Galway has been named European Capital of Culture 2020 beating off competition from Limerick and the ‘Three Sisters’ region of Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford for the title.
Galway receives a prize of €1.5 million from the EU and will jointly hold the Capital of Culture honour with Rijeka in Croatia. More than 2,000 people turned out to hear Friday’s announcement at a specially erected big screen on Mainguard Street in the city.
Jane Daly, Programme Manager for Galway 2020 was delighted with the news. “It’s for the city and county of Galway and we’re going to deliver the most extraordinary Capital of Culture Europe has ever seen. We’ve got this.”
A 10-strong judging panel arrived in Ireland last weekend and visited the cities vying to claim the honour. On Thursday the bid teams made presentations to the jury at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, prior to the announcement.
Numerous events had taken place in Galway as part of its bid, including Mundy leading a massive sing-song last month of Galway Girl with along with 15,000 people on Shop Street. Check out the video below.
Chairperson of the Limerick 2020 Steering Group, Professor Don Barry, UL President congratulated Galway on their achievement. “Limerick’s cultural star will continue to rise and the success of our time as National City of Culture in 2014 combined with the imagination, vision and experiences from the Limerick 2020 campaign will provide a marvellous foundation for uniquely Limerick cultural developments in the future. We wish our fellow competitors every success in the future – particularly Galway during 2020”.
Cllr Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council is confident the people of the County will get behind Galway in the coming years for this project. “Being named European Capital of Culture is an enormous source of pride for everyone associated with Galway and indeed, the West of Ireland. Galway’s announcement as European Capital of Culture represents a landmark moment in the history of the City and County whose rich heritage and overall contribution to the arts in Ireland down through the centuries is well known. As Cathaoirleach, I am confident that Clare people will show their support for and in many cases become involved with Galway as it prepares a programme of events for 2020.”
Gerard Dollard, interim Chief Executive of Clare County Council commented, “Clare’s Elected Members recently approved a memorandum of understanding with Galway Capital of Culture to work with and complement the 2020 programme. Clare County Council looks forward to commencing the process of realising the ambitious European Capital Of Culture programme for the benefit of the wider West of Ireland region.”
The European Capital of Culture was developed in 1985 and has, to date, been awarded to more than 50 cities across the EU, including Dublin in 1991 and Cork in 2005.