Galway 2020

  • Arts organisations involved in Galway 2020 are holding a crisis meeting with local authority officials today.

    It follows major budget cuts to projects in the European Capital of Culture programme.

    The cuts have already led to Druid Theatre company shelving one of 2020's flagship productions.

    The project has already seen the replacement of the artistic director and CEO, due to resignations.

  • The Chairperson of the board of Galway 2020, Aideen McGinley has notified the board of her intention to step aside as Chair.  Ms McGinley will remain in and committed to the position of Chair until a new appointment is made and following that, will continue to support the project as a strategic advisor to the board. 

    Having managed the establishment and overseen the implementation of important Governance structures and procedures, she now believes that as the project moves to a new delivery phase, a new chair with different skill sets would be best placed to take the project forward.

    She remains completely committed to Galway 2020 and is heavily involved in the process to recruit a new chair to ensure the necessary handovers are undertaken and complete.

    In reviewing the needs of the organisation as it enters the next phase of delivery, the board has been augmented and refreshed with a range of additional skills and experience . The board has announced three new appointments.

    Arthur Lappin, a leading film and theatre producer for over 30 years joins the board bringing specific industry expertise to the role.  Arthur played a key role in producing the bid book during the bid phase for Galway 2020 and has served on the boards of more than 30 cultural organisations in film, theatre, dance, opera, education and multi-disciplinary arts centres.

    Finbarr Bradley, a fluent Irish speaker who is an author, co-author and former professor of finance at DCU, currently teaching at UCD Smurfit Business School also joins, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the board of Galway 2020. 

    Additionally, Ivonka Kwiek, an anthropologist and culture manager living and working in Galway, will also take up a position on the board of Galway 2020.  Her experience in the culture sector will be of significant benefit to the board of Galway 2020.



  • An exhibition showcasing Galway's preparations for its designation as European Capital of Culture in 2020 was staged in Galway yesterday evening.

    Following a series of controversies in recent months, organisers of Galway 2020 presented some of the developments, and a roadmap for the rest of the project's delivery.

    With just over a year to go, the Galway 2020 company says many exciting opportunities are emerging for everyone, from artists and performers, people and communities, from the cultural programme of events and volunteering to business partnerships.

    Galway 2020 says it's determined to deliver a world class series of events, and at last night's event, updated branding images for the year-long celebration of culture were unveiled.

    Organisers are inviting Galway people to visit a dedicated exhibition at the Printworks building in the city over this weekend, where they can find out how plans are progressing for the celebration of culture.

    CEO of Galway 2020 Patricia Philbin denied there was an effort by the company to control conversation around the event, after a number of organisations involved in the project were given a pamphlet yesterday, with suggested answers they could give to media queries about their work.

    She said she was confident that the widespread enthusiasm that greeted the city’s designation in July 2016 was still present, and that this could be revived in the coming months.

    However, some Galway artists and writers have reacted with dismay to the continued delay in finding a new creative director since original appointee Chris Baldwin resigned last May.



  • Several thousand people gathered in Galway's Eyre Square yesterday evening for the launch of the 2020 Capital of Culture Programme.

    The year-long event gets underway in February, and will involve more than 1,900 events across 154 projects, 170 partnerships and collaborations with local, national, European and international artists and cultural organisations from mor than 30 countries.

    The opening week will include a large public spectacle in Galway city on February 8th, produced by Water Works, a company which has created events for the Olympics, including London’s.


    Galway 2020’s full programme was unveiled by Minister Josepha Madigan and the Chairman of Galway 2020 Arthur Lappin, and was marked with an aerial spectacle in Eyre Square.



  • Galway 2020 has announced the cancellation of this evening's Opening Ceremony in Galway city, due to the severe weather warnings.

    In the interests of public safety, the event has been deemed unsafe to go ahead.

    President Michael D Higgins was due to launch the event this evening at South Park, to mark the start of Galway's year as European Capital of Culture.

    Organisers say they're very disappointed at having to cancel the ceremony, particularly for the community cast, volunteers and the team who have worked so hard during the last weeks and months, but the weather warnings currently in place mean it has been deemed unsafe to go ahead.



  • The organisers of Galway 2020 have temporarily laid off staff because of the coronavirus crisis.

    Galway has been designated the European Capital of Culture for this year, but has significantly scaled back events.

    Because of the reduced programme, almost all staff have been let go for three weeks.

    The temporary lay-offs are effective from today, while organisers have also ended their contract with UK arts management company, Artichoke.

    The Board of Galway 2020 says it will continue to consult with stakeholders in the coming weeks to make longer-term decisions in light of funding and timing constraints, but hope to hold a shorter programme of events later in the year.



  • Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture has been awarded the European Commission's Melina Mercouri prize of €1.5 million.

    The European Commission announced the award of the prestigious prize yesterday evening, and the Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan says it's a wonderful endorsement of the work by the team at Galway 2020 in developing a strong European-focussed programme for the European Capital of Culture in Galway next year.

    The Galway 2020 programme will see over 1900 events across 154 projects, with the opening ceremony set to take place in February.

  • Spéir, a mini album by Galway musician Anna Mullarkey, commissioned by Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture will be launched this Saturday.

    The soundtrack for the Galway 2020 European Capital of culture programme, which will be available on Spotify, is aligned to the four fire seasons of Ireland’s ancient celtic calendar which structure the programme of events for Galway 2020. 

     Galway 2020 will use the tracks across the year in various presentations of the programme.

  • The National Youth Orchestra has joined young musicians from the west of Ireland to perform a special winter concert at NUIG.

    The event forms part of the programme for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.

    The Orchestra will take part in a joint collaboration with the Symphonic Waves Youth Orchestra as part of their visit.

    Symphonic Waves are a new West of Ireland youth orchestra, formed as part of the cultural programme for Galway 2020.

    It began as a string orchestra in 2017 and developed into a full symphony orchestra last year. 

    The concert is a unique orchestral event featuring 160 young musicians from all over Ireland.

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be checking out the European Capital of Culture when they make their first official visit to Ireland in March.


    Prince William and Kate Middleton are set to visit a number of locations in Dublin before they go to Galway to see why the city has been given the title this year.


    Gardai have confirmed that security will be high and a number of road closures will be in place for the visit which is due from March 3rd to March 5th.


    Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway Michael Fitzmaurice believes it will be a trip that the Royals will not have experienced anywhere else.