Limerick culture board concede there are lessons to be learned

first_imgTHE BOARD BEHIND the Limerick’s City of Culture has lessons to learn, one of its members conceded today.The event’s artistic director, Karl Wallace, and two of his colleagues resigned this week due to differences of opinion with CEO Patricia Ryan.Today, Tim O’Connor of the board said on Today with Clare Byrne on RTÉ One that the public meeting on the issue yesterday was a “powerful occasion” and was “tough”.He said the input was “searingly honest” and that “it was a very powerful exercise in people speaking passionately about what they believe in”.He conceded that there were some tough things for the board to hear and there are “lessons to be learned” over the issue.The board will “reflect hard on what we were told and heard last night”, said O’Connor.He said that the board had had challenges already, as this was the first time there has been a national city of culture, so there was no blueprint for how it would be done.They spent some time waiting for their €6 million budget, but were “thrilled” with the huge sum when it arrived in October.Patricia RyanOn the appointment of Patricia Ryan as CEO, a former adviser to Pat Cox when he was an MEP 10 years ago, O’Connor said that Cox had said that if he had different circumstances, he would much prefer to do it differently.He said that a number of people were interviewed and canvassed for the post. On Wallace’s resignation, O’Connor said he is “very sorry that has come to pass”.He said that through Wallace and his colleagues’ work, there is “a terrific programme shaping up for the year ahead” in Limerick and that there are about 100 events already lined up for first quarter of the year.O’Connor said that the board has made an absolute commitment that every one of these events will be delivered.Deputy Shane Ross described the situation as a “deeply disappointing shambles”, while Minister Pat Costello said that it is an “unholy mess”.Costello said that the board has to reflect on the situation, and should seek and get agreement locally in the community before appointing a new artistic director.O’Connor said that full public engagement had been decided on by the board.Read: Facebook page of Limerick City of Culture is hacked>Read: Limerick City of Culture chair Pat Cox stands his ground>Read: Just as the event begins, the artistic director of Limerick City of Culture quits>Poll: Do you support the City of Culture scheme?>last_img read more