Culture Vultures

Limerick City of Culture

There was great excitement when Limerick was announced as the City of Culture 2014. It was hoped it would provide a much needed boost to a city struggling to rehabilitate its image.
However something appears to be decidedly rotten about the entire enterprise.
First up was the appointment of Fine Gael aficionado Pat Cox as Chairperson, followed by his subsequent appointment of Patricia Ryan, a former advisor, to the position of CEO without undertaking a formal interview process.
Neither Cox nor Ryan professes to have any previous experience in the Arts sector.
Then there was the decision to outsource the management of the New Year’s Eve celebrations to a private Events Company, despite the fact that a number of qualified Arts professionals had been recruited to assume that responsibility.
Last week three of these key officials, including Artistic Director Karl Wallace, resigned under protest against undue interference by the CEO claiming they had been side-lined from decision making.
The budget for the project is €6m, €100k of which was to be paid to CEO Patricia Ryan, while representatives from arts companies who will responsible for delivering most of the scheduled events claim they are being asked to work for peanuts.
Last night Ryan bowed to mounting pressure and tendered her resignation.
So five days into its tenure the City of Culture is without a CEO and Artistic Director.
But perhaps this drama better reflects the true culture of this country as one of cronyism, corruption and ineptitude…

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One Response to Culture Vultures

  1. Red Hen says:

    I hadn`t followed the Limerick saga but, of course, couldn`t avoid hearing about this weekend`s events, as it has pretty much taken over the news. What a shame that such a wonderful event for a city has started off like this, no matter what the cause. Here`s hoping it`s sorted out very quickly for Limerick`s sake.

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