Accounts for the Galway 2020 company show that almost €1.1 million was spent on promotion and communications activity, in the year leading up to the city's designation as European Capital of Culture. 

The company spent a total of €7.38m in 2019.

Some €170,000 went on travel, with wage costs amounting to €1.5m.

The project has received a total of €25m in public funds, with €15m coming from the Department of Culture and the remaining monies provided by Galway City and County Councils.

Last year, the department provided €5.1m to the company, with local authority grants amounting to €1.7m. €447,000 of 2019 income was generated from sponsorship.

The Annual Report for 2019 was presented to the Minister for Culture at the end of last month and has now been published on the Galway 2020 website.

In his introduction, the Chairman of the Galway 2020 board says activities last year were focused on preparing for the designation. Arthur Lappin said such an undertaking required "very substantial investment" in order to deliver the programme.

The project was due to formally commence in February but has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, with several events cancelled and others scaled back. Organisers are hopeful that the European Commission will extend the designation to the end of March 2021, so that some of the planned events can be salvaged.

The 2019 accounts do not give a breakdown of costs incurred as a result of the cancellation of an elaborate opening ceremony, planned for Galway, on 8 February. Estimated to have cost hundreds of thousands of euro, the event was abandoned due to a severe weather warning on the day in question. Weeks later, the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions threw the entire programme into doubt.

Galway 2020 says the "impacts of these challenges" will be reflected in next year's annual report.