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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway must deliver to draw 2020 funding

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Galway 2020 must deliver on performance targets in order to draw-down €14.75 million in exchequer funding.

Minister for Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said the Government has committed €15 million to Galway 2020 to deliver the European Capital of Culture project.

She said her department provided the first tranche of €250,000 towards Galway 2020 last December. That was to cover costs already incurred.

Minister Madigan said that Galway 2020 had spent some €750,000 in 2017, according to accounts of the Galway Cultural Development and Activity Company Limited by Guarantee, the legal structure set up to undertake all the activities of Galway 2020.

Of that expenditure, some €229,132 was spent on salaries, €240,921 on overheads, including rent of €39,788, and the remaining €279,076 was spent on programme costs. There is a balance of €14.75 million owing from her Department to Galway 2020.

“The balance of the €15m grant will be advanced to Galway 2020 through a performance delivery agreement which is currently being drafted,” said Minister Madigan.

“The Government’s support represents the largest single contribution to the overall cost of Galway 2020 as the European City of Culture, which is €45.7m. The balance of the funding is sourced from city and county local authorities, and commitments from business and sponsorship. The EU Commission’s award is €1.5m,” said Minister Madigan.

She was responding to a parliamentary question from Galway West TD, Catherine Connolly.

Meanwhile, in relation to the latest staff crisis at Galway 2020, in a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the Department of Culture said it “notes” the Creative Director Chris Baldwin is leaving the organisation by mutual agreement and it “notes” the announcement of three new cultural producers joining the team. It also noted that the Board of Galway 2020, “has reviewed the composition of the cultural leadership and will make a further announcement in this regard in the coming weeks.”

The Department’s statement pointed out that its contribution to Galway 2020 was “the largest single contribution to the overall cost” of the project and it added it “continues to work and support the Galway 2020 Company and its Board . . . to ensure that an ambitious plan is delivered”.

Asked if Minister Madigan had concerns about oversight of Galway 2020, the statement said: “In relation to the governance of the project, the Department is satisfied that the Board of Galway 2020 comprises a very broad range of expertise striking a balance between artistic and governance expertise.

“The Board is chaired by Aideen McGinley former Permanent Secretary of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland and who, as Chair of ILEX – the Regeneration Company for Derry/Londonderry – was instrumental in securing the inaugural UK City of Culture for Derry in 2013.

“The Department has a nominated representative on the Board, Declan McGonagle, former Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and former Director of the National College of Art and Design, who keeps the Department updated on progress on planning for the European City of Culture.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Matriarch of Scotty’s Diner donates kidney to her son!

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A well-known family in the Galway restaurant trade have swapped chef whites for hospital gowns after the matriarch donated a kidney to her son.

Jenny and Andrew Ishmael, synonymous with Scotty’s Diner in Cúirt na Coiribe on the Headford Road in Terryland, are recovering in Beaumont Hospital after the marathon live donor operation.

It took place last Monday and staff are so impressed by the quick recovery of mother and son that they could be discharged as early as this weekend.

“It went really well. I’m still a bit sore. We’re still on the mend. It’s working perfectly,” says Andrew from the isolation ward of the hospital’s Kidney Centre.  “My creatine was over 1,000 when I came in and it’s already around 260.

“I felt weak after the surgery, but I could feel that bit of life in me again straight away. It’s amazing how quick it works. Mom wasn’t too great after the surgery – it was her first ever. She was quite sore, a bit iffy, but she’s good now.

“We have rooms back-to-back. We’ve been going for walks, going for breakfast together. It’s nice to spend that time together.”

Andrew – or Drew as he’s known to family and friends –  was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was just 16.

Berger’s Disease occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin builds up in the kidneys and results in inflammation, which over time, can hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from the blood.

He managed the condition well for over a decade without too much impact on his life.

The son of classically trained chefs who studied together at Johnson and Wales College in Rhode Island, he grew up working in his parents’ American-style diner, trading since 1991.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

New River Corrib rescue boat to be deployed following ‘significant donation’

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The provision of a specialist rescue craft on the Corrib – upstream from the Weir – could now happen over the coming weeks or months following a ‘significant voluntary donation’ in the past few weeks, the Galway City Tribune has learned.

Water safety issues on the Corrib were highlighted last month when up to 10 rowers had to be rescued after their two boats were sucked in by the currents towards the Weir.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board has launched an investigation into the circumstances of the potentially catastrophic incident which occurred around midday on Saturday, January 14.

A specialist D Class lifeboat is now being sourced as part of a multi-agency approach to try and improve emergency rescue operations upstream from the Weir which would be accessible on a 24/7 basis.

While the cost would be in the region of €40,000 to €50,000, the overall figure would rise to around €80,000 to €90,000 when specialist personnel training costs were included.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune that he was aware of a lot of work going on behind the scenes to try and get the Corrib rescue craft in place as soon as possible.

“I suppose we’re all trying to work together to ensure that a full-time rescue craft is provided on the Corrib and I believe that real progress is being made in this regard. This would be very good news for everyone,” said Mr Swan.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Three years on and ‘Changing Places’ facility on Salthill Promenade still not open

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Mayor of Galway, Cllr Clodagh Higgins at the site of the Changing Places facility, for which she had ring-fenced money. Work on the project only began last February, despite initial predictions that the facility would be open in January last year.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The wait for accessible, specialised toilet facilities at Ladies Beach in Salthill goes on – three years after they were ‘prioritised’ by city councillors.

Galway City Council has confirmed to the Tribune this week that the ‘Changing Places’ facility at Ladies Beach is still not open.

Construction of the facility began almost a year ago, at the end of February 2022.

The local authority confirmed that some €135,600 has been spent on the unit, which is not yet open to the public.

“The initial stages of construction went well, with the facility now largely in place. There are a number of outstanding snags to be completed before the facility can open.

“Galway City Council is liaising with the contractor to complete out these snags, with a view to opening the facility as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said.

The local authority did not elaborate on what ‘snags’ were delaying the project.

But in January, Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, suggested that staffing issues were to blame for the delay.

(Photo: Mayor of Galway, Clodagh Higgins, at the site of the Changing Places facility, for which she had ring-fenced money).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the February 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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