Statement by Josepha Madigan, T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on Galway 2020

Josepha Madigan, T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has acknowledged today’s statement by the Board of Galway 2020 on the difficult decisions it has had to make to scale back the operations and cultural programme for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, resulting from the impact of the ongoing restrictions to address the COVID-19 crisis.

This morning, the Board of Galway 2020 announced that the restrictions put in place in relation to gatherings, social distancing and national and international travel will result in a viable, vibrant but undoubtedly contracted programme of events that will take place later in the year. This change will also, unfortunately but inevitably, lead to a contraction in the team at Galway 2020, including its contract with the creative direction team at Artichoke and Creative Director Helen Marriage.

Speaking this morning, the Minister said,


“Like so many other organisations and individuals in our vibrant artistic community, Galway 2020 has been deeply impacted by the national and international restrictions in place to combat the spread of COVID-19. I know the work that has gone into planning a truly memorable and life enhancing European Capital of Culture for the public this year and I want to thank the Board and team at Galway 2020 for the huge contribution they have made to this. I have seen first-hand on many occasions the depth of commitment and enthusiasm by the Board and team at Galway 2020, and I had the pleasure of also seeing the excitement of the people of Galway at the launch of the cultural programme last September.

I share the disappointment of everyone that Galway 2020 will not proceed to the scale envisaged but I also know that the team and the cultural partners will do their utmost to deliver as much of the programme as possible when public health guidelines permit them to do so.

I want to acknowledge and thank the Board and all the team at Galway 2020. I know that this has been a very difficult time and that some of the team, including Creative Director Helen Marriage and her colleagues at Artichoke, whose vision was leading Galway 2020 to a packed and unforgettable year, will not be part of the scaled down programme. All relevant State supports will be provided to the workers affected.

I and my Department will continue to support Galway 2020 and the cultural partners and look forward to the events that will bring us together again once it is safe for all in our communities to do so.”

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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