Yeats 2015

Yeats 2015 Fund Awardees Announced

Yeats Fund awards €160,000 to twenty artists, creative organisations and groups as part of Ireland’s national celebration of WB Yeats in 2015

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of W.B. Yeats’ birth and in recognition of his enduring inspiration to Irish life, the Yeats Fund has allocated €160,000 to twenty creative organisations and groups in Ireland. The fund has a specific focus on the creation of artistic works and events as part of Yeats 2015, Ireland’s national and international celebration of W. B. Yeats, which forms part of the decade of commemoration.

Over 100 submissions were received to the inaugural Yeats Fund, which was established by the Yeats 2015 national steering group and administered on their behalf by the Western Development Commission (WDC). Recipients of the funding awards include, among others: internationally-renowned theatre company Blue Raincoat, KBC Great Music in Irish Houses Festival, The Model – home of the Niland Collection, Cúirt Literature Festival, Coole Music in Galway and Liz Roche Dance Company.

Blue Raincoat will present a series of site-specific plays written by W. B. Yeats, performed in open-air settings in Sligo that inspired the poet’s writing. Coole Music in Gort, Co. Galway will celebrate the anniversary of W. B. Yeats’ birth by presenting combined choral and orchestral music based on Yeats’ poetry in two festival concerts with young Irish orchestras performing music by Irish composers. Dublin based SO Fine Art will present a contemporary exhibition of visual art works based upon a poem by W. B. Yeats with artists including well-known printmakers from Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Japan and USA.

Commenting on the Yeats 2015 fund announcements, Acting CEO of the WDC, Ian Brannigan stated that “Celebrating the enormous legacy of Yeats’ work and his role in shaping the critical elements of the nation’s cultural foundations, it is appropriate and fitting that so much new artistic work will be produced and presented for 2015”

Funded initially by the Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the official Decade of Commemoration; the Yeats 2015 programme will celebrate the artistic and cultural vibrancy of Ireland, through the prism of one of its most renowned literary icons. This is the first time that Ireland will honour any one individual in this way and it is anticipated that the year will help draw up to 85,000 additional visitors to Ireland in 2015.

Speaking about the announcement, the Chair of Western Development Commission, Paddy McGuinness added that: “This is a very exciting time for Ireland. Renowned for our creativity and cultural vibrancy, this is a great opportunity to celebrate our artistic and creative excellence and our hugely inspiring landscape ”

The list of recipients is:

  • Coole Music
  • Cuirt Literary Festival
  • Hawk’s Well Theatre & Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Company
  • John Carty
  • Leitrim Co Co/ The Glens Centre & Benbo Productions
  • Liz Roche Dance Company for Bastard Amber
  • National Gallery of Ireland
  • SO Fine Art Editions
  • The Model, home of the Niland Collection
  • Dublin City Council Arts Office
  • Ceol Productions
  • KBC Great Music in Irish Houses Festival
  • Sligo County Council for Tread Softly
  • The Hamilton Gallery
  • Blue Raincoat Theatre Company
  • Lily & Lolly Craftfest
  • Tidy Towns
  • European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies
  • The Yeats Society

Full programme details and further announcements will be made through

Marketing Galway

Guest Blog: Online Marketing in Galway Digital Summit

Online Marketing in Galway is a network group, open to all businesses and professionals in the West of Ireland. This is a place to share best practices, exchange knowledge and allow small businesses to make the most out of online tools and online marketing strategies.

Let’s face it: in the area of online and digital marketing we are all still learning, OMiG is about joining up the dots, filling in the gaps and using the motto that ‘two heads are better than one’ in this case 600 heads are better than one.

OMiG was set-up by Maricka Burke Keogh, an ex-Googler who moved back to Galway in August 2011. Maricka has always been very keen to keep up to date with local online marketing, digital marketing and all the latest trends. When in Google and Dublin Maricka had a network. Online Marketing in Galway allowed Maricka to do the same in Galway.

To date over 50 meetings have taken place and some of the top names have spoken Hugh Linehan Of The Irish Times, Niall McGarry of, Peter Bellew of Ryanair and John Smyth of Micks Garage. Many local companies have been represented as well as local companies such as MyKidsTime and Touchwood.

