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Galway Advertiser: Galway 2020 closes with a handover ceremony live on TG4

Galway Advertiser-

Miah Reddan, making the handover of the European Capital of Culture title from Galway to three other European cities. Photo:- Andrew Downes xposure

Miah Reddan, making the handover of the European Capital of Culture title from Galway to three other European cities. Photo:- Andrew Downes xposure

Galway and Rijeka in Croatia will pass the title of European Capital of Culture to Esch in Luxembourg, Kaunas in Lithuania and Novi Sad in Serbia, with a ceremony to be broadcast on TG4.

Galway title as 2020 European Capital of Culture concluded on April 30 and the symbolic handover of the title will form a special programme on TG4 and, tomorrow, Friday May 7 at 7.30pm.

The programme will feature stunning scenery of the west coast of Ireland, including Connemara and the streets of Galway city. There will also be colourful performers, fire tours, acrobatics, high wire walking, and clips from events specially commissioned by Galway 2020.

The handover will also feature short addresses by EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, along with a symbolic acceptance of the title, and a specially-commissioned composition by Galway composer Anna Mullarkey.

'A testament to creativity and commitment'

Galway 2020 endured many challenges and setbacks, not least of which was the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant lockdowns which resulted in most cultural activity either unable to take place, or severely limited. Nonetheless, a programme of theatre, music, dance, circus, and visual arts events happened on and offline, the result of the work of some 600 artists and organisations.

Victoria McCormack, Miah Reddan Andrew Downes

Victoria McCormack and Miah Reddan. Photo:- Andrew Downes

“In the delivery of the cultural programme that won Galway the title of Ireland’s 2020 European Capital of Culture, Galway 2020 realised its vision to create new partnerships and new ways of working,” said Minister Catherine Martin. “That it did so in the midst of a global pandemic is testament to the creativity and commitment of the Galway 2020 team and the cultural partners working side by side to deliver for audiences. We have experienced the joy of wonderful live performances, exhibitions, and online events across the entire spectrum of cultural activity. I thank all involved for their dedication and work.”

Patricia Philbin, Galway 2020 CEO, said helping to bring the various projects and performances “to life despite the pandemic and the set-backs” was “an honour” for Galway 2020.

'Extraordinary times'

“It truly reflected the breadth of creativity and resilience in our creative community,” she said. “We’re delighted to present some of these events in this TG4 film, and would like to thank all of those who helped to make it happen – our cultural partners, creatives, Mayor, Cathaoirleach, and of course, TG4.”

TG4’s director general Alan Esslemont said the Connemara based station “believed in the Galway 2020 programme from the outset” and were “proud to be onboard as a partner”.


“Despite setbacks and a global pandemic that resulted in a scaled back programme of events, I would like to congratulate Galway 2020 in what has been achieved in these extraordinary times,” he said. “Highlights for me personally include John Gerard’s Mirror Pavilion on the Claddagh Quay, the bog portraits in Ros Muc, and the beautiful suite of music 'The Mighty Ocean', composed by Máirtin O’Connor which through our partnership with Galway 2020 aired recently on TG4.”