Newstalk
Newstalk

06.46 6 Jan 2014


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Updated 11.20

The Chairman of Limerick City of Culture says the project's former CEO has been the subject of unfair criticism.

Patricia Ryan announced her resignation yesterday, saying the speculation surrounding her appointment compromised her authority to do the job.

So far four members of the board have stood down in the first week of the project - discussions are expected to take place today on replacing the departed personnel.

Ms. Ryan, who once worked as a political aid to Board Chairman Pat Cox, stepped down amid claims that, 'speculation compromised her authority to lead'.

Her resignation comes just days after that of Artistic Director, Karl Wallace.

Pat Cox told Newstalk's Pat Kenny show that he had nothing to do with Patricia Ryan's appointment:

He added, "She (Patricia Ryan) has come to the conclusion, that because of the constant, non-stop nature of the criticism - with the peak of it in recent days - that her staying on risked becoming a constant drag on something to which she is deeply committed. And her choice to leave reflects a staggering credit on her. She leaves with no specific other engagement in place. She leaves with a great deal of good will, with an enormous legacy behind her and in a context where she wanted to say to the Board, and to the people of Limerick 'I don't want my leadership undermined and I don't want to be at issue, because the issue is Limerick's city of culture'."

Former President of the European Parliament, Pat Cox, says it is unlikely those who have resigned will return to the team: 

Mr. Cox said the issue of a severance package for Patricia Ryan has not been discussed, after her sudden departure yesterday:

In a seperate development, it is understood that gardaí in Limerick will be asked to investigate claims that Patricia Ryan's voicemail was hacked after news of her intended resignation appeared online, before a formal statement was issued.

Journalist with Independent Newspapers Barry Duggan spoke to Pat Kenny:

Meanwhile, the Board of Limerick City of Culture will meet today to discuss replacing its Chief Executive. For now, the project is now operating without a Chief Executive or an artistic director. 

The Minister for Arts says he will meet with members of the Board in the coming days and has also promised greater local artistic involvement in the project.


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