It annoyed us that the bigger events still took place in Dublin and we had to travel for them. So after some soul searching and many meetings between Robin, our event MC, Maricka & myself (David Glynn) we decided to bring a really great event to the West. The OMiG Digital Summit was born.

Some of the best digital minds in the country are heading West, making sure that Galway is on the digital map and at the leading edge.

We advise all with an interest in digital marketing to attend this summit and remember whether your business employs 1, 20 or 50 we have worked hard to ensure the event benefits you.

Speakers will share how they have got to grips with the digital change, they will offer thoughts on the year ahead and indeed the next number of years.

  • Aidan Coughlan of Newstalk Radio and Hugh Linehan of The Irish Times will explain how they have got to grips with a digital platform and providing the most up to date news & sport as it happens, podcasting and even videos.
  • Tourism Ireland Brian Harte Head of Customer Engagement & eMarketing Tourism Ireland – will also present how social media has helped build Brand Ireland and with almost 1m million following on Social Media they are clearly at the top of their game.
  • Stephen O’Leary – Media Analyst from Olytico will present how social media has changed reporting forever.

The golden point evening will involve a lively panel discussion with the superb speakers. We will be encouraging all to submit questions in advance via Twitter and the #omigsummit hashtag.

This is a huge undertaking and simply would not be possible without our many generous sponsors and partners. To date we wish to thank our hosts The Ardilaun Hotel, our gold sponsor Blacknight Solutions, and Ireland West Knock Airport, media sponsors Galway Advertiser, and, Staunton Media, Cantec Print Galway and Sound to Light.

The OMiG Digital Summit is on Thursday, 29 January 2015 from 18:30-22:30. More at

David GlynnGuest Blogger David Glynn is an Online Marketing in Galway member and OMiG Summit creator.

Galway Busker

Let’s Live in Galway

As the main population centre on the west coast, Galway City and county has so much to offer. Home to one of Ireland’s Irish-speaking regions in Connemara and a base for culture, theatre and the arts, Galway also has a very healthy local business and has attracted many major foreign companies to locate there.galway3

Where to work?

From Medtronic, Covidien and Boston Scientific to HP and IBM, these household names are backed up by a solid backbone of local businesses run by Galway’s own entrepreneurs.

Galway has a thriving start-up scene with two startup communities around the tech (software/Internet) and biotech segments.

Well Connected?

Galway has an advantage over many other cities in Ireland as  it is within an hour’s drive of  Shannon airport in the south and 40 minutes to Ireland West airport in Mayo. Add in the purpose-built, newly completed M4 motorway connecting Dublin and Galway, the busy train station in Galway city centre and you can see why Galway has the edge on so many when it comes to infrastructure and travel access.

Great communities:

  • Galway City is a great small city; with around 76,000 residents in the urban area. Known as the ‘city of the tribes’ its wonderful narrow streets give the city a special feel. There are plenty of nice villages within a short commute too, such as Barna, Moycullen and Craughwell – all small villages with warm community spirits.Galway City
  • Not far from Galway City, Oranmore is a thriving community with beautiful Renville park, views over the river to the castle and the swans, the great local schools and sports teams. If you are into sailing, Oranmore is the best location as its close to Galway Bay Sailing Club and if you need to travel to Dublin for work, the motorway is nearby.

In The Know:

Hang Out At:

Galway City


  • Pubs -The West End has a great live music and pub scene – Roisín Dubh, the Blue Note and Massimo. The Secret Garden Tea House for non-coffee drinkers. Tigh Neachtains, The Crane, Garavans, O’Connell’s Casual, Gigs in The Crane Bar (Trad downstairs, variety upstairs). Pints and football to watch in The Dew Drop Inn, Irish Music Session in The Crane
  • Restaurants – Kitchen at the Museum, McCambridges, Gaslight Brasserie, Eat @ Massimo, Gourmet Tart in Salthill, Anton’s, Dinner in High Café (Arabic food – bring your own bottle).  Breakfast in Gourmet Tart, lunch in the Kitchen at the Museum, sinful delights in An Cupan Tae.
  • Families – Galway Atlantquaria, City Limits, Eye Cinema, great playground beside Galway Cathedral. Salthill is a great place to chill and take in the fresh air and let the kids run wild (nice beach, parks and playground). There is also a great Farmers Market every Saturday right off Shop Street. MyKidsTime is a great website for family-related activity tips.

