The fate of Galway City’s bid to be the European Capital of Culture 2020 will be known by teatime tomorrow (Friday ) after a panel of judges eliminates at least one, if not, two cities from the process.
The panel of judges sits in Dublin today (Thursday ) to hear the four proposals from Galway, Limerick, Dublin, and the Three Sisters — a coalition of Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford.
Galway will be the second city to present when the delegates will tell the judges of the uniqueness of their application, after a process which has involved major consultation with communities right across the region.
The presentations at Dublin Castle will take 30 minutes and will be delivered by the 10 delegates from Galway 2020. These are project manager Patricia Philbin, Galway City Council CEO Brendan McGrath; Tracy Geraghty; Marilyn Gaughan Reddan; Nollaig Mc Guinness; Niall O Hara; Eithne Verling; Luke Morgan; Trish Forde and Pádraig Boran.
Following the presentation at 2.30 this afternoon, the Galway delegation will take questions for one hour from the panel of judges, led by its chairperson, Steve Green representing the UK. The remainder of the panel comprises five women and four men respresenting other EU states.
Following the conclusion of the presentations the judges will retire to consider their deliberations this evening and on Friday morning.The announcement of the shortlist will be made at a press conference in the Bedford Hall at Dublin Castle on Friday afternoon at 4.15pm.
The official announcement is open to the media and could see one, if not two candidates fall out of the bidding. Elimination for any of the four bids would be seen by the respective teams as extremely disappointing. However, it is expected that two cities will be shortlisted and that they will compete head to head from next week, right through to the end of July 2016, when the winner will be announced.
The date of the overall announcement next year could fall right at the end of the 2016 Galway International Arts Festival and would provide a fitting climax to the country’s most innovative arts event, were Galway to make it that far. A city holds its breath.