Nov 252013

It seems Limerick City and County Manager, Conn Murray has a gift hitherto possessed only by de Valera and Gandhi: the gift of looking into his heart and finding true knowledge of what the people need.

For reasons best known to himself, Conn took the decision to mentally select a panel of candidates for the job, and then he held virtual interviews, before finally announcing his choice of the winner.  None of the candidates, it seems, actually knew they were candidates, or that Conn was interviewing them, but how could they?  The job was never advertised, either externally or within the local authority.  It wasn’t put to tender and it was never announced publicly.

Of course, there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation for this.   Perhaps Conn wanted candidates who could operate on the same astral plane of enlightenment as himself.  Candidates who would know in their hearts what he was seeking.  Candidates who would become one with The Vision.

Limerick City of Culture 2014

And so, as Conn sat on his mat, cross-legged, quietly chanting to his management crystals, all became clear as the face of the true winner slowly materialised before his inner eye.

Om! shouted Conn.   I think I’ve got it.  Om!

Patricia Ryan.  Of course.  Who else? The same Patricia Ryan who had been advising the Board since the start of the year for a very reasonable €700 per day.  The same Patricia Ryan who worked for Pat Cox, chairman of the City of Culture board, when he was in the European Parliament.  The same Patricia Ryan who worked as a special adviser to Mary Harney when Mary was health minister.

It was clear to Conn now what the universe had been telling him all along: No need for many question, Grasshopper, if there is only one answer.

When the universe is truly in harmony, many wondrous things happen.  How pleased Chairman Pat would be when he discovered that Conn had selected Patricia for the role.  And how happy Mary Harney would be for the same reasons.

What a nice surprise it would be when Conn told them about his moment of inspiration.

In a celestial selection process, there is no discussion of payment because the work itself is its own reward, and this is why Conn never discussed such matters with Patricia before announcing his moment of enlightenment.  The universe, in its infinite wisdom, will find the right number when the time comes.

There will be plenty of time to speak of gold and copper, of astral travel, and naturally, of astral-travelling expenses.

For now, let us just meditate on a selection well done and give thanks to the stars for bringing everything into harmony.

In time, the universe will reveal exactly what a CEO does.



Limerick Leader

Irish Times


  8 Responses to “Zen and the Art of Appointing a City of Culture CEO”

Comments (8)

    Tell me, do you ever get tired of bullying people over spare change. Ah, here. It’s only €170,000 a year. Sure what else would you do with it?

    It’s not like you could create “a comprehensive programme of theatre, film, music, literature and the visual arts running from September until March,” that employs dozens and dozens of local actors, musicians, and artists, working on a multitude of projects in creative venues across the city.

    Ok, so maybe the Limerick Arts Encounter did exactly that, but of course their budget was only €120,000. Um, what was my point again…?

    Oh yes: CEOs are priceless. End of.



    I’d like to know what the CEO does that the artistic director doesn’t already do.


    You can always call up their job descriptions under Freedom of Information and that will tell you what they do !


    I doubt it very much.


    A CEO is one who would not be caught dead going through the humiliating experience of signing on the Dole so the handy-number always gets first dibs. (humiliating experiences always to be avoided no matter who has to pay for it)


    Going on experience, I’m willing to bet €10 that no matter what anyone says about that, you’ll never reply because you never read it again after you’ve dropped your comment. Why do you bother?


    Bock you need to look further, its all there waiting for you and you be amazed what you find when you start asking questions. According to the Limerick Leader the CEO has occupied three positions at City of Culture this year alone! Love your very own Fanny xx

  8. will be lashed and stoned and set upon by the impounded dogs of the city fathers for such heresy.

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