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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 19 September, 2014

Facebook page of Limerick City of Culture is hacked

Protest ‘takeover’ of official social media page echoes calls for resignations from board.

A photo from the launch of Limerick City of Culture 2014 as carried on the event's Facebook page before it was hacked.
A photo from the launch of Limerick City of Culture 2014 as carried on the event's Facebook page before it was hacked.
Image: Limerick City of Culture 2014 via Facebook

Updated 7.45pm

IT EMERGED TODAY that the official Facebook page of Limerick City of Culture 2014 had been hacked.

A post went up – with the official page as the ‘author’ – saying that the page was “taken over” last night at 11.05pm.

The page was, as of this afternoon, taken offline.

The hack follows last night’s stormy public meeting at which there were calls for the resignation of the board of the City of Culture.

A sound recording of that meeting was posted online.

At the beginning there is a request for the media to leave the room – a suggestion which is quickly shouted down by the large attendance.



Even though the city launched its year as City of Culture just on New Year’s Eve, it has already been mired in controversy. The event’s artistic director, Karl Wallace, as well as two of its programmers, resigned this week amid differences of opinion with CEO Patricia Ryan.

Ryan had been a former assistant to chairman Pat Cox when he was an MEP some ten years ago but he told Limerick’s Live95fm that their former working relationship had no bearing on her appointment to the six-figure job.

As the row rages on, the post on Facebook echoes the call for the resignation of the CEO Patricia Ryan and her post to be advertised alongside that of the Artistic Director, which was announced last night.

The post says that “Ms Ryan can apply for one of these posts in competition that is fair and transparent”.

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The rest of the post is here.

The full text is as follows:

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.

It also appears that the hacker is answering to commenters under the guise of the Limerick City of Culture:

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Originally posted 12pm

Limerick City of Culture chair Pat Cox stands his ground>

Just as the event begins, the artistic director of Limerick City of Culture quits>

Poll: Do you support the City of Culture scheme?>

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