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Urgent need for Minister to intervene in Limerick City of Culture - McLellan

5 January, 2014

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Arts Heritage and Tourism, Sandra McLellan has called on the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD to intervene to support the City of Culture project in Limerick.

Speaking following the resignation of the City of Culture’s CEO, Patricia Ryan, Deputy McLellan said that the Minister could not stand back and ignore the situation, and that there was huge concern among the people of Limerick, and in particular the artistic and cultural community, as to the viability of the project.

Deputy McLellan said:

“I have said from a very early stage that there were questions regarding the management of the project, the support of the Department, and the way the Board was set up and appointed.

“This was further underlined by the fiasco regarding the appointment of the CEO in November. Whatever of the credentials of Patricia Ryan it is clear that the appointments process was far from best practice, and was entirely lacking in transparency, and we are now seeing the fallout of that. This is particularly disappointing under the watch of a Government which promised a new era in public appointments.

“The year can very much still be a success, and I know the people of Limerick are keen to ensure that is the case.

“However, there is clearly now a significant shadow over the project, and there is a need for action.

“The Department of the Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht was responsible for awarding the designation, and they cannot simply stand back and ignore the situation.

“I believe that the Minister, Jimmy Deenihan TD should seek to bring together all the stakeholders in this process, between the local authority, the artistic and cultural community, public representatives, planners, and the people of Limerick, to see how the project can be gotten back on track.

“The people of Limerick deserve the opportunity to showcase their lively cultural scene to the world. The Minister should now intervene to ensure they get that opportunity.”

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