Thursday, April 06, 2006



The Sunday Times
April 02, 2006
Arts on fire
I ENDORSE the setting up of Project ’06, a festival to be run this summer in Galway, as an antidote to the opinionated and smug Galway Arts Festival (Liam Fay, last week). I also hope that the event will prompt a more investigative discussion of the arts in Galway. At a recent Project ’06 meeting, emphasis was again placed on the fact that the Galway Arts Festival does not appear to wish to enter into dialogue and the Galway Arts Centre refuses to enter into any kind of co-operative dialogue with us.

Ironic, then, to see posters around Galway calling for volunteers to help out during the forthcoming arts centre Cuirt festival of literature when the fully equipped and staffed writers’ centre is 100 yards up the street. The Arts Council, which is informed about this, gave the Galway Arts Centre €340,000 for this year, while refusing funding to us for the eighth time.

Fred Johnston
The Western Writers’ Centre, Galway
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Thursday, March 23, 2006


...they might end up eating one another...

Galway Advertiser

Arts fest row is boring

Dear Editor,
How boring this entire provisional arts festival versus the official arts festival debate has become. In the end they might end up eating one another. The arts festival for all its noise and funding has become elitist and seems to be run by the same people for decades, even though there is a nominal changing of the guard every so often, but hey it's the same old people producing the same old stuff. Just like Macnas have the same big heads and loud drums every year. Where is the originality? Drop the drums and the big heads and try something new.
What Galway is lacking in the arts community is a dollop of originality. It seems that it is the same clique who are in the official arts fest and the provisional arts fest protected by the same arts clique in the middle, so maybe we are better off if they devour one another and maybe then some originality can come into the festival for the first time in years and years.
M Flood,
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...abolish the Arts Festival...

RTE News - Morning Ireland

Rival arts festival set up in Galway

Evelyn McClafferty reports on the disillusion that has led to the creation of a new festival in the western capital
(You have to listen to this to hear P. Breathnach not call for the abolition of the Arts Festival)

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Happy St Patrick's Day

Macnas: "Happy St Patrick's Day!
Happy St. Patrick's Day from everyone in Macnas, we hope you enjoy it wherever you are. Macnas will be in Loughrea (Ha! Ha Ha Ha! Ha) helping to celebrate the day with a section in the Loughrea parade. 80 Macnas performers, drummers, stilters and dancers have been rehearsing over the last six weeks and will join the 180 schoolchildren in this section of the parade. The parade begins at 4pm at O Dea's Hotel and will follow a route around the town. "
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(apologies to Francis Kaye for pilfering the image but really, it had to be used)

...beyond parody...

Who says it's beyond parody
"In fairness, the local arts community to a pretty good job of lampooning themselves unintentionally.

Con Air: The Play, ftw."
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The Official Galway Arse Festival vs The Provisional Galway Arse Festival. -

The Official Galway Arse Festival vs The Provisional Galway Arse Festival. - "The Official Galway Arse Festival vs The Provisional Galway Arse Festival.

I have found myself being progressively less interested in the Official Arse Festival as it become more and more expensive and utterly irrelevant to me (and in the absence of banging soundsystems in the City Centre on a sunny saturday ) I am not sure what good the new Provisional Arse Festival or fringe event will be and whether it will solve anything .....especially if there are no banging soundsystems in the City Centre either .

One holds out some minor hopes for Mr Whippy and his small and not quite banging soundsystem but we really need banging soundsystems to provide that 'sense of occasion' when there is supposed to be a festival on and the traffic management fascisti will probably do Mr Whippy with a quad clamp unless he is well protected by the groovin masses around him !

Dunno what anyone else thinks but I fear that these Arse Festivals, like the city, are now becoming bourgeois , boring, pointless and middle aged ....just like their organisers !"
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Friday, March 10, 2006




Perhaps this could form the basis for Breathnach's parade

Monday, March 06, 2006


Wouldn't it be great if we could go back thirty years and do it properly spite of the Writers' Centre manager....

The Western Writers Centre ' WRITERS' CENTRE WELCOMES PROJECT 'O6:
The Western Writers' Centre will have two events in the forthcoming July Project '06 Festival, which is running at the same time as Galway Arts Festival. Maurice Scully will read at the festival, and the Dark Gate Writers' Group will have an outing. A 300-plus assembly heard comments on Galway Arts Festival's lack of response to the growing arts community in the city at a recent meeting in Galway, and the consequent need for the new Project 'o6. Interestingly, some of the stronger* comments made during the public meeting were excised from local media reports. No representative of Galway Arts Festival deigned to turn up for the meeting. At the same time, the Cúirt festival, run by Galway Arts Centre, will soon be launching. The festival organisers refuse to permit the Western Writers' Centre to participate, in spite of the Writers' Centre manager being also the founder of Cúirt.
...ah well, let's get to the important stuff then...
stronger* - that means no-one bothered quoting Fred and his petty "no-one loves me" whinge
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Ancient Ancestral Archetypal Revival....

