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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Budget bloodbath’ for Galway 2020 projects

Dara Bradley

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Galway City Tribune – More arts organisations with major events in the Galway 2020 programme are expected to follow Druid Theatre in pulling their Capital of Culture project due to a ‘budget bloodbath’, lack of clarity and creative and organisational leadership.

The budgets for each organisation, agreed in principle earlier this year, have been slashed to such an extent that, according to sources, the programme of events in 2020 will be unrecognisable to what was submitted in the Making Waves bid book that won Galway the Capital of Culture designation in 2016. The cuts in some cases are as much as 80%.

And in a further blow to Galway 2020, it was confirmed yesterday that former EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn has quit its board . . . the latest in a succession of high-profile resignations.

Druid Artistic Director Garry Hynes has confirmed that the world-famous theatre company’s flagship Galway 2020 production, Middle Island, would not proceed due to “loss of time, significant budget cuts and communications issues”. Druid said it would work with Galway 2020 on devising another, smaller-scale project.

Several other organisations are considering exiting the stage, also, because they simply cannot deliver on the proposed productions with slimmed-down budgets and a lack of leadership and artistic direction from Galway 2020.

“The budgets were lean anyway; it’s not like they were fat budgets and you can cut. A reduction of 10% or 20% is unsustainable, never mind cuts of 50%, 70% or 80%. Organisations are asking is their project viable now,” said one source.

The Galway City Tribune has established that Babaró is facing cuts of 72% to the budget it had agreed for its project in the 2020 programme.

Tulca, the festival of visual arts, has been slashed – down by €800,000 from what it had originally anticipated, to just €200,000; Music for Galway will have to produce its 2020 programme with €0.5 million less – a cut of almost 38%; Blue Teapot Theatre Company has been reduced by 37%. Galway Film Fleadh has also been badly hit, down by around a third.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here.

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CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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