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Resigned culture CEO claims 'I had my phone hacked'

GARDAI are to investigate the Limerick City of Culture controversy after a mobile phone belonging to Patricia Ryan, who has stepped down as CEO, was allegedly hacked.

And Pat Cox, the chairman of the beleaguered project, has ruled out any return for the former artistic director Karl Wallace, who resigned last week.

"There is no going back, we have drawn a line," he said.

The former President of the European Parliament, who had employed Ms Ryan as an adviser, also ruled out resigning,

News of Ms Ryan's resignation was posted online when she had only informed her family of her decision. A voicemail left on her phone by a family member which indicated she was leaving was also accessed by someone other than her.

It is understood Ms Ryan will take the matter to the gardai.

The development marks a new low in the ongoing saga and comes less than 48 hours after the Limerick City of Culture Facebook page was hacked.

Despite the developments, Mr Cox shot down calls for his resignation. "I feel a deep personal responsibility to do everything I can to try to calmly reassure the community," he said. "We will deliver."



Fianna Fail TD Willie O'Dea called on the Government to step in if the matter was not resolved shortly.

"I want to see both sides step back from their entrenched positions and look at what their objectives must be," he said.

"If they can't get their act together within a short period of time, it's incumbent on the Government to intervene. I am consistently stopped on the streets by the people of Limerick, who are bewildered and horrified by what has happened.

"I want the board to get their act together and Minister for the Arts Jimmy Deenihan to ensure that is done."

Ms Ryan told her bosses of her departure as Mr Deenihan claimed that he never committed to micromanaging the project.

"The line body here is the local authority," he said.

But the minister, who implemented the City of Culture project, added: "It is important that we move forward in a calm and measured way."