Statement from Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture


30 April 2020: Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture has today confirmed it has reached agreement with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to consult with Galway 2020 cultural partners to explore options for a re-imagined programme of events to take place in the closing months of this year and in early 2021.

Working with local and national cultural partners with whom formal arrangements are in place, to make this re-imagined programme a reality, Galway 2020 will also look at the potential for what may be viewed and experienced in a digital format. The focus for Galway 2020 is on maximising the delivery of the bid book projects, many of which are to be delivered by local cultural partners.

In light of a wider reduction in funding for the project and Galway 2020’s commitment to deliver a re-imagined programme, the Board of Galway 2020 has also made the very difficult decision to substantially reduce the team working on the project.

Commenting on the announcement, Chairperson of the Galway 2020 Board Arthur Lappin said;

“The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed all our lives. Galway 2020 could never be immune from that change. The agreement reached with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is regarded by the Board as a most welcome affirmation of the work being planned by our cultural partners and allows us to map a new way forward. Our future work will necessitate a much leaner organisation, and the Board is extremely disappointed that it will not be possible to retain all members of our team as we move forward. We acknowledge with gratitude all the members of our team for their hard work and dedication to this project. In conjunction with our cultural partners we will explore a programme of events, albeit smaller than originally envisaged, to be presented at the end of this year and into next year. This programme will celebrate the cultural vibrancy and brilliance of our city and county, will lift the spirits of our creative community and audiences, and leave a legacy of which we can all be proud”.

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD said;

“I am today pleased to confirm my continued support for Galway 2020 and a revised Galway 2020 programme that can be delivered in line with public health guidelines. This will ensure many elements of the programme can still be delivered and enjoyed by audiences in Ireland and internationally. As importantly, at a time when COVID-19 is having a profound impact on our arts and culture sectors, the possibility to deliver projects will be a support for our arts community and arts practitioners. It is a great sadness that redundancies will be required and I want to assure all workers affected that the relevant COVID-19 supports will be available to them.”