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Connacht Tribune

Council commits to €2m in Galway 2020 funding

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Galway County councillors have approved a further €2 million in funding for Galway 2020 – money the beleaguered organisation said it needed to fund projects outside the city.

Outlining the position of Galway 2020 to councillors, CEO of Galway County Council Kevin Kelly said the €2 million required from the Council’s coffers was to form part of an €8 million fund the 2020 board aims to generate, “to add more significant events of national and international significance”.

In a document presented to councillors, Galway 2020 outlined a list of events planned as part of next year’s designation as European Capital of Culture – including a programme of 30 projects with a total value of €12.7 million.

The €8 million required for more significant events would enable them to create “a new and exciting programme”, devised to “respond to the gaps that exist”, which included large scale innovation across the city and county.

Part of this was a contribution towards the February 2020 opening ceremony, which will take place in six towns – with a commitment from 2020 that “every effort will be made to achieve a geographical spread across the county”.

Cllr Jimmy McClearn (FG) questioned whether the current Council, “on its last legs” ahead of the May 24 local election, should be making a financial decision of such magnitude.

“It could easily be addressed in six weeks’ time when there are people in here with a renewed mandate,” said Cllr McClearn.

Galway 2020’s current available budget is €20.5 million – with ten per cent of this contributed by the County Council.

Originally planned to be a €47 million project, this was revised down to €39 million last year when the project became embroiled in controversy – failure to attract private sponsorship has severely curtailed finances.

The Irish Government has committed €15 million to the project. Galway City Council will have contributed €6 million by the end of 2020 and the EU has pledged €1.5 million if its requirements are met – while the Board of 2020 recently told Galway City Council that an announcement of major private sponsorship was imminent.

CEO Kevin Kelly said this additional €2 million in funding would not be coming out of the Council’s budget, but instead would be raised through savings made on debts that have now been paid off by the local authority.

He said it had been agreed by the Corporate Policy Group that the Council should give €1.5 million to Galway 2020 for next year’s events, holding back €500,000 for legacy events thereafter.

The remaining €6 million for “significant events” would be acquired through yet to be determined private sponsorship sources, he added.

“The reason I brought this to the current Council is you have the knowledge and the experience,” he said, something he claimed the next Council may be lacking when it comes to Galway 2020.

“Everyone knows the project is behind schedule. Ideally, this should have happened this time last year,” said Mr Kelly.

However, Cllr James Charity (Ind) said the people of Galway were being told that there was no money available for vital services in Galway County Council.

“When we’re out canvassing, I’m telling people that there’s not enough money to keep the roads in order, or for vital services,” he said, adding that it was hard to understand that there was an additional €2 million to give to Galway 2020.

Cllr Eileen Mannion (FG) said the current batch of councillors would be shirking their responsibilities if they didn’t support 2020’s request.

“This is our baby – we have supported it all the way,” said the Clifden-based councillor.

In the end, councillors voted to grant the €2 million to Galway 2020 – €1.5 million in advance of next year’s events, and €500,000 for legacy projects.

After the meeting, Galway 2020 CEO Patricia Philbin welcomed the County Council’s support.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Galway County Council for their support.  Galway will be the cultural capital of Europe next year and it is our ambition to show Ireland, Europe and the World exactly what Galway has to offer.

“We anticipate that this is just the first of many financial contributions to enable us to deliver this showcase. This ongoing support from Galway County Council is an expression of confidence that we hope will encourage others to come forward and ensure a lasting legacy that will benefit Galway for many years to come,” said Ms Philbin.

Connacht Tribune

Football’s a funny old game – and you can quote me on that

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

If someone actually made it a requirement of your commitment to your job that you run through a brick wall for them, surely the people from health and safety would have to intervene?

And yet this the ultimate tribute a manager pays to their star player, as a way of suggesting he or she would always go the extra yard.

Never mind that the world now measures in metres, but whatever the currency, what would be the point of going a yard or metre further than was required?

Because going the extra yard would mean you’ve gone too far, which sort of defeats the whole plan in the first place.

And yet you hear it all the time, because sports stars have a way of giving an interview which revolves around half a dozen stock answers – all of which leave you none the wiser when it’s over.

Managers learn how to expand on these stock replies to incorporate a whole new range of clichés that fill airtime but answer nothing.

More to the point, they often mean nothing too.

Because where else in life would 100 per cent commitment to the particular cause never be quite enough – given that everyone else was giving 110 per cent?

