Further to news that former Transport Minister Noel Dempsey is to chair a new company aimed at ‘reviving’ the Temple Bar cultural quarter…
Eamon Delaney writes:
…what Temple Bar really needs is someone fresh, with a strong arts background, or an actual entrepreneurial reputation who could oversee the balance between a cultural quarter and a tourist play-pen. Instead, we get an old FF face, after a lifetime in public service. TBC director Martin Harte said that Dempsey’s work in the early days of the Temple Bar transformation had given him “considerable experience and knowledge about the area”.
But this might be a reason not to give him the job, given what has become of Temple Bar. Apparently, Dempsey has been involved in consultancy since leaving politics and will receive a nominal fee for his work. But Temple Bar is our cultural quarter, a valuable national public asset, and not some anonymous corporate company to whom his like can ‘consult’ discreetly and privately.
But it’s also about a fresh start, and giving someone else a turn. And yet so many of these FF faces insist on crawling back into public life, and cannot see how this will get peoples’ backs up. And as for Dempsey’s knowledge of the arts, he will always be the man who told the Irish public that the impending arrival of the IMF was a ‘fiction’. Clearly, here is a man for whom a work of fiction and the brutal reality of the economic truth is just a matter of words. If only the bailout was ‘a fiction’, the long suffering Irish public might have forgiven him.
(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)