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I was snubbed by Galway festival - Mary

SINGER Mary Coughlan claims she was snubbed for the line-up of the Galway Arts Festival. The jazz and folk singer says that being left out of the internationally renowned event is "very, very hurtful".



Ms Coughlan had performed sell-out shows in the city during the last festival, but was still not approached to take part.

The singer said she had spoken to the festival's artistic director, Paul Fahy, about including her on a number of occasions last year.

She went public with her disappointment in a Facebook post, pointing out that she had worked on the first Galway Arts Festival.

"It was brilliant to be part of those first years. How would it hurt him to put my name in the festival? I've had calls from tourists and visitors to Galway who are completely dismayed by this."



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Defending the line-up, Mr Fahy insisted Ms Coughlan was not being ignored by the festival, but it had to choose from a range of artists each year.

"This isn't the first time she has made these comments, but they are not valid at all.

"Artists can't be in the programme every year. I think we have a great programme and we've had an amazing reaction to all the events," he said.

He added that he admired Ms Coughlan as a musician and had many of her CDs.

"I'm very fond of Mary Coughlan, I'm a fan of hers and I have a number of her CDs. I know she is performing in Galway this week and I wish her well," he said.

However, when asked if there was a place for the singer in future festivals, Mr Fahy added: "I'm not going to comment on an individual artist.

"We have a wealth of artists to choose from each year, but I won't be commenting on our plans."

Ms Coughlan will perform two concerts in the city later this week. However, the events are not part of the festival. The singer will travel to Sweden and Australia in the next 10 months for a round of concerts.

"Everybody else wants me but the Galway Arts Festival," she commented.

hnews@herald.ie