County Galway

  • Delight in Kingfisher, Renmore.
  • The Old Barracks, Athenry.

What’s Going On?


  • A city alive with culture, Galway City was recently named Galway UNESCO City of Film – one of only 5 in the world.
  • The Druid Theatre Company, Galway Arts Festival, The Crane traditional Irish music sessions, Macnas Street Parades, TedFest on the Aran Islands and the Clifden Arts Festival are just some of the examples of Galway’s innate creative spirit.
  • Sea Week and Bog Week in Connemara, Connemara Mussel Festival, 12 Bens and Connemara National Park, Galway Oyster Festival,  Galway Comedy Festival, Baboró International Arts Festival for Children & Famillies.
  • Connacht Rugby is on the up and bring a great atmosphere to the town, the Christmas Market adds warmth to the cold winter.
  • Galway has become a great destination for students to learn English, bringing youth and colour to the west in droves.
  • A choice of live music every single night throughout the year.

Insider Tips:

  • Don’t miss the buzz on Friday nights rugby when Connacht play.
  • Lunchtime concerts in the Library.
  • Browsing the bookshelves of Charlie Byrne’s.
  • People watching while enjoying a coffee in McCambridges window on Shop St.
  • Swimming at Blackrock.blackrock-swimming
  • Walking the prom in Salthill and kicking the wall at the end.
  • Climb Diamond Hill.
  • Fish for Mackerel off the Prom in September.
  • Fly to the Aran Islands.inis-mor
  • Sail on a traditional Galway Hooker.
  • Stroll through Coole Park followed by Lunch in the Gallery Cafe.
  • Ladies Day at the Galway Races.ladies-day
  • If you fancy some quality peace and quiet, Connemara is a stone’s throw from Galway City. Choose from golf on spectacular links courses, fishing on remote twinkling lakes, walking the craggy mountains or simply soaking up the wild untamed scenery.

Useful Resources


Social Media:

Other Resources:

Have A Suggestion?

This article is in no way comprehensive. If you have suggestions on how to improve it, please tell us.


A huge thanks to all contributions especially Mike McWalter, Paddy O’Farrell of Corrib English School, J Gormley, Suzanne Meade, Marketing Manager for The g Hotel,  Edel Abberton of Galway Autism Partnership

Christmas West of Ireland

Top 10 Things to do in the West of Ireland this Christmas

Want to get out and about during the festive season? Last minute shopping to do? Check out our list of the top things to do in the West this festive season.

Christmas Swims

Cope Christmas Swim
Tis the season of goodwill so why not give a couple of euro to charity and cheer on those who will be swimming in the chilly seas in the name of charity.

1. Galway: The 24th annual Christmas Day Swim for COPE Galway takes place at Blackrock, Galway, at midday.

2. Sligo: The Christmas Day Splash in Rosses Point raises much needed funds for the MS North West Therapy Centre. There are a plethora of other charity swims in Sligo including Streedagh, Mullaghmore and Raughley.

Santa with a Twist

3. Santa at the Arigna Mining Experience. Visit Santa underground at the Arigna Mining Experience in Co Roscommon, a world-class attraction using bona fide miners as guides. Given the rocky authenticity of the surroundings, this Santa visit is like no other.  Santa will be in his underground grotto where he will meet all the children. There will be daily entertainment which includse face painting, story telling and lots more fun activities for the kids.

4. Santa’s Glamping Grotto Experience. Visit Santa in his Glamping Grotto, experience fun craft & cookery activities with Mrs Claus & marvel at the Live Crib at Beirnes of Battlebridge, Leitrim Village.

Christmas Markets

Nothing gets people in the Christmas mood more than a colourful market. Eating delicious festive food at markets will get us all warmed up for the Christmas dinner.

5. Galway Continental Christmas Market

Galway Christmas Market

Ireland’s longest running Christmas Market returns to its home in Eyre Square, Galway City until Monday 22nd December 2014. Now running for its fifth consecutive year, the Galway Continental Christmas Market is the longest running continuous Christmas market in the Republic of Ireland.  The expected audience of up to 650,000 market-goers can also enjoy a live entertainment programme throughout the month-long event.

