ON her first visit to Limerick as arts minister, Heather Humphreys said the State’s €6m investment in City of Culture represented money “well spent”.
Asked for her impressions of the year she it had been a “momentous year” for Limerick as City of Culture.
“It has been a great success, especially over the summer and brought so many people into the city in terms of tourism and in terms of recognising Limerick as a city of culture and that is very important for a city,” she said.
The minister was speaking at the start of a day of engagements that included a visit to the UL library, before a stop in Culture House to see a private performance of the upcoming musical The Unlucky Cabin Boy, which was funded by City of Culture.
Ms Humphreys also called to the People’s Park to see the Urban Horse project, and visited the Hunt Museum.
As the year draws to a close, questions are already being asked about where Limerick goes from here without the large State support for the arts, and the minister was asked about this.
“There are a few months left, and I would just like to wish them well and continued success,” she replied.
“I am sure there are benefits down the road in terms of that the City of Culture was here for Limerick and you can build on that and you have got the support now, and there has to be opportunities to continue to build on that.
“I think when you look at the number of tourists that has come into the city, I think yes indeed it was money well spent,” she added.
The minister, under fire for the nature of the appointment of John McNulty to the board of IMMA, said her focus “has to be on the budget”.
“My job is to make sure that I get the fair share, that I get enough funding to support my department.”