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Billy Cameron seems to think so in today’s Galway First. If it happens it’ll be fantastic news for Macnas as it means a permanent, city-based home for the company. Logistically, it’ll be tough at parade time: it’ll take a long time to get floats in position for rehearsals and on the day. Getting stuff secured after the parade is a huge job too. I was out with Karen Gordon until 4am in July, tracking down shopping trolleys, batteries and beds and getting them back to Fisheries Field. There’s some serious hills on the way up to Westside. Still beggars and choosers.
I hope Macnas gets a major say in the design of the building, unlike the Black Box, which was a disaster. I used to work there and clumps plaster would regularly fall from the walls and the floor of the performance space was uneven. I predict it’ll have to be demolished within 20 years.
Macnas knows what it needs in a new home. If the City Council is going to fund this in whole or in part, it needs to commission an architect to sit down with the management and department heads and not build what it thinks Macnas needs.
One unfortunate side effect of Macnas vacating Fisheries Field is that NUIG will build on it. The Fisheries Field is one of the last green sites in the city, and NUIG is floating plans to drop a big green turd of an opera venue there. Bad move NUIG, you should be preserving the field for a city that is starved of green areas, not plopping another venue that will have more empty seats than full ones.