New Galway 2020 CEO appointed

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Galway Daily news Galway 2020 appoints new Creative Director after eight month vacancy

Galway City Council Director of Services Patricia Philbin has been appointed as the new chief executive of Galway 2020.

She will be replacing the former Galway 2020 CEO Hannah Kiely, who stepped down last month amid internal turmoil at the beleaguered organisation.

Kiely’s resignation followed that of the project’s creative director Chris Baldwin earlier this year.

Ms. Philbin managed the city’s bid for the project, leading the team that won the European Capital of Culture designation two years ago.

She is also a former head of Galway City Council’s Economic, Community and Cultural Department.

Galway 2020 now has just 15 months to deliver a full programme of events for the year.

Over the summer an EU expert panel warned the organisation against ‘losing track’ of the project.

Meanwhile Galway 2020 has only been able to garner half of its proposed €46 million budget, as companies are reluctant to pledge their support and Galway County Council itself backed out of an offer of €6 million in funds.

Yet Galway City Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said this summer that he had “complete confidence” in the project.

And Ms. Philbin said that she is “very excited” about taking on the job.

“I’m very excited about working with Galway 2020 as it comes closer to 2020.

“This is a project that has always been close to my heart, and I look forward to working with the team on making this an exceptional year for Galway County and City,” she said.

Galway 2020 chairperson Aideen McGinley said on behalf of the Board: “We are delighted that Patricia is joining the organisation as CEO.

“We are confident that the future of Galway 2020 is in safe hands as Patricia has extensive experience in leading the 2020 team, a project I know she is very passionate about.

“We welcome her and look forward to working with her to drive the project forward between now and 2020.”