6.The Mistletoe Market and Frosty Salmon Festival in Ballina. The Frosty Salmon Christmas Festival returns to Ballina from the 6-23rd of December and promises plenty of festive cheer and seasonal celebrations. Ballina Mistletoe Market is a European style Christmas market which will bring Ballina back to its historic market town origins and will boast a range of local, traditional crafts and artisan food while the festival also boasts a host of concerts, carol singing, street performances at various venues and late night shopping for those last minute gifts.

7. Get active and blow out the cobwebs 

There is nothing like the West of Ireland air to blow out the cobwebs and refresh the mind after all the Christmas indulgence.

Connemara Four Seasons Winter Walking Festival. The Connemara Four Seasons Winter Walking Festival (Dec 24-26) offers walkers of all levels the opportunity to explore the beautifully rugged and wild area of Connemara, with its spectacular scenery, mountains, beaches and islands. Walks are carefully selected by your guide, renowned archaeologist Michael Gibbons, who combines a unique insight into the area’s historic and cultural heritage with challenging walks.


Christmas Safaris in Sligo. Join SUPforall and Sligo Kayak Tours in Sligo on water safari route from Dec 26-31 leaving Trawane Bay, passing Bear Head before ascending the River Bonet. Return on foot along the Sligo Way and enjoy hot mulled wine and toasted marshmallows. You can paddle on a kayak or SUP or relax in comfort on ‘Island Light’ tour boat along Europes Amazon in Ireland’s adventure capital of Sligo.

8. Watch the last sundown in Europe

Achill New Years Eve

At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve there is a tradition in many villages on Achill Island in Co Mayo for their pipe bands to welcome in the New Year. A short parade followed by a rally of three or more Achill pipe bands provides a rousing and unforgettable New Year’s celebration for all the family. For the ‘morning after the night before’ how about a bracing dip in the Atlantic at the traditional New Year’s Day swim at Dugort.

9. Culture Vulturing

Visit the Leitrim Sculpture Centre Christmas Open Art Exhibition 2014. Exhibition open – Sat 6th & Sun 7th, then Monday to Saturday 11pm to 4pm, until 23rd December.

10. Galway City on Ice

Prepare to lace up your skates and join in the most exciting feature of the Galway winter events calendar. Galway City On Ice is back this Christmas and promises to be bigger and better than ever. The ice rink will be open to the public from 14th November 2014 until 04th January

Galway film

City of Film Highlights Galway’s Screen Quality

UNESCO ‘City of Film’ designation will further develop Galway’s unique cultural brand

Galway’s recent success in securing the UNESCO ‘City of Film’ title will enhance and further embed the city’s reputation as an international creative hub – according to the Western Development Commission. The designation which is Ireland’s first ‘City of Film’ title, has been warmly welcomed by the WDC, and is widely held as an international achievement not just for Galway, but for Ireland’s film industry. UNESCO’s ‘Creative Cities Network’ currently encompasses a membership of twenty-eight cities across eighteen countries. The network’s focus is to share best practice, promote creativity and integrate culture into the economic and social development plans of its member cities.

The appointment of Galway as a permanent UNESCO City of Film recognises how important the film industry is to Galway and the Western Region, having the largest audio visual sector outside of Dublin. 50 film and television production companies are based in Galway employing over 600 people. Employment in the sector has grown by nearly a quarter (24.5%) and revenue by 18.6% over the past five years. Becoming part of this global network will drive further growth in the film and television industry and the economy of the West.

Speaking about Galway’s new designation, Acting CEO and Head of Regional Development at the WDC, Ian Brannigan commented that “the UNESCO title illustrates the regard with which Galway and its filmmakers are held internationally; undoubtedly it will yield great opportunities for the city and its remarkable talent-base. At the WDC, we have long supported the creative and cultural sectors and particularly our regional film capability through our WDC Micro Loan Fund: Creative Industries, our online export showcase and specific commissions, such as ‘Yeats, Sligo and Me’ for Yeats Day 2013”.

The WDC is currently the organisational partner for Yeats 2015, and has supported the landmark cinema, the Solas Galway Picture Palace, which is seen as a piece of vital infrastructure for the City of Film. It has also supported pioneering efforts to develop commission-ready feature film scripts through Master Class script-writing opportunities with the Galway Film Centre. According to Brannigan, the cultural and creative sectors are central to regional economic development and form a significant part of the organisation’s strategy into the future.

