Tuesday, 24th September 2019
Press statement by Hildegarde Naughton TD
Fine Gael, Galway West and South Mayo
An Post Exploring Potential for Arts Space- Naughton
Local TD, Deputy Hildegarde Naughton has confirmed that An Post is examining the potential of the development of its property off William Street, recently used by the Galway International Arts Festival, as an arts space for Galway. It is also hoped that the City Council will consider a motion, put forward by her colleague Councillor Clodagh Higgins, with the support of Councillors Frank Fahy and Eddie Hoare, to transform part of the GPO into a public Arts space.
“I have received confirmation from An Post management, following engagement with myself, the City Council and the Galway International Arts Festival, that it is giving consideration to developing part of this vacant site as a cultural space for Galway,” Deputy Naughton said.
The prospect of transforming the building into a visual arts space was first raised by Deputy Naughton during last summer’s Galway International Arts Festival, when she visited the location with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton TD, and the CEO of An Post.
“Galway is the artistic capital of Ireland, but we are lacking basic infrastructure to match our coveted reputation in that regard,” she explained. “In particular, the city needs a dedicated visual Arts space. We have no gallery space suitable for large-scale exhibitions.”
The Galway West TD said that the building, which is accessed via William Street beside Premoli Shoes, would be a perfect permanent home for the visual arts and a wonderful part of the legacy of Galway 2020 – European Capital of Culture.
Since visiting the site with Richard Bruton, whose department is responsible for An Post, Deputy Naughton has toured the site with Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan, along with Galway City Council CEO Brendan McGrath.
The Fine Gael TD has also arranged with An Post that the building be used for the TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, which takes place between November 1-17.
“This is a unique opportunity, and it is imperative that this space not be lost to commercial development; it must remain in public ownership for the benefit of our community,” said Deputy Naughton.
“If this is planned properly, the facility could be self-financing and provide a creative space for the entire Arts community in Galway, which is such an important part of our identity and DNA as a city.
“It could be to Arts what the PorterShed has been to enterprise and innovation, and it would be a fitting legacy of Galway 2020. I’m determined to continue to work to ensure that this opportunity does not pass us by, and this vision becomes reality.”