News that the Palas Cinema is finally being finished is welcome news, but with a price tag in excess of €8 million, we have to ask, is it worth it?
Keyboard Warriors Battle Issue on Facebook
The usual keyboard warriors are out in force on Facebook and giving Mike Cubbard and others on Galway City Council a hard time of it. In fairness, it was started before his election, so it is a bit unfair to attack him on the issue.
More say it’s an eyesore, it looks horrible. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I don’t like the design myself, but am first to say it’s the kind of building Kevin McCloud would be in lyrical raptures over on Grand Designs.
While is was in construction, it was an eyesore. Was it worth finishing, we have to ask. Is it better to throw good money after bad and get it finished, or let it sit?
What else could have been done with it?
The keyboard warriors are all in calls to “help the homeless“, which most of them couldn’t care about unless there was something to gripe about.
It is however, a valid point.
Could the Palas not have been turned into a much needed wet hostel for the town’s homeless, with space from each other to keep exposure to drugs and other temptations many seek to avoid away from them?
A million could have been spent to build such a hostel. A half million a year would staff it for ten years. And there would still be €2.5 million in the kitty.
How was this not flagged sooner?
In fairness, arts activists like Fred Johnston of the Western Writers Centre and Cuirt flagged it from the start. Many dismissed his concerns as sour grapes due to a lack of funding for his projects. All could have done to listen at the time, and we would be better off now.
He wasn’t the only one to issue warning, but one of the most vocal.
All were ignored.
But we are going to get to see exotic films!
The Eye Cinema does a good selection of films, and I am sure would be happy to let out a screen to any club who would wish to show their own selection. Indeed a function room in any local bar could do the same, as shown by the Little Cinema in the Roisin Dubh.
We have, but we do not need, a dedicated cinema.
But sure, we have it now, so we may as well enjoy it.
What lessons can be learned?
The only lesson to be learned from this, is that no lessons will be learned. It’s not just Galway. This happens all over the country. Taxpayers pay and the builders make a fortune.
€8 million plus, for a building that at tops should be less than €5 million. But then again, as the hashtag says – #thisisgalway!