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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Budget bloodbath’ for Galway 2020 projects

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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

Motorcyclist killed in Galway crash

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A motorcyclist has died following a crash in Renmore this morning.

Shortly after 10am, the motorcyclist – aged in his 40s – was seriously injured when his motorbike collided with a car on the R338 Old Dublin Road at Renmore Park. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

The crash site was fully examined by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators and the road has now reopened to traffic.

The deceased was removed to the mortuary at University Hospital Galway and the Coroner has been notified.

Investigating Gardaí are appealing witnesses to come forward and have asked anyone who was travelling in the area at the time and has dashcam footage to contact them.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Wrecking ball for once-great social hub, the Corrib Great Southern Hotel

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It was the summer of ’69, and the landmark Great Southern Hotel in Eyre Square was booming.

Every evening, 180 guests – mostly American tourists – thronged its dining room for dinner. Similar numbers were served breakfast, with about 150 for lunch.

It was so busy, the semi-state company planned another 160-bedroom sister hotel, the Corrib Great Southern, on the Dublin Road.

Then the Troubles in Northern Ireland started, and “business fell off a cliff”, recalled Richard Lyons, who worked in both hotels, including 35 years as maître d in the newer one.

“They were building the Corrib when the Troubles started and they decided they had to cut back the rooms by 40. That’s how they finished with 120 bedrooms,” he said.

The hotel was opened on May 27, 1971, by Brian Lenihan Snr, the then Minister for Transport and Power, and Bishop of Galway, Michael Browne.

But the legacy of the Troubles lingered for years after, according to Renmore resident Richard – debt from State borrowing to build a new hotel up North, which was twice bombed by the IRA, threatened the very existence of the semi-state hotel group owned by CIÉ.

In the early 1980s, hotel group debt grew to nearly £8 million, and the Fine Gael and Labour Coalition Government headed by Garret Fitzgerald decided to liquidate it.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story of the hotel, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council extends outdoor dining into October

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The summer of alfresco dining looks set to be extended into the late autumn, with Galway City Council confirming this week their plans to extend the outdoor arrangements to October 22.

Local councillors, hospitality representatives and the City Council have said this week that the extension of outdoor dining at five city locations from September 30 to October 22 next, reflects public satisfaction with the current set-up.

This week the City Council published statutory public notices to clear the way for a continuation of the existing road closures required to facilitate outdoor dining on William Street West, Raven Terrace, Dominick Street Upper, Woodquay and the Small Crane.

Johnny Duggan, Chairman of the city branch of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland and proprietor of Taylor’s Bar on Dominick Street, told the Galway City Tribune that the outdoor dining initiative during the summer had been a ‘huge success’ both from a viability and operational viewpoint.

“It has brought a life and vibrancy back into these areas in a very safe and controlled environment – the move makes sense in terms of the October 22 deadline set for the return of normal business,” he said.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and for a proposal to bring an ice rink back to Leisureland, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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