Limerick City of Culture CEO Steps Down?

There are hints that Patricia Ryan, the recently-appointed CEO of Limerick’s City of Culture year, 2014, has stepped down.

This hasn’t yet been confirmed, but if it’s true,  it should be welcomed, not because Patricia Ryan is the wrong person for the job, but because the appointment process was flawed.  This bungled selection process undermined public confidence in the entire venture and what’s even worse, it provoked accusations of cronyism, due to Ms Ryan’s previous employment  for Pat Cox, who just happens to be chairman of the City of Culture board.

A public project without the support of the public is doomed to fail.

If the City Council now establishes a proper selection procedure, I wish Ms Ryan every success applying for the role in competition against suitably-qualified candidates.


Previously: Zen and the Art of Appointing a City of Culture CEO


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Zen and the Art of Appointing a City of Culture CEO

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