The absence of any prominent public artwork on the Seamus Quirke Road raises questions over whether the Galway City Council applied for money for such work under the Per Cent for Art Scheme.
This is the view of Labour city councillor Billy Cameron, who is seeking to raise the issue at the next city council meeting.
He will be asking if City Hall applied for a Per Cent for Art Scheme grant; the maximum amount applied for; and if granted what was it spent on, “particularly given the fact the Seamus Quirke Road Improvement Scheme was one of the largest infra-structural projects delivered in Galway city in many years.”
The aim of the scheme was to facilitate promotion of art in the public sector through commissioning of artworks, in particular by public authorities. Up to €63,000 could be made available for such a public artwork.
However the only artwork has been cartoon paintings of a tortoise and a hare having a race. The images seek to promote walking and public transport over the use of the car. The images are painted on ESB poles and small sub stations on part of the route.
Cllr Cameron feels that this is nowhere near enough, or adequate on its own, for public art for such a large project as the revamped Seamus Quirke Road.
“I have absolutely no problem with the street art,” he said, “but given the scale of the work carried out and the overall cost of the project, the community bordering Seamus Quirke Road of Newcastle, Shantalla, and Westside deserve more than hares and tortoises on ESB poles.”