Limerick councillors warned funding for City of Culture is a challenge

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Conn Murray, Limerick City Manager
CITY manager Conn Murray has appealed to councillors “not to mislead” people into thinking there is unlimited funding available for projects during Limerick’s year as Ireland’s City of Culture.

CITY manager Conn Murray has appealed to councillors “not to mislead” people into thinking there is unlimited funding available for projects during Limerick’s year as Ireland’s City of Culture.

Derry is celebrating its year as the UK’s City of Culture and councillors were told that city had got £100 million in funding from Westminster to improve infrastructure and run events. But as Limerick prepares to take on the mantle of being Ireland’s inaugural City of Culture in 2014, Mr Murray warned councillors that funding was a serious challenge.

“Lack of resources is an issue. We are meeting with the department on it but until such time as we have an outcome to those discussions, I cannot give confidence to members on it,” Mr Murray said at the monthly meeting of Limerick City Council.

He agreed with councillors that there was an extraordinary number of cultural events and festivals around Limerick and a committee was currently being put in place that would have the proper governance structures and financial know-how to make a success of 2014.

“But please do not mislead the community into thinking there will be funding available for every event,” Mr Murray said.

But he expressed confidence “funding will be in place for those events that will do exactly what you want – to put Limerick on the map nationally and internationally”.

Director of service Kieran Lehane said that Derry had got advance capital funding of £77 million from the British government and a further £23 million to fund its programme of events over the year.

Karl Wallace, artistic director of Limerick City of Culture 2014, was working with state bodies and cultural groups to put together a programme.

“The year of culture will come to an end in December 2014 and by that time we want to have something to sustain us beyond that and that would put us in a position to bid for European Capital of Culture in 2020,” Mr Lehane said.