Monday 22 December 2014

Limerick City of Culture CEO tells public meeting she is 'very much on board'

The Board of Limerick City of Culture said they are appointing a new Artistic Director to the project as a matter of urgency

Published 03/01/2014 | 20:10

Patricia Ryan was given the job, but controversy erupted as the role had not been advertised.
Patricia Ryan was given the job in Limerick City of Culture, but controversy erupted as the role had not been advertised.
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.
The year of the City of Culture was launched on New Year's Eve.
Limerick City of Culture 2014: Karl Wallace has quit as Artistic Director.

The chief executive of the Limerick City of Culture says she hopes to bring the project to fruition, despite calls being made this evening for her resignation.

Patricia Ryan was addressing a public meeting of almost 600 people this evening following the shock resignation of its artistic director Karl Wallace.

"I would like to work with you. I never claimed to have an artistic background. I am very much on board for this project," she said.

The CEO, whose appointment caused controversy as it wasn’t advertised, said she would very much like to continue her work with the Limerick City of Culture.

There was a short applause following her address.

Councillor Tom Shortt called for her resignation during the meeting and a member of the public called for a 'show of hands' from those who wished for her to leave her post.

Chairman of the board of Limerick’s City of Culture Pat Cox assured the crowd that the year of Limerick's City of Culture would go ahead.

Addressing the meeting, Chairman Cox said the former artistic director Karl Wallace's resignation was not expected, anticipated or wished for.

He also defended the appointment of Patricia Ryan.

The Board of Limerick City of Culture said they are appointing a new Artistic Director to the project as a matter of urgency.

Details of how Ryan backed down after after asking teenagers to change lyrics in a rap song because it was not in keeping with the image of the city the organisation wanted emerged within the last few days.

The details became known following the shock 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.

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