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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 21 October, 2014

“Crisis” as core management of Cork Film Fest made redundant

The festival’s core management and programming staff said that they don’t accept that the company is in long-term financial difficulties.

Mick Hannigan
Mick Hannigan
Image: Photocall Ireland

THE CORE MANAGEMENT and programming staff of the country’s longest-running film festival have been given notice of redundancy.

In a statement, festival CEO, Mick Hannigan and festival programmer Úna Feely expressed their dismay at unexpectedly being given notice on March 15 last, which they said had led to a “crisis” at the festival.

They said that they were told the decision was “due to the financial position of the company”.

Finances

Hannigan said that they do not accept that the company is in long-term financial difficulties, stating the festival has made a surplus in each of the last four years.

Its title sponsor recently ceased sponsorship but Hannigan said this “is not a major threat to the 58 year-old event”.

He said he believed the decision to get rid of the festival organisers seems to have arisen from a delay in confirmation of Arts Council funding for 2013.

The two expressed shock on learning that the company will not be paying redundancy payments. They also said that as a result of the redundancies, board member Frances Lynch resigned, stating “my vision for CFF is completely at variance with those of my colleagues on the board and it would be dishonest of me to stay on the board to legitimise the direction in which my colleagues are taking the CFF”.

Feely has worked with the festival since 1995 and been festival programmer since 2001. Hannigan has been festival director since 1986. He became CEO in 2009. Cork Film Festival achieved a 10 per cent increase in ticket sales in 2012.

Feely said they are now concerned for the future of the event, which the two said they had put their “heart and soul” into.

Read: 25 years of Irish film – through Film Ireland covers>

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