Shortfall on Limerick City of Culture ‘now accounted for’

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Mike Fitzpatrick and Sheila Deegan who headed up Limerick City of Culture
ONE of the officials behind Limerick City of Culture has insisted that a €400,000 shortfall to plug a funding gap has been accounted for.

ONE of the officials behind Limerick City of Culture has insisted that a €400,000 shortfall to plug a funding gap has been accounted for.

Council arts officer Sheila Deegan was speaking after national reports claimed the City of Culture project still required the spend.

And she also said that Limerick City of Culture 2014 accounts would be filed later this month.

Around €150,000 was transferred from three City of Culture 2014 events to other projects, including last year’s Culture Night, which would have happened regardless of whether Limerick had received the designation.

Ms Deegan insisted Culture House bosses had been given an instruction that the small allocation for Culture Night should come out the overall budget of €6m given to the event.

She confirmed: “We got an instruction from the department that the money [for City of Culture] was to be used on Culture Night. Last year, the allocation came through City of Culture. Rather than double funding, they asked the normal funding for Culture Night - which is a small enough amount of funding worth €13,000, to be taken from the €6m”.

A number of programmes did not go ahead as part of the year, including ‘The Shouting Fence’, which was supposed to be the largest community choral event to ever be held in Limerick.

It was cancelled due to a lack of volunteers, but contractual payments and deposits for performers to come from Britain were not refunded.

Mike Fitzpatrick, who headed up City of Culture said he “absolutely” believes the public will be satisfied with the company’s accounts when they are filed.

“The project was carefully managed, frugally managed and we did very well. I have no concerns at all on that front,” he said.

Initially, €6m was pledged to City of Culture, although this rose to €7.1m and was accompanied by €3.4m sponsorship.