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Mike Fitzpatrick appointed interim head of Limerick City of Culture

Chairman Pat Cox said he was grateful to Fitzpatrick for “stepping up to the mark”.

Mike Fitzpatrick
Mike Fitzpatrick
Image: Deirdre Power/Photocall Ireland

MIKE FITZPATRICK, HEAD of the Limerick School of Art and Design has been appointed as interim head of the City of Culture.

Former CEO Patricia Ryan resigned on Sunday after scrutiny over her appointment when it emerged it had not been advertised. In a statement at the time of her resignation, she said this had undermined her authority.

Today, the board of Limerick City of Culture said Fitzpatrick will take over the position until the appointment of appropriate full-time staff.

In a statement, the board said the departing CEO will facilitate “a smooth handover” and Fitzpatrick will take up a non-executive role on the board of Limerick National City of Culture 2014 when he resumes his pose as head of the art and design school.

It was also announced that Minister Jimmy Deenihan signed the Heads of Agreement yesterday which is a key step for accessing funding.

Speaking today, Chairman Pat Cox said he wished to express his “profound gratitude” to Fitzpatrick for “stepping up to the mark”.

“The fact that Limerick has within its ranks someone of Mike Fitzpatrick’s calibre and quality, leading one of the Top 50 fashion schools in the world, illustrates the depth and strength of arts and culture in Limerick,” he said.

“The Board wishes to thank Patricia Ryan for her selfless dedication to this project, further demonstrated by the dignified way in which she has agreed, despite the difficult personal circumstances, to assist with a smooth transition,” he added.

Further appointments

Today the board also said it wished to its decision to “broaden its membership” to include the nomination of three directors representing the arts and culture community of Limerick.

“One of these will be nominated from the chairpersons of the Pillar Groups of Limerick City of Culture established in February 2013,” it said in a statement.  ”A second director will be appointed on the advice of the Pillar Groups.   The third and final appointment is reserved for MikeFitzpatrick on completion of his role as Interim Head of City of Culture.

“In addition, following meetings with the elected representatives of Limerick City and County Council, it has been agreed as an immediate step to appoint the Mayor and Cathaoirleach, or their representatives, of the respective authorities to the board.”

The board also announced it has appointed one of its members and outgoing Chairman of the Advisory Board of The Gathering, Tim O’Connor, to the new position of Vice Chairman.

Related: Limerick City of Culture CEO resigns>

More: Pat Cox: ‘I never asked for Patricia Ryan to be appointed’>

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