Arts organisations in Galway are calling on the Government to sanction the handover of part of an An Post facility in the city centre for cultural use.  

They say a former sorting office should be permanently employed as a venue to showcase creativity. 

The building forms part of an extensive parcel of property owned by the semi-State company. It includes the main post office on Eglington Street and a number of linked buildings backing onto William Street. 

An Post has loaned a building close to the pedestrianised centre of the city to the Tulca Festival of Visual Arts this month. It is being used to house the event's main exhibition. 

The space was first used for artistic purposes during the summer, when it was repurposed by Galway International Arts Festival. 

Since then there has been a major effort to secure it as a dedicated cultural centre.

The Ministers for Culture and Communications have both visited the property and local politicians have been lobbying for it to be handed over to the city. 

The absence of a dedicated gallery for large-scale exhibitions has been a source of frustration for cultural producers in Galway for some time.

It is felt that securing a multi-purpose venue, that can be used all year round should be one of the legacies of next year's European Capital of Culture events in the west. 

An Post says its continuing to look at various options to maximise the potential of its property portfolio, including the possible use of part of it for cultural purposes.  

In the meantime, artists from around the country are benefiting from the exposure provided by the building and the festivals it's served as a home for.

The curator of the Tulca Festival, Kerry Guinan, said the former sorting office was perfectly placed to bring the arts right into the heart of Galway. 

Her comments were echoed by Paul Fahy of the Galway International Arts Festival.

He said the premises had huge potential for those involved in the creative sector.

Mr Fahy said it would be a fitting recognition of the role the arts played in the life of the city, if the space could be given a new lease of life during the Galway 2020 Capital of Culture designation.