For more information on the WDC and its supports for the creative and cultural sectors – visit or call 094 9861441.

Wild Atlantic Way

Wild Atlantic Way – Lonely Planet Top 10 Destination’s 2015

Influential travel guide, Lonely Planet has put Ireland at number 5 on its ‘Best in Travel 2015’ list.

With 2015 being the “year of the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,500km scenic driving route that “snakes its way round every nook and crook of the western seaboard from Donegal to Cork.” the Lonely Planet says “there’s a whole lot of love for the old country.”

With “stunning landscapes”, “incredible hospitality” and “life-changing experiences”, read about what the Lonely Planet says Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way have to offer here.

Yeats 2015

Yeats 2015 Launches with Invitation to Celebrate National Icon

Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht officially launched Yeats 2015 at the United Arts Club in Dublin on Tuesday, 02 December.

Funded by the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Decade of Commemorations; Yeats2015 offers a unique opportunity to celebrate Ireland, through the prism of one of its most renowned literary icons. A year long programme of cultural and artistic events is planned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Irish Nobel prize-winning poet William Butler Yeats.

This is the first time that Ireland will honour any one individual in this way.

An internationally renowned poet and playwright, Yeats was cited by the Nobel Academy in 1923, as having ‘given expression to the spirit of a whole nation.’ He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in December 1923, the first Irish man to do so. His love of Ireland and of places in Ireland that were of particular inspiration to him such as Sligo, Galway and Dublin will also be celebrated as part of the programme.

Ahead of the launch, Minister Heather Humphreys said: “Yeats2015 promises to be a very exciting and engaging year long programme of events to celebrate the life and work of WB Yeats. As Ireland’s first winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and through his role in the Literary Revival and the founding of the Abbey Theatre, Yeats has left a rich legacy, which has had a huge impact both in Ireland and internationally.

“Yeats2015, with its keen focus on education and engagement, will allow us the opportunity to reflect on the Ireland of 100 years ago and reflect on the period surrounding the formation of our nation state. Yeats was a provocative social commentator and I am looking forward to hearing from members of the public in the coming months on how they want to commemorate this major event in our history.

“I hope the Yeats celebrations will encourage people to rediscover his great work and to reflect on this fascinating period in our history.”

Yeats was a key figure in Irish life and history – engaged, committed, and curious – and the Yeats2015 programme will be both about celebrating his achievement and creating new art and memorable experiences in that passionate and creative tradition. Yeats2015 is a journey, physical and imaginative, in which all the varied events and places are linked

The Yeats2015 programme will showcase the creative and cultural vibrancy of contemporary Ireland. The year-long celebrations will include Yeats Day (June 13th) and feature exhibitions, performances, festivals and events across all the artforms throughout the island of Ireland.

Speaking at the launch, Chair of Yeats2015 Senator Susan O’ Keeffe said, “Every facet of Irish society is being invited to participate in this year long celebration. Already there has been a considerable response. Our National Cultural Institutions, including the National Library, National Gallery and The Abbey Theatre are all programming Yeats themed exhibitions and events in 2015. “

O’Keeffe added, “The Western Development Commission, through an open call to the creative community for funding to develop creative, artistic, innovative and contemporary programme elements for Yeats2015, received over 150 applications from 20 countries such was the level of interest and enthusiasm for this national icon. The Department of Foreign Affairs is planning readings and screenings at the embassies all over the world such is the international significance of the man and this celebration. We are delighted to have the support of a wonderful Steering Committee and of both Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland. We are also delighted that education will feature so strongly in our programme, with a primary schools education programme planned to which we invite every child in the country to participate. Poetry Aloud, the hugely popular annual poetry-speaking competition for post-primary schools, which is jointly organized by the NLI and Poetry Ireland each year, will feature prescribed Yeats poems in 2015.”

O’Keeffe concluded by issuing the following invitation: “Any organisation holding a Yeats themed event in 2015 is also being invited to submit their event through which is also being launched today. The website contains information on existing and new events taking place next year and will make it easy for people at home and aboard to experience Yeats in 2015.”