PROJECT '06 - Galway: "Message: Ancient Ancestral Archetypal Revival....

...oh jesus... ...oh jesus...where's me big dog and my ball of fifty pee?....
I am SOOOOOO Excited about all this going on..This is a BIG domino that is tiping in the favor of the artistic soul and I believe, will have it's effect much longer after summer '06. I am putting together a street theatre/music project, 'The Ark of Light' (could be done in doors as well..) The Premise is that of our old, old friends, the Tuatha De Dannan back in action, with some bardic wit, some mystic melodies, and an inspiring and interactive over all message to the audience of the importance of knowing the wisdom that is within our DNA, and deep in this soil.This country has seen incredible artistic ,musical and poetic depth of soul for as far back as we all can know..Let's take it all the way back to our ancient stories, to the Archetypal beings whose adventures paved the road for all of us modern day Bards to travel. ALL collaboration welcome and encouraged. If you are interested, please go to for more information. or you may contact me, Sara, at HOORAY!!! This is going to be the best summer yet! "
Some things are beyond parody...but still...
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Tuesday, February 28, 2006


...come down off its 'high horse' ...

GalwaybayFM News
More than 200 people, largely drawn from the Arts Community in Galway City attended a meeting last night in the Great Southern Hotel organised by Project '06, whch is due to run next July as an alternative to the Galway Arts Festival .

Chaired by former Galway Advertiser editor Ronnie O'Gorman,the meeting heard 30 speakers speak in a largely positive way about the Galway Arts Festival.

Representatives of nearly all of Galway's established and emerging Arts groups expressed their support for the Arts Festival while expressing concern about the recent direction of the festival and the place of local artists in the internationally renowned festival.

Unanimous support was expressed for the establishment of Project '06 as an opportunity to showcase local artists while there was equally strong support to engage with Galway Arts Festival to make it a more inclusive event.

Among the speakers was local T.D. and former Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Michael D. Higgins who stated that the local is not an alternative to the international and welcomed the debate which had been provoked by the establishment of Project '06.

While the prevailing mood of the meeting was positive, Project '06 organiser and Sawdoctors manager Ollie Jennings called on the Arts Festival to come down off its 'high horse' and to engage with the Project '06 group. Television presenter and artist, Paraic Breathnach claimed that both Galway Arts Festival and Druid Theatre Company had reneged on their remit to the city. Town Hall manager, Michael Diskin said that Project '06 is a one year project which next year will be irrelevant.
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Friday, February 24, 2006


...come with comments either for or against...

Public meeting on direction of the Galway Arts Festival to be held on Monday
A major public meeting to discuss the future direction and artistic policy of the Galway Arts Festival will be held on Monday at 8pm in the ballroom of the Great Southern Hotel, Eyre Square.
The recently formed Project '06 group of Galway artists and promoters have organising the meeting which will discuss: "What Kind of Galway Arts Festival Do You Want?" The meeting is open to all and the organisers are encouraging the public to attend, regardless of what side, or any, they stand on this issue. According to Ollie Jennings, one of the Project 06 organisers: "You can come with comments either for or against the Galway Arts Festival or Project 06."
The meeting will discuss the function of the Galway Arts Festival in relation to its community/artists. It will ask if there is a need for a more open, inclusive, and community based engagement by the festival, and if it is time to re-consider a street programme of free arts events and performances during the Galway Arts Festival.
The independent chairman for the meeting will be Ronnie O'Gorman, chairman of the Galway Advertiser and the evening will begin with keynote speaker Little John Nee, who will premiere his new show Limavady during Project' 06 in July as well as one of the organisers of Project '06.
After the keynote speakers address the meeting Mr O'Gorman will invite comments from the audience who will include many of the constituent groups who make up Project '06, including Galway Youth Theatre who will produce three new shows each day during Project '06, Enso Visual Arts Collective, Gugai from the Róisín Dúbh, Mick Crehan of The Crane Bar, The Western Artists Group, the Galway City Dancer in Residence Tanya McCrory, and Martin Clare of the Galway Youth Federation.
Project '06 has invited the board of directors of the Galway Arts Festival as well as festival director Paul Fahy and festival manager John Crumlish to the meeting.
Project '06 will run from July 18 to 29, alongside the Galway Arts Festival and will feature a carnival parade, street art, art exhibitions, music concerts, dance, literature events, and theatre. The festival's website is
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