Questions raised over how councils will share cost of Galway 2020 programme

Questions were asked this week regarding the some €26 million yet to be sourced for events taking place as part of Galway's European Capital of Culture 2020 programme. It is understood this funding will come from Galway's local authorities, though the extent of each council's contribution has yet to be decided.

Members of the Galway County Council were briefed on the progress of the ECoC 2020 project at their meeting on Monday, with Galway 2020 CEO Hannah Kiely presenting an update on progress.

Plans for the year-long celebration are well under way, and Ms Kiely assured councillors that the benefits of the programme would be spread across the county.

However Cllr James Charity raised the issue of funding for the €45.7 million programme, of which €15 million is being provided by central Government, while the Galway City Council and the Galway County Council has each committed €2 million.

Cllr Charity pointed out that this left a shortfall of some €26 million, and queried where this money would come from.

"That has to be made up from somewhere," Cllr Charity said. "We need clarity on what this council's commitment is going to be."

Ms Kiely responded that the money would come from both local authorities "over a period of time".

Interim chief executive of the Galway County Council, Kevin Kelly, reminded councillors that when the initial contribution of €2 million was discussed, it was agreed that the subject of further funding would be addressed when more information was available.

"We wouldn't be in a position to indicate what additional contributions would be needed," Ms Kiely added. "That would be for a future time. The extent of our commitment is the €2 million that has been agreed, and any further contributions will be for further discussion."

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