2020 chief’s exit follows report that project in danger of ‘losing track’

Galway 2020 CEO Hannah Kiely.

The Chief Executive of Galway City has refused to reveal whether the head of the European Capital of Culture 2020 had “fallen on her sword or was pushed” and if she had received compensation following her departure three months after the creative director left.

Brendan McGrath told this week’s Galway City Council meeting that following a presentation to the board of the 2020 committee about the cultural programme “it is where it should be” and promised a “superlative” calendar of events.

A “number of very positive announcements” would be made shortly about the project, he stated.

“I still very much believe the 2020 programme will be amongst the very best. It will be superlative. It will have very many wow elements to it . . . we have a very, very strong committed team . . . 2020 is being run by one of the best boards I’ve ever worked with. That board is being very ably led in my opinion.”

The news follows a progress report in July compiled by Capital of Culture experts which warned that Galway 2020 risked “losing track with the project” and would incur further delays if it did not address issues with artists’ Intellectual Property, fundraising shortfalls, concerns over a lack of connectivity with local communities, secrecy and lack of engagement with artists as well as serious staffing issues.

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