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Tiny amount of Galway 2020 ‘legacy’ funding drawn down


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Tiny amount of Galway 2020 ‘legacy’ funding drawn down Tiny amount of Galway 2020 ‘legacy’ funding drawn down

Less than eight per cent of taxpayer funding, ring-fenced for the ‘legacy’ of Galway’s European Capital of Culture (ECOC) project has been drawn down.

Galway Culture Company – the rebranded company that was responsible for delivering Galway 2020 ECOC – had drawn down €78,500 for its legacy programme, as of October.

Government had ring-fenced a total of €1m to be used to support the “strategic objectives of the legacy programme” of Galway 2020 ECOC, which was dogged by controversy.

Chief executive of the company is Marilyn Gaughan Reddan, the former County Arts Officer who was also a central figure in Galway 2020.

It has a Performance Delivery Agreement with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Culture Minister Catherine Martin confirmed in the Dáil to Galway West TD Catherine Connolly (Ind) that another application for a further drawdown had been lodged by Galway Culture Company with officials in her Department.

It was being “reviewed” in advance of processing, she said.

Minister Martin said there were three legacy objectives. They include: facilitating international and EU relationships and funding; supporting “place-based cultural programming”; and provision of supports “to the cultural and creative sector”.

She said the funding drawn down so far had been used for a digital arts residency programme between France and Ireland.

It had also been spent to provide “general supports such as Irish translations, graphic design” and assistance in the company’s “fulfilment of legal and financial requirements”.

Officials in her Department have quarterly meetings with Galway Culture Company, to monitor whether the company established by Galway City and County Councils is delivering on its agreed performance targets. They last met twice in August, she said.

Minister Martin said the monitoring and reporting requirements ensured “the appropriate oversight of the implementation of the legacy programme and expenditure of the Government legacy programme funding allocation”.

She added that “my officials will continue to work closely with Galway Culture Company in this regard”.

Initial plans for legacy included physical arts and culture infrastructure, including an artistic space in the city for children, although it’s understood that was not included in the final legacy programme.

Aside from disruption due to Covid-19, Galway Capital of Culture was dogged by a series of setbacks and controversies including staffing problems and resignations of its creative director and chief executive; funding shortfalls; poor communication; concerns by local artists that they were excluded; a cancelled opening ceremony at the Swamp due to stormy weather; and shortcomings in its Irish language offering.

The Galway Culture Company website lists former local authority Chief Executives Brendan McGrath and Jim Cullen as members of the board of the company. Senior people in Galway’s arts, media, economic and educational scene are also listed as board members.

Pictured: Marilyn Gaughan Reddan, the Chief Executive of Galway Culture Company, was Head of Programme for Galway 2020.  PHOTO: JOE O’SHAUGHNESSY.

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