The poem was commissioned as part of Galway's bid to become European Capital of Culture
Galway City Council has paid €1,000 to commission a piece of poetry that criticises local councillors and labels the town a “shitty little city.”
The poem was commissioned as part of Galway’s bid to become European capital of culture in 2020.
Entitled ‘Our Killer City’ and penned by local poet Rita Ann Higgins; the work raised a few eyebrows following suggestions it had the potential to damage the city’s - eventually successful - bid.
Pulling no punches, the poem references a recent outbreak of Legionnaires disease in Galway Fire Station and problems with overcrowded trolleys in Galway’s A&E.
"Best to keep them councillors out of sight, with the malarkey they go on with, in city hall," reads one line.
“Govern, govern my arse they wouldn't govern a sly fart on a runway.
“We'll end up crowned the capital of fools.”
Later in the piece comes the line: “The swans in the canals all know, we underpay our nurses we underpay our teachers we overpay our consultants and we don't know why.”
The poem has drawn plenty of praise for its straight shooting take on the city and Galway City Council spokesman Gary McMahon said there was “no controversy” from the council’s point of view.
“The capital of culture bid was about engaging with local artists and art is not all about bright shining lights where everything is wonderful,” he said.
“Artists have a long standing right of being critical of what they see around them in society and Rita Ann Higgins - as a long standing poet of great renown - was commissioned to give her own view of the edgier side of things.
“There are certain things she doesn’t like about Galway, about the county council and about councils all around the country.
"It is her right as a citizen, as a writer and as an artist to write what she sees.”
It was announced that the Galway had been successful in its bid for 2020 European Capital of Culture during the International Arts Festival in the city earlier this year.