Call for detailed breakdown of Galway 2020 accounts

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Galway Senator Ollie Crowe has called for an independent audit of Galway 2020, saying a full review is needed to understand exactly how millions of euro were spent.

The Fianna Fáil Senator said that a full set of accounts must be published with detailed breakdowns to find out how around €25 million was spent.

“Having previously been a member of Galway City Council and still working closely with colleagues on the council, I know there was considerable frustration over a lack of transparency in relation to how funding was being spent,” said the Senator.

Senator Crowe said that he appreciates there were some virtual events and noted the impact of the pandemic, but said that there is “very little to show for that figure so now we need complete transparency on what that was spent on.”

He also highlighted how ratepayers in the City paid an extra €3.5 million over three years for this event with some businesses paying thousands of euro extra in rates for those years.

“Now those businesses have gotten zero return for millions of euro, whilst that is obviously Covid related, Galway City Council needs to acknowledge this and examine what can be done for ratepayers in the coming years, whether it be a reduction in rates or funding events that will bring crowds to the city.

“An independent audit is required that will examine the expenditure made in depth. Indeed my Fianna Fáil Galway City Council colleagues and I requested the Comptroller and Auditor General to carry out one last August.”