European Capital of Culture 2020 is Galway

Minister Humphreys congratulates Galway on being selected to be European Capital of Culture 2020

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Friday) congratulated Galway after the city was chosen to host the European Capital of Culture 2020. Galway will hold the title of European Capital of Culture in 2020 along with Rijeka in Croatia.

Galway was selected from a shortlist of three candidate bids and beat off excellent competition from Limerick and the Three Sisters Bid (Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny) in the final selection process.  Dublin had previously been unsuccessful in the pre-selection stage of the competition which had taken place in November, 2015.

Reaction to attack in Nice

Minister Humphreys noted that one of the aims of the European City of Culture initiative was to bring the people of Europe closer together and improve mutual understanding. In reflecting on the attack in Nice the Minister said:

“We can only respond to such attacks by strengthening our resolve and commitment to our culture and our way of life in Europe. It is at moments such as this that we say aloud that we will not stop celebrating what is great about living in Ireland, in France or in Europe.

“Our cultural expression was central to the respectful way, this year, that we in Ireland marked the centenary of the birth of our sovereign nation. Last night thousands of locals and visitors were enjoying France’s cultural celebration of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.”

In passing on her sympathy to the victims and their families Minister Humpheyes stated that these values will prevail in Europe no matter the provocation

Commenting on the award of the European City of Culture designation Minister Humphreys said:

“Hosting the European Capital of Culture presents a unique and important opportunity to showcase a city, bringing with it an unprecedented focus at local, national and international level. It will allow Galway and Ireland as a whole, to put our best cultural foot forward and promote the best of Irish creativity.

“The European Capital of Culture will give Galway a wonderful opportunity to showcase its cultural richness. While of course being named European Capital of Culture for 2020 will be a great boost in terms of attracting visitors, it also has the potential to engage and enliven local communities right across Galway in an exciting year of artistic and creative engagement.

“It will be just the third time that Ireland has hosted the European Capital of Culture, after Dublin in 1991 and Cork in 2005. Being awarded the title of European Capital of Culture provides all Europeans with an opportunity to learn more about each other’s cultures and to enjoy their shared history and values. In 2020, we will celebrate our unique Irish cultural heritage, while also celebrating our European influences.

“I would like to thank all of the bidding cities and to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of all those involved in the process. I know there will be a huge amount of disappointment amongst the teams behind the Limerick bid and the Three Sisters bid, but you should be extremely proud of your efforts. I know that participating in the project will deliver significant long-term cultural and social benefits to not just the successful bid but also to the other three candidate bids together with their wider regional and rural areas.”

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