The biggest news story in Ireland of so far this year features a rap by teenagers from Moyross, Co. Limerick, created to celebrate Limerick City of Culture 2014.
(The rap starts at 1.53 )
The well written rap clearly shows the pride the teenagers have in coming from Limerick. Despite being short (just 23 seconds long), it is honest, evocative and optimistic for the year to come.
However, the reason it made the news was due to a request to censor it from the chief executive of Limerick City of Culture, who felt that the reference to the city “looking rough” was “really not the image we want to portray”. An interesting interpretation, particularly as the line finishes with “there’s no place you’d rather live”. The artistic director, along with two programmers for the year long celebration, has recently resigned citing a number of reasons, one of which apparently referenced interference by the chief executive. Consequently, a public meeting was held last night in Limerick where frustrations about the organisation of the event were vented.
Audio Recording of Public Meeting, Clarion Hotel, Limerick City 3 January 2014
An audio recording of the meeting is available here: https://soundcloud.com/eireleaks/limerick-city-of-culture )
Today’s most recent outpouring of frustration was humorously referenced by the Rubber Bandits, another talented Limerick duo:
Limerick City of Culture 2014 Facebook Page
Full Text of the Facebook Status
At 11.05pm last night in an act of solidarity to support the cultural groups and citizens of Limerick this page, the official Limerick City of Culture 2014 page was taken over into in order to ensure that the people of Limerick and the cultural groups are heard and that no more fudging and duplicity will take place in public office.
We are seeking a public statement from Conn Murray City and County Manager on the five interviewed candidates for the CEO post,with details of where and when these interviews took place.
We are also calling for more people to attend the next public meeting to enable growing support for good governance on the city of culture board, which up to now has shown itself to be incompetent appointing staff without due process and loosing three senior staff members on their watch.
We further continue the call for the resignation of CEO Patricia Ryan who has no expertise in management, culture or arts or finance. Instead we call for the post of CEO to be advertised alongside the post for Artistic Director that was announced last night and that expressions of interest are sought for both posts. Ms Ryan can apply for one of these posts in competition that is fair and transparent.
Irrespective of whether Mr Cox recommended or did not recommend Ms Ryan, we believe this is besides the point as Mr Murray was aware of their association and so were other members of the committee. The fact that a chairman of a board can negate having any involvement in a key appointment is staggering.
Furthermore we call for the complete resignation of the registered board of directors which currently stands at just two people – on official company house records Mr Tom Gilligan Finance Director and Mr Conn Murray are the only two registered directors, the remainder of people that call themselves board members, such as Mr Cox are a board in name only with no legal authority and a committee with no official jurisdiction. Their acceptance of the resignations of three posts this week should be deemed as null and void as they have no legal authority to make those decisions. A brand new team of professional people is required to ensure that this project is salvaged and given the best possible chance.
Clearly, all is not well in Limerick. The specifics of who, what, why and how are being thrashed out online and offline in social media and traditional media across the country, and the issue may or may not be resolved over the coming days. The year of celebrations that had only just kicked off on New Year’s Eve now seems to be grinding to a dramatic standstill.
Regardless of what has gone wrong, the rap by the Moyross duo is just one example of young Irish talent that could and should be showcased as part of the celebrations. Despite being excluded from the New Year’s Eve celebrations, they have confirmed that they would be happy to perform at any stage during the year, if they are asked. Given the surge in support for the group in recent days, it will be surprising if they are not asked.
To all of those in Limerick City, if I can borrow some words from the lads from Moyross – please show your love and shine your light out for the kids. Let’s try to shift our well worn cloak of corrupt and petty politics and get back to focusing on what really matters. We owe the youth of Ireland that much.
(For those interested in hearing more from the Moyross Youth Crew – https://soundcloud.com/myc-moyross-youth-crew )