Commenting on the Yeats 2015 Open Call, Acting CEO of the WDC, Ian Brannigan stated that  “The WDC felt it was extremely important to have a programme with cultural creativity at its heart. The west of Ireland has such an inspiring landscape and a wonderfully creative, cultural community and this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate that. Together with the enormous legacy of Yeats work and his role in shaping the critical elements of the nation’s cultural foundations, we think this is a very real opportunity to celebrate what Ireland does so well, culture and community, as part the Government’s decade of commemorations.”

Key programme highlights include a worldwide celebration of Yeats Day on June 13th, an exhibition of John Yeats paintings at the National Gallery, a celebratory music and poetry weekend of events at the National Concert Hall, an expanded Yeats Summer School in Sligo, theatre and dance performances at national arts festivals and widespread literary and poetry events throughout the year. The National Library will host a series of events at its award-winning exhibition, the Life and Works of William Butler Yeats, as will the Galway City Museum and The Model in Sligo.

International programme elements will include a series of events in London, including a poetry event at the British Library in London, exhibitions at Ireland’s embassy network and at international library locations facilitated by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Tourism Ireland will also run an international campaign to increase awareness of Ireland’s great literary heritage, the places that inspired Yeats and in Ireland’s national Yeats 2015 celebration.

Galway City

Galway designated a UNESCO City of Film

A permanent global legacy for the creative industries of Galway

Galway has been designated a UNESCO City Of Film. Under the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Galway is now one of only five cities in the world to achieve this much sought-after status. Galway  joins  Sydney, Australia and Galway’s twin city of Bradford in the UK as a designated City of Film. This is a permanent global designation. This status brings the highest internationally recognised standard of excellence in  the creative industries to Galway. The title of Creative City of Film also includes membership of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network.

Galway Film Centre in association with Galway City and County Councils drove the bid process which started two years ago. The final bid submission on behalf of the consortium of over 50 organisations drawn from across Galway city and county was submitted in March 2014.  Following a fiercely competitive evaluation process, sixty three cities worldwide were shortlisted by UNESCO to fifty cities with twenty making the final selection, one of which was Galway, which won the highly prestigious and permanent title of UNESCO City of Film.

Galway, now formally joins the UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network as a designated UNESCO City of Film. This permanent status and designation gives Galway immediate access to a global platform, joining over sixty cities worldwide including major metropolitan and cultural centres such as Sydney, Seoul, Shanghai, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Berlin and Edinburgh. Galway’s twin city of Bradford in the UK was the first city to be awarded the title of UNESCO City of Film in 2009.

The UNESCO Creative cities network seeks to develop international cooperation amongst cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable development. Galway city and county already boast an impressive, healthy and growing film and TV industry, worth in the region of €72m to the local economy and employing over 600 people full time. Such international recognition, propels Galway into an impressive worldwide network, opening new opportunities in the world of film and TV. UNESCO city of film presents Galway with hugely positive economic, creative and artistic opportunities, sharing in a vast international resource while fostering worldwide cooperation for sustainable urban development.

Speaking in response to the announcement, Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Donal Lyons, said,
“I am absolutely thrilled on behalf of the city of Galway and would like to thank and congratulate everyone who has been involved in this successful bid. This is fantastic news for the film, TV, artistic and cultural community, and of course the city and region as a whole. It reflects so positively on Galway’s strong heritage of film and acknowledges our current level of creative activity, pointing  to a bright future for the production, promotion and appreciation of film in Galway and the West.”

The Mayor went on to note, “The designation of Galway as a UNESCO City Of Film will, of course, add to and enhance our international status as a creative city and will be enormously beneficial to our bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2020.   Galway is now recognised internationally for our quality of artistic work and engagement, which is testament to all those working in this creative vibrant and lucrative film and TV sector.”

Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Cllr Mary Hoade, joined the Galway City Mayor by saying,  “This designation shows how a determined group of people, supported by statutory and other bodies, can come together and show the world what a fabulous, creative and resourceful place Galway is. I would like to thank UNESCO and also ensure our active participation in the creative cities network and reiterate our commitment to the further development and support of the film and audio visual sector in Galway.”

Galway, UNESCO City of Film announcement comes on the back of a hugely successful week for the Galway Film Centre which held its annual Film and TV seminar on Thursday and Friday.  This year’s seminar hosted heavy hitters from the world of Film and TV including Beau Willimon, creator and show runner of the hugely successful Netflix drama series, House of Cards, Gub Neal, former head of Channel 4 drama and producer of the hit series The Fall, Claire Jennings, BAFTA winning producer of Coraline and The Curse of the Were Rabbitt, amongst many others leading names.

