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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway 2020 – the farce continues

Judy Murphy

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The scene at South Park at the same time as the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture opening ceremony should have been taking place last February. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

As artists in Galway and throughout Ireland are struggling to survive the Covid-19 pandemic, the money-eating monster that is Galway 2020 continues to horrify.

The organisation which has been a holy show for some three years now, announced in April that it was cutting links with the UK based company, Artichoke which was brought in early in 2019 to oversee its programming and to try and raise desperately needed sponsorship.

Blaming Covid-19 for its difficulties, 2020 issued several press releases stating that it would be reducing its ‘team’ (a word beloved by those in the world of spin-speak). That would take place in May, they told us, as 19 of its “30 core staff” would be “temporarily laid off . . .  while we undertake a redundancy consultation process with all members of the team”.

A query from the Tribune as to what positions the 2020 ‘cultural’ organisation might regard as being redundant, elicited the following reply: “At this stage we are not in a position to pre-empt what the outcome of the redundancy process will be.”

May is well behind us and we are into June. But we still haven’t been officially informed as to what positions have been dispensed with.

Well, having been keeping an eye on its website let us tell you (assuming that the information there is accurate). The organisation has retained one Cultural Producer – there were at least four, working with artists across literature, theatre music and visual arts. Let’s say that again. The European Capital of Culture for 2020 has retained one Cultural Producer.

That wouldn’t be too bad if the organisation hadn’t seen fit to retain one Communications Manager, one PR Manager, one Editor and one Photographer and Videographer.  That’s right. Four people in communications/PR and one – one – Cultural Producer. In the organisation charged with delivering Galway’s programme for European Capital of Culture.

The ‘team’ of 13 also includes a Head of Human Resources – because a ‘cultural’ organisation with 13 employees couldn’t function without that role – much more important than, say a Cultural Producer.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara

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Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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