Limerick City of Culture artistic director resigns

Image caption A firework display was held in Limerick on New Years Eve to bring in the year

The artistic director of the City of Culture in Limerick has resigned, two days into the city's reign as the Republic of Ireland's first city of culture.

Karl Wallace said there were difficulties in communication with the chief executive and he and his team had been sidelined in decision making.

Mr Wallace was appointed artistic director last May.

City of Culture chairman, Pat Cox, said they will "ensure quality".

The City of Culture project has been controversial since November 2013, when Patricia Ryan, a former political aide to chairman Mr Cox was appointed as CEO, without a public competition.

'Strengthen teams'

She will be paid 115,0000 euros (£95,000) for an 18-month period. Her appointment was defended by Limerick city manager Conn Murray, who cited time and budget difficulties in getting an executive of Ms Ryan's experience in place quickly.

Rumours of unhappiness in the team, in particular by Mr Wallace, have been circulating for weeks. His resignation as artistic director was confirmed on Thursday along with the resignation of two other programme contractors.

Members of the artistic community met with Mr Wallace on Thursday morning at Limerick City Gallery of Art and expressed their support for his work so far, and their disappointment at his decision to resign.

Pat Cox said they will be "taking stock of resourcing requirements in light of these decisions and will strengthen teams accordingly".

"Our focus will continue to be on ensuring high quality entertainment for all."