Limerick to be first national ‘City of Culture’ in 2014

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

LIMERICK city is to be designated as the first in a new national ‘City of Culture’ initiative, delivering a programme of cultural events and engagement in the city in 2014.

LIMERICK city is to be designated as the first in a new national ‘City of Culture’ initiative, delivering a programme of cultural events and engagement in the city in 2014.

Minister Jimmy Deenihan TD made the announcement this Tuesday afternoon after discussing the initiative on a recent visit to the Limerick School of Art and Design to open their graduate show.

The City of Culture initiative will seek to bring artists, arts organisations, local authorities and civic groups and get them to work together through the design of a calendar of events that showcases all that the city has to offer in arts and cultural expression.

Limerick has been chosen to be start the initiative, which will see one city in Ireland designated a City of Culture ever two years, holding the designation for one calendar year.

Minister Deenihan said believes that the designation of Limerick as a City of Culture will help to “shape, brand and promote a new Limerick city”.

“I’m delighted to announce this new initiative today. I want the National City of Culture Initiative to be a clarion call to artists and arts organisations, local authorities, City Councils, local representatives and members of the public to work together in the development of an exciting calendar of events in their city,” he explained.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD, who has also spoken at length about the initiative in the past number of weeks, broadly welcomed the City of City of Culture designation on its official announcement today, which it is hoped will have a longer-term positive impact beyond 2014.

“This is a new and welcome development which will bring the cultural offerings of Limerick to a wider, national audience. I am confident that Limerick will set a high standard as the inaugural National City of Culture, and will provide an excellent example for the cities that follow.”

Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan said the announcement was “great news for Limerick” and pointed to research that found that the similar designation of European Capital of Culture had served as a catalyst for the cultural development and transformation of the chosen city.

It is hoped this initiative will replicate those benefits on the national stage.

“Research clearly shows the significant economic, tourist and cultural benefits that flow from similar initiatives across Europe,” said Mrs O’Sullivan.

“We have 18 months to get cracking on a series of year long activities that display all that is creative, progressive and inspiring about Limerick. I intend to work closely with local community, arts and tourist interests to ensure that 2014 is an outstanding success for Limerick and that we leave a legacy for future generations to cherish,” she added.