SOME of the country's best comedians along with a popular rock band have been left thousands of euros out of pocket following the Volvo Ocean Race.
'Let's Do It Global' (LDIG) organised the grand finale for this year's ocean race in Galway, but it is feared the company is insolvent with debts of €700,000.
Stand-up comic Dara O Briain is owed around €6,000 for his show, while the team from RTE's 'Apres Match' are due more than €8,000. Former RTE presenter Derek Davis is owed €1,500 and is listed among the 40-plus creditors. Auditors are currently examining LDIG's accounts.
Joe Wall of The Stunning said the band was still owed around half of their fee. "We got the 50pc booking fee, which is standard, and didn't get paid the balance," he said.
Galway City Council provided LDIG with €250,000 in grant aid. John Killeen, chief executive of LDIG, admitted the company may be insolvent.
Previously, he received honorary freedom of Galway for his role in bringing the 2009 ocean race to the city.
"I'm awfully sad at what's happened.
"We tried to do a positive thing for this city and Ireland and the hurlers on the ditch keep taking swipes," he said.
"Why would anybody put their head above water again – only for it to be cut off.
"I was talking to the chief executive of Volvo and he expressed concern that there was a lot of negative news surrounding this in Galway," Mr Killeen added.
"We made an application to the council for €500,000 in funding for entertainment.
"They only gave us €250,000, so we had to cut back on bands. We spent about €300,000.
"I wouldn't do it again, to be shot at by people," he said.
A spokesperson for Galway City Council said it granted €250,000 in support to LDIG "in good faith" on the understanding that a significant proportion would be used for free events at the docks.
"People being paid or not being paid by LDIG is an issue for LDIG. It has nothing to do with us," the spokesman said.