Minister says funds available for Limerick’s City of Culture stint

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

FUNDING will be available for Limerick’s stint as the first Irish City of Culture in 2014, Minister Jimmy Deenihan has said.

FUNDING will be available for Limerick’s stint as the first Irish City of Culture in 2014, Minister Jimmy Deenihan has said.

Responding to questions from this newspaper, the arts minister has also declared that an announcement of the appointment of a person to lead the Limerick City of Culture initiative “will be made shortly”.

Asked about the financing of the year of cultural events, Mr Deenihan responded: “It is anticipated that some financial allocation will be made for the initiative, but this will be subject to the allocation made to the Department in the upcoming budget and a formal decision cannot be made on that matter until that allocation is known”.

The new manager appointed to head-up the amalgamated local authorities, Conn Murray, is currently putting together a committee to oversee the project, while a “major figure” is expected to be unveiled to head up the board in the near future.

Disquiet in local arts circles has been circulating for some time at the seeming lack of progress on putting the structure for the City of Culture initiative in place since it was launched in July.

However, Kieran Lehane, director of director of service with responsibility for arts, culture and sport, said the manager was “talking to a number of people in order to put a strong committee together”.

“We are also working on funding the programme in conjunction with Government,” explained Mr Lehane this Monday, while declining to reveal who Mr Murray was targeting to head up the project due to the “sensitivity” of the discussions.

The cultural designation will be modelled on Derry’s stint as UK City of Culture in 2013 and Minister Deenihan has previously said it will “brand the city in a very positive way”.