Galway 2020 operations director steps down from role

Galway's European Capital of Culture project is seeking a new operations director after its current post holder signalled his departure.

Galway 2020 operations director steps down from role

Galway's European Capital of Culture project is seeking a new operations director after its current post holder announced his departure.

Damien Egan is returning to the corporate sector, and his post has been advertised with a closing date for applicants of May 10.

The operations director is a senior management post, reporting to the chief executive, and responsible for the day-to-day running of the capital of culture organisation, including finance and risk management.

In a statement, Galway 2020 thanked Mr Egan for his “dedication and hard work” and wished him every success.

It confirmed that Mr Egan had decided to pursue an opportunity with one of Galway’s “newest multinational companies”.

The project is also recruiting a new marketing manager but said that this was a replacement for a position recently vacated in the communications team of four.

Galway 2020 currently employs 31 people, including new creative director Helen Marriage and fundraiser Sarah Coop of British theatre company, Artichoke.

The project was hit with a number of resignations last year, which delayed its programming and corporate fundraising, and resulted in budget cuts being imposed on artistic groups.

However, its second chief executive Patricia Philbin and Ms Marriage have expressed confidence in the programme which is due for publication in September.

One of the highlights - flagged last month in London by the Galway International Arts Festival - will be a series of mirrored pavilions by acclaimed international artist John Gerrard, located in Galway’s Claddagh and on Derrygimlagh bog in Connemara.

It was at Derrygimlagh near Roundstone that Alcock and Brown crash landed in June 1919 after making the first transatlantic flight.

Galway 2020 received a boost to its budget earlier this week, following a decision by Galway County Council to double its funding commitment from €2 million to €4 million .

This increased contribution brings to €25m the total guaranteed budget for Galway 2020 – just over half an original budget of almost €46m for the bid book.

Its main funder is the Department of Arts and Culture at €15m, while Galway City Council has committed €6m.

Some €2.8m of that total budget was spent last year, and less than €30,000, or 1% of a targeted €7m, was raised in sponsorship, according to recently published accounts.

Galway 2020 said the additional support from Galway County Council would contribute “significantly” to “development of an ambitious series of large-scale county-based projects” and is an “expression of confidence that we hope will encourage others to come forward” in response to its fundraising campaign.

This would help to “ensure lasting legacy that will benefit Galway for many years to come”, it said.

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