And yet that too is among those most common clichés expressed in post-match set-piece interviews; packed to the wall with observations that actually mean precisely nothing.

Those post-game interviews were in the news for more serious reasons in recent weeks, after one of the biggest stars of the world of tennis, Naomi Osaka, declined to do them during the French Open because she said that negative questions on her performance were impacting on her mental health.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Sporting organisations letting us down by rolling over to NPHET

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Galway players Niamh McGrath and Siobhan Gardiner show their disappointment after falling to Kilkenny in Sunday's National Camogie League final at Croke Park. Photo: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Inside Track with John McIntyre

IRELAND’S various big sporting organisations continue to embarrass themselves in relation to how they are handling the Covid pandemic. Being slaves to public health guidelines is one thing, but these bodies have introduced some rules of their own which are only further alienating their support base.

The GAA, IRFU, the FAI and Horse Racing Ireland may be currently dependent on public finances to keep their respective shows on the road, but that can’t excuse their lack of independent thinking or the fact they are making a deeply frustrating situation worse by adding in their own Covid-19 regulations

In effect, these sporting bodies are trying too hard to please NPHET and it doesn’t seem to matter how much they inconvenience or antagonise their grassroots in the process. Take the GAA, for instance. At club level dressing rooms remain closed and that causes significant irritation, especially on wet days.

Horse Racing Ireland is no better. Two owners per runner have been allowed back at race meetings and while that number is about to increase to four, there has been little enthusiasm among the cohort of people who pay the bills to return. And why would they? – no catering, no bookies and no atmosphere. And the most absurd thing of all is that the racing authorities are still enforcing the mask-wearing regulation.

Imagine still having to use a face covering in what amounts to big open fields. Is Horse Racing Ireland clueless as to how foolish jockeys, trainers, the few owners and media people present are being made to look, especially when the risk of contracting Covid is negligible in such an environment? All the while, beaches, public parks and walkways are milling with people.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

The thrill of learning

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Embracing education: Anna Keane who will begin a BA in September; Anne Marie Ward who is doing a part-time degree in Youth, Community and Family Studies; Owen Ward who has a Master’s in Education and works at NUIG; and Jason Sherlock who will embark on a Master’s in International Finance in September. All entered NUIG via its Access Programme.

Lifestyle – Most members of the Travelling community are unlikely to finish secondary education and only a tiny proportion go to university. But for people who want an academic education, NUIG is leading the way. Four keen learners share their stories with JUDY MURPHY, among them post-graduate Owen Ward who works in NUIG’s Access Office, assisting people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Starting third-level education can be daunting for even the most confident teenager. Entering a massive campus, meeting so many new people, trying to figure out timetables, deciding what societies to join and just finding your feet – those early weeks can be a challenge.

That’s how Jason Sherlock felt when the young city man began his degree at NUIG in 2018. A member of the Travelling community, Jason had more reason than most to feel daunted in this educational establishment. According to the 2016 Census, only one percent of Travellers go on to third level – although that has increased slightly since then, thanks to people like Jason and his mentor, Owen Ward, a Programme Coordinator in the university’s Access Office.

Jason, who entered university though the Access Programme, which supports students from ‘non-traditional backgrounds’, will begin studying for a Master’s in International Finance in September, having completed a degree in Economics, Sociology and Political Science.

As we meet on the campus at NUIG on a sunny Friday, he recalls having his photo taken by the Tribune 11 years ago, on his final day at Scoil Bhríde National School in Shantalla, where he had never missed a day.

But university was different. Initially, Jason felt it wasn’t for him and almost dropped out of his course. That’s where Owen Ward appeared. Owen who graduated from NUIG in 2014, having also entered via the Access Programme, was back doing a Master’s in Education.  He heard Jason was on campus and went looking for him among the 18,000 students.

“I didn’t know Jason at the time but I knew his father. And I tracked him down,” he recalls with a laugh. Having done that, he was able to support the younger man in those difficult early days. Jason found his feet and with Owen went on to set up Mincéirs Whiden, a new society at NUIG. The first of its kind in any third-level institution, Mincéirs Whiden is for Traveller students but is open to all. Members include students from the settled community, Irish and international.

Anne Marie Ward, who is beginning her third year of a part-time degree in Youth, Community and Family Studies, is the incoming chair of Mincéirs Whiden.

She’s also the new Ethnic Minorities Officer for the NUIG Students’ Union, the first member of the Travelling Community to be elected to a position in the student body.  She is Owen’s sister.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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