Date Published: 06-Dec-2012
BY ENDA CUNNINGHAM
Galway City Council has said it was not aware that entertainers who performed for the grand finale of the Volvo Ocean Race had been “burned” – despite it providing €250,000 in funding to the stopover organisers.
Galway band The Stunning is the latest in a long line of creditors to speak out against Let’s Do It Global (LDIG) over unpaid debts, and has now demanded that full accounts be published to show where money was spent.
Meanwhile, John Killeen, Chief Executive of LDIG said yesterday (Thursday) that he would “never” get involved in another Volvo bid on a voluntary basis and admitted the company may be insolvent.
It’s understood that LDIG debts have now risen to around €700,000 . All payments have been suspended, while auditors trawl through the accounts, and it will be known in the coming days if the company is insolvent – which could spark a liquidation.
Joe Wall of The Stunning – who played to 35,000 people at the Docksas part of the festival – told the Galway City Tribune the band is still owed around 50% of their fee, which is believed to be a five figure sum.
“We got the 50% booking fee, which is standard, and didn’t get paid the balance on the day. We chased it down for two months and alarm bells started ringing. I started to kick up a fuss, and we were given a paltry sum. We’re owed a sizeable amount of money.
“The City Council gave them €250,000 to pay specifically for entertainment. So where did the money get spent? Everybody who’s gotten stuffed want to know where the money went to,” he says.
A spokesperson for Galway City Council said the local authority granted €250,000 in support to LDIG “in good faith” on the understanding a significant proportion would be used for free events at the Docks.
John Killeen said yesterday that he was “awfully sad at what’s happened”. “We tried to do a positive thing for this city and Ireland, and the ‘hurlers on the ditch’ keep taking swipes. Why would anybody put their head above water again, only for it to be cut off?
“I wouldn’t ever do this again on a voluntary basis. 1,500 volunteers gave time and energy. I could name 100 people who provided up to €15,000 worth of services each for free. It saddens me this has happened.”
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup
Date Published: 06-Mar-2013
New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit
A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes
Date Published: 11-Mar-2013
Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?
Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.
But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.
While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.
So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.
It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.
Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.
While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.
It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.
But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.