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Tuesday 30 September 2014

City of Culture boss tries to alter lyrics of rap song

Kathryn Hayes

Published 03/01/2014 | 11:32

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Patricia Ryan, CEO of Limerick City Of Culture, with Dave McPhillips and Danny O Reilly of The Coronas, pictured at The Milk Market for the official Launch of Limerick City Of Culture NYE. Credit: Sean Curtin

THE chief executive of Limerick City of Culture backed down after asking teenagers to change lyrics in a rap song because it was not in keeping with the image of he city the organisation wanted.

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Details of the attempted intervention by Patricia Ryan have emerged following the resignation of Karl Wallace the artistic director of the event who has quit claiming his position was "untenable".

The song was written by two young rappers from the Moyross area of Limerick, Nathan Keane and Calvin McNamara.

They are also part of the Moyross Youth Crew rap group.

The line Ms Ryan objected to was in a verse that says: “The city’s looking rough when you’re walking on the bridge; It’s the city where we’re tough, there’s no place you’d rather live..."

In an email written to production company Ms Ryan - whose controversial appointment led to a public row as the €120,000 contract was not advertised - wrote:

“I think the song is great. There is just one small thing that jars and that is the line about ‘the city looks rough’ – it’s really not the image we want to portray – the rest is great, really love it. Sorry to be a pain.”

A spokesperson for Limerick City of Culture confirmed that Ms Ryan had raised questions about the "appropriateness" of the certain lyrics.

"She raised legitimate concerns, gave it due consideration and agreed it would go out unaltered," said the spokesman.

Details of the CEO's attempts to change the lyrics of the rap song emerged at a meeting held by Mr Wallace this week where he made reference to artistic licence being challenged.

It has also emerged today that another contentious issue between the artistic director and the board of City of Culture was his intention to engage French street theatre specialist Royal Deluxe to stage a weekend extravaganza in Limerick.

Speaking on RTE radio Limerick City of Culture Board member Brian McEnery confirmed the matter was a subject of tensions.

However he said this was because of the board concerns over the cost of the project which are understood to have been as much as €1.8m - almost one third of the entire budget allocated for the year long City of Culture programme.

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