Limerick’s designation as City of Culture for 2014 will deliver a programme of cultural events and engagement in arts and culture by the citizens of Limerick and beyond. In bringing artists, arts organisations, local authorities and civic groups in the city and county together in a calendar of events that will showcase all that the city has to offer, the initiative will generate a legacy locally and nationally. There are several excellent cultural venues in Limerick city which will have a central role to play in the 2014 programme of events. Any allocation by my Department to Limerick City of Culture 2014, in common with all other organisations and projects seeking funding, will depend on the outcome of the ongoing Estimates process for 2014 and it would be premature of me to go any further at this juncture.
Limerick city is undergoing a process of profound change and 2014 will be an important year for the city, as it will be the year in which a new single local authority will be established. The Limerick reorganisation implementation group, LRIG, is preparing for this change and the designation of Limerick as City of Culture will help to shape, brand and promote a new Limerick city.
Limerick’s preparations are well under way, with former European Parliament President, Mr. Pat Cox, leading the initiative, joined by two other internationally renowned freemen of Limerick. They are Riverdance composer, Mr. Bill Whelan, and rugby international Mr. Paul O’Connell. Further details are available on limerickcityofculture.ie.
The aim of the national city of culture initiative is to deliver a programme of cultural events and engagement in a city for one calendar year and to build a longer term positive impact. An EU study in 2004 found that the designation of European capital of culture served as a catalyst for the cultural development and transformation of the chosen city and it is aimed to replicate these benefits on the national stage through this initiative.