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Storm Ciara winds force cancellation of Galway 2020 European Culture Capital ceremony

Storm Ciara winds force cancellation of Galway 2020 European Culture Capital ceremony
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By Heather Donald
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The Galway 2020 European capital of culture opening ceremony has been cancelled due to imminent arrival of Storm Ciara. Heavy rain and high winds expected.

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Gusting winds of up to 80mph (130km/h) threatened by Storm Ciara forced the cancellation of a ceremony celebrating Galway's 2020 European Capital of Culture status on Saturday.

Storm Ciara is forecast to last Ireland during Saturday before moving to the UK and northern mainland Europe during Sunday, bringing heavy rain as well as high winds.

In Galway, organisers decided to stop an event marking the finale of weeklong celebrations, which 45,000 people had been due to attend. 

In a statement on its website, Galway 2020 said it was "extremely disappointed to announce the cancellation", but "weather warnings currently in place mean that it has been deemed unsafe to go ahead."

The storm will also hit the Belgian coast on Sunday, threatening coastal flooding, large dangerous waves and travel disruption.

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