Galway City Council has blocked the payment of an additional €2.5 million in public funding to the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture project.
At this afternoon's meeting of the local authority, Councillors voted by 11 to 5 in favour of a motion to refuse extra funding to the company overseeing the year long series of events.
Galway City Council has already committed €6 million to Galway 2020. The project is also being funded to the tune of €15 by the Department of Culture, while Galway County Council is providing €4 million.
A decision on whether to approve the payment of more money was deferred last month, following concerns over a lack of transparency in relation to what the funds would be used for.
Elected representatives had been asked to sanction a total of €2.5 million - drawn from Council budgets for 2021 and 2022 - as well as to bring forward the payment of monies already pledged this year.
This evening’s decision is the latest blow to the European Capital of Culture designation for Galway city and county.
The project has struggled to secure private sector sponsorship and the official launch event at the weekend had to be abandoned, due to a Status Orange wind warning.
There were concerns about the safety of performers and spectators, given the inclement weather conditions along the west coast on Saturday.
Galway 2020 CEO Patricia Philbin would not be drawn on the cost of the planned launch when questioned about it at the weekend.
It involved months of preparations by hundreds of local volunteers and the involvement of the British based events company, Wonder Works.
Tonight, Galway 2020 said it was disappointed at the decision by Councillors to reject the proposal, from City Manager Brendan McGrath, that more funding be provided to it.
The company said that the "additional support" would have facilitated a more extensive programme of events in the city.
Many of the events listed under this additional heading were included in the Cultural Programme for Galway 2020, which was published last September.
In a statement tonight, Galway 2020 said it remained committed to delivering a magnificent year, working in collaboration with artists and communities around Galway.