Galway 2020 down to “skeleton staff” with three week layoff

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Galway 2020 has announced that it is laying off all but the most essential staff for the next three weeks amid the coronavirus crisis which has severely hampered the Capital of Culture Programme.

In an announcement today Galway 2020 said that it has also been forced to end it relationship with Artichoke, the company behind the year’s artistic programme, along with its head Helen Marriage, Creative Director of the project.

The staff layoffs will be effective from today according to the announcement.

The restrictions on travel and gatherings which have been imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic have already resulted in the severe reduction of the planned programme of events for the Capital of Culture year.

In today’s statement the company said that this “unprecedented crisis” has seen the board consulting closely with stakeholders in Ireland and Europe about the future of the programme.

They have started getting in touch with those groups and artists whose projects will not be going ahead in the future, and are working with those they hope will still be able to be included in the reduced programme.

Speaking on behalf of the Board, Chairman, Arthur Lappin, has commented that they are mindful of the mission that has always underpinned Galway 2020.

“To mount a programme that will celebrate the creativity for which Galway is renowned, to engage with communities throughout the City and the County in facilitating a strong and lasting cultural practice, and to lay the foundations for a sustainable legacy for cultural workers and communities long into the future.”

“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.

“It is important to state that decisions we take now are the only course of action we can responsibly take in the current circumstances.

“The Board of Galway 2020 will continue to consult with stakeholders in the coming weeks to make longer-term decisions in light of funding and timing constraints and will make a further public statement upon completion of that work”.