Iv been following the City of Culture debacle with some interest over the period. For those who havent, the CEO of the city was appointed without an open competition, and the Artistic Director and crew have now resigned citing inability to work with the same Patricia Ryan. The City and County Manager is at odds with the artistic community and the council, who are at war with each other, and the whoe thing is perhaps best seen as a performance art installation which demonstrates why we as a country keep ending up in the mire, being unable to manage a boozeup in a brewery.
At the center of this seems to be the Limerick City and County manager, who defended his appointment (in secret and confidential ways) of Ms Ryan in October as being needed due to the pressure of time. Hmmm… I and a team recently got a grant of some €200k, from a public body. The main part of this will go to pay a postdoctoral researcher for three years. We got the final go ahead on budget just before Xmas, and have a need to get a major part of the work out of the way in June. So, time pressure, yep.
Heres the thing. We HAVE to advertise this post (and will be doing so). Thats going to take some time. It may be March before we get someone, and then boy theres pressure. But, its public money, like the €6m for the City of Culture. Good governance standards are that – good, and standard. Public money should be spent and allocated in a transparent manner. This is exactly what is not going on here.
Whats more worrying is that the lack of transparency and the digging in of heels on this opaque process is being spearheaded by a man running a public body spending €90m or so per annum. If Conn Murray thinks that his behaviour is ok in regard to this then we must wonder what other exigent breaches of norms he considers ok?