A visibly delighted Declan Gibbons, manager of Galway Film Centre, said, “This is hugely significant for Galway to be honoured and awarded the UNESCO City of Film status and it has already opened doors for us. I travel to the Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday morning (2nd December) to meet the Director General of the BBC, the Head of Sky Arts, the CEO of the BFI as well as Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam as part of a UNESCO event organised by Bradford City of Film. If we hadn’t gotten the designation I would not be going. This will open so many opportunities for Galway that it is actually quite overwhelming.”

The process involved a formal application which was submitted in March 2014 in a bid led by Galway City Council and Galway County Council and facilitated by Galway Film Centre. The application went through a lengthy evaluation process involving international experts, research centres, universities and international associations specialising in urban development, culture and creative industries.

Over 50 organisations were involved in the Galway bid which was co-ordinated primarily by Declan Gibbons, Galway Film Centre, Lelia Doolan, Galway Picture Palace and Dr Jenny Dagg andThe Whitaker Institute, NUI, Galway. Other key players involved were Galway County Council Arts Office, Galway City Council Arts Office, Bord Scannán na hÉireann / The Irish Film Board, Galway Film Fleadh, GMIT, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Abú Media, Creative Europe Desk Galway, Cinemobile, Huston School of Film & Digital Media as well as many local producers and production companies.

Today, Galway celebrates this historic achievement and looks forward to the next chapter as a world centre of  excellence and creativity.

Story from Galway Film Centre


Galway’s AEROGEN announced as Exporter of the Year 2014

Aerogen, the medical device and drug delivery company, was named Exporter of the Year at the annual Export Industry Awards last night.

The Co Galway-based company specialises in the design, manufacture and marketing of aerosol drug delivery systems aimed at the critical care respiratory market.

The Awards recognise the remarkable achievements of companies working in the export industry. 11 companies won individual category Awards across a range of sectors including Aerogen who took home the Life Sciences Exporter of the Year Award and overall trophy as the Exporter of the Year 2014.

Aerogen is an innovative medical device and drug delivery company specialising in the design, manufacture and marketing of aerosol drug delivery systems, aimed at the critical care respiratory market. Aerogen’s patented OnQ™ aerosol technology is an integral part of its drug delivery systems, the technology allows drugs to be nebulized into a fine particle mist that can be absorbed through the lungs while maintaining drug integrity.

national broadband scheme

WDC welcomes publication of High Speed Broadband Maps | Recommends Public Check Maps

The Western Development Commission (WDC) welcomes the publication of online maps showing Next Generation Broadband will be delivered to every home and business across the country. The public consultation of these maps is an important step in ensuring rolling out of next generation broadband to everyone and reducing the digital divide between urban and rural.

“We all know how important quality broadband is for both businesses and consumers. Many parts of the Western Region are struggling with slow broadband speeds. The WDC has been highlighting the need for investment in Next Generation broadband for many years, including in our latest report ‘Connecting the West, Next Generation Broadband in the Western Region’, which clearly illustrates the need for Government investment in rural areas.” said WDC Policy Analyst, Deirdre Frost.

Connecting the West

Public consultation on the maps is an important part of the process of roll-out, and will be critical in ensuring that all homes and businesses can access Next Generation broadband of at least 30 Mbps. The WDC urges all residents and business owners to examine the map to check that their house or business premises is recorded on the map. Once a premises is on the map it ensures that it will be served with next generation broadband, either commercially (coloured blue) or through the planned state funded scheme (coloured amber).

Speaking about the role of broadband in rural communities, the WDC’s Chair, Paddy McGuiness added that “It is imperative that this plan is delivered as quickly as possible. Many rural businesses are trying to survive with basic broadband instead of thriving and creating new jobs with the capacity that Next Generation broadband can offer. Increasingly everyone needs Next Generation capacity to access services, buy on-line and for connecting with friends and family.”

How to Check if You are on the Broadband Map:

People wishing to check the Next Generation Broadband Map can do so by visiting

The WDC is very eager to hear from anyone whose business or home is not visible on the map, in order to highlight this information to the Department as part of the Public Consultation.

To contact the WDC, email Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst WDC:, 086 605 3317 or 094 9861441