The organisers of the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture event are to temporarily lay off the majority of their staff due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event is implementing a three-week temporary lay-off programme for “all but a skeleton staff” effective from Tuesday.
In a statement, organisers said: “We are very disappointed to have had to make these decisions.”
The Board of Galway 2020 have issued an updated statement in relation to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.April 7, 2020
“Galway 2020 wishes to acknowledge and thank all staff and in particular creative director Helen Marriage and the team at Artichoke for their hard work and commitment to Galway 2020.
“Helen, working with the Galway 2020 team, had curated an extraordinary cultural programme of events, which would have provided many amazing cultural moments and experiences for local people across Galway city and county.”
Galway 2020 Chairman Arthur Lappin said: “We are mindful of the mission which has underpinned Galway 2020 from its inception, to mount a programme that will celebrate the creativity for which Galway is renowned.”
“Circumstances arising from the coronavirus emergency pose us significant new challenges, financial and temporal, which will inevitably give rise to undesired and painful alterations to our plans.
“We will exercise our responsibilities in a conscientious and effective manner within the resources and constraints imposed on us.
I share the disappointment of everyone that @galway2020 will not proceed to original scale. I look forward to much of the programme being delivered when public health guidelines permit. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/0D4oJgvMXa— ⚖️Josepha ⚡️STAY HOME⚡️Madigan (@josephamadigan) April 7, 2020
“It is important to state that decisions we take now are the only course of action we can responsibly take in the current circumstances.”
Culture Minister Josepha Madigan said: “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 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.
“We look forward to the events that will bring us together again once it is safe for all in our communities to do so.”