that the fundraising drive will continue throughout 2019, into and during 2020, with funding realised throughout the entire duration of the project,” the spokesperson added.

In January of this year, a briefing document was prepared for Minister for Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, which stated that approximately 50% of the funding for Galway 2020 “is secured”.

The document – prepared at the behest of Minister Madigan before she made an appearance of RTÉ Radio One’s Drivetime programme – said the overall project value was €39.7 million.

The briefing, released to the Tribune following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, said: “From January 2019 we are going full steam ahead with our partnership programme. In order to develop these partnerships we needed to be able to clearly outline to businesses the opportunities that Galway 2020 can offer them. We have completed this work over the past few months.

“We believe strongly that we will achieve our sponsorship targets in support of a world class European Capital of Culture. Galway 2020’s objective to raise private funding of €7 million hasn’t changed”.

At that stage, Galway 2020 had commitments of €23 million from the public purse including €15 million from the Department, €6 million from Galway City Council and €2 million from Galway County Council.

Since then, the County Council has agreed a further €2 million grant.

Connacht Tribune

Exploring the merits of moving into the west

Dave O'Connell



Mary Kennedy with Carol Ho, one of the Galway interviewees for her new TG4 series, Moving West. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Broadcaster Mary Kennedy has an abiding image of those early mornings when she’d set out from Dublin at the crack of dawn to begin work on another day’s filming down the country with Nationwide.

“I always liked to go in the morning rather than stay there the night before – so I’d be on the road early. And from the moment I’d hit Newland’s Cross, all I’d see was a line of traffic of people trying to make it from home to their workplace in Dublin,” she says.

These were people whose day began before dawn to get their bleary-eyed kids ready to drop at a childminder along the way, so they could be on time for work – and then race home to hopefully see those same kids before they went to sleep.

But if the pandemic had a positive, it was the realisation that work was something you did, not a place you went to. As a result, many people finally grasped the nettle, moving out of the city and sometimes even taking their work with them.

Which is why Mary – busier than ever since her supposed retirement from RTÉ – is presenting a new television series called Moving West, focusing on those individuals and families who have, as the title, suggests, relocated to the West.

One of the programmes comes from Galway, where Mary met with Stewart Forrest, who relocated with his family from South Africa to Oughterard, and Carol Ho, a Hong Kong native who has also settled in Galway.

The TG4 series also stops off in Sligo, Mayo, Kerry, Clare, Roscommon and Leitrim.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing

Dave O'Connell



Well saved...members of St Brendan's GAA Club honour their departed stalwart, John Geraghty, after a record-breaking evening saving his turf.

A local community responded in force to the death of one of their own – a man who had given so much of his life for the good of the parish – by paying one last practical tribute to him last week.

They lifted and footed his turf.

John Geraghty – or Gero as he was known – lived for Gaelic football and he’d filled every role imaginable with the St Brendan’s GAA Club since he came to live in Newbridge in 1983.

He’d cut the turf before he died last Tuesday week, but there it lay, until his old GAA friends organised a bunch of guys – made up of the football team, friends and neighbours – to meet in the bog last Wednesday evening to lift and foot/clamp John’s turf.

“Upwards of 50 fellas from the community showed up,” said St Brendan’s chairman Gerry Kilcommins.

Which was just as well, because, as Gerry acknowledged, John – himself a two-time chairman of the club in the past – had a lot of turf cut!

“It took up an area around three-quarters of the size of a standard football pitch,” he said.

Not that this proved a problem, given the enthusiasm with which they rolled up their sleeves for their old friend.

They started at 7.30pm and had it done at 7.55pm – that’s just 25 minutes from start to finish.

Read the full, heartwarming story – and the St Brendan’s GAA Club appreciation for John Geraghty – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat

Denise McNamara



Daddy’s girl…Sadhbh Browne with her very special message on organ donations. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

It is nearly two years since Paddy Browne gave his daughter Sadhbh part of his liver to save her life. And just ahead of Father’s Day, he reflects on how he would do it all over again in a heartbeat, without a single moment’s hesitation.

After an initial testing time in the first six weeks when they beat a path to the intensive care unit after the operation in St King’s Hospital in London, Sadhbh has never looked back.

“She’s thrived and thrived and thrived. She skips out to school every day. She loves the normal fun and devilment in the yard. She’s now six and started football with Mountbellew Moylough GAA, she loves baking, she’s a voracious reader – she’ll read the whole time out loud while we drive up to Crumlin [Children’s Hospital].”

But it could have all been so different.

Sadhbh from Mountbellew was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia shortly after she was born. She quickly underwent major surgery to drain bile from her liver. It worked well until she reached three years old when an infection caused severe liver damage and she was placed on the liver transplant list.

She was on a long list of medication to manage the consequences of advanced liver disease. While she lived a full life, she would tire very easily.

Paddy was undergoing the rigorous process to be accepted as a living donor when one of the tests ruled him unsuitable. His brother Michael stepped forward and was deemed a good match.

Then, further tests revealed that Paddy was in fact eligible for the operation and the previous result disregarded as a false positive.

Read the full, uplifting story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

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