The Galway 2020 cultural programme was launched on 18 September last and I was delighted to officiate at the occasion. More recently, following the recent third and final review by the EU Expert Monitoring Panel, Galway 2020 was also recommended for the prestigious Melina Mercouri Prize of €1.5 million. The EU Commission will make an announcement on the award of the Prize early next year.
Under the terms of the Performance Delivery Agreement between my Department and Galway 2020, a quarterly financial and management report is received in advance of a formal monitoring meeting between the Department and senior management in Galway 2020. All aspects of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture are discussed at both the monitoring meetings and in regular communication that takes place between my Department and Galway 2020.
The legacy of Galway 2020 it is considered a very important aspect by all the main funders. The legacy sub-committee of the board of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture was proposed and set-up at a board meeting in July 2019. The terms of reference of the committee is to advise the board on the best model to deliver on legacy of Galway 2020. I have been advised that the legacy sub-committee of the Board of Galway 2020 has met once since being established and has reported back to the most recent meeting of the Board. No formal reports have been published as of yet.
On 11 September last, senior officials from my Department met with the Chair and Chief Executive of Galway 2020 for a general update on the project in advance of the launch of the Cultural Programme on 18 September, and to complete the quarter two monitoring meeting for this year. Legacy plans and the work of the legacy sub-committee was one of the items discussed at the meeting, and my Department and Galway 2020 agreed to engage further on the work of the legacy sub-committee as it progresses.
It should be noted that legacy plans have been, and will continue to be part of the normal quarterly monitoring meetings between the Department and Galway 2020, as well as an agenda item at regular meetings between the Department and the Chief Executives of Galway City Council and Galway County Council.
As we are now a little over 50 days out from the Opening Ceremony for Galway 2020, I am looking forward to a truly memorable, once in a lifetime year for all concerned.