The seat for an Arts Officer in Wexford has been vacant since July 2015, despite an advertisement for the position last July and again in March 2016.
Following the departure of Arts Officer Rosaleen Molloy in June 2010, Sinead Barden was chosen as a replacement as the result of a competition. However, due to an employment embargo in public sector recruitment, this position was only temporary.
The post became vacant again in July 2015 and a call for applications was put out soon after. When no candidate was found, the position was readvertised on March 29 2016 but the position still remains unfilled.
Cllr Malcolm Byrne drew attention to the vacancy at the recent Wexford County Council meeting and later, highlighted the need to have it resolved as soon as possible.
‘It is a matter of emergency that we need an Arts Officer so that he or she can begin to develop a strategic arts development plan for the county,’ he said.
‘Wexford has always had the lead on the arts and it provides huge social and economic opportunities in the county. Given that we are bidding for the position to host the European Capital of Culture, it would be very unfortunate for one of the Three Sisters not to have an Arts Officer in place,’ he said.
Since July 2015, staff at the arts office have taken on some of the tasks that are usually carried out by the Arts Officer. Cllr Byrne commended them for their work.
‘I have to compliment the arts office staff who have been putting in trojan work over the last period. They haven’t let the side down.’
Cllr Byrne said that he understands that interviews will take place within the next fortnight and expects an announcement on a new officer to be made within the next four weeks.
(First published in the Wexford People newspaper: print edition. Also available online at: http://www.wexfordpeople.ie/news/arts-officer-seat-remains-vacant-34824182.html)