Forbes plans Limerick event focusing on young entrepreneurs
Move comes in wake of outrage sparked by magazine’s ‘stab city’ article
Forbes has ‘committed to promoting Limerick’s business talent’
Forbes Magazine, which recently dismissed Limerick as “stab city” and a “murder capital”, has committed to hosting a major event there to make amends.
The influential finance magazine will host a “30 Under 30” event, hosted by editor Randall Lane, celebrating the entrepreneurial power of the city
The announcement comes exactly one week after the magazine’s controversial article stoked anger.
The quickly withdrawn website feature was ostensibly a profile of the Collison brothers, who founded the multi-billion dollar tech company Stripe, but honed in on Limerick.
“Some call it ‘stab city’,” it began. “Many folks think Ireland is all rolling green hills and five-star golf courses. But in the middle of the Irish countryside is a city called Limerick - known as the ‘murder capital’ of Europe. ”
Social media users expressed outrage, with various politicians including Government Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan demanding recompense. Long standing TD Willie O’Dea suggested the magazine’s editorial staff be taken on a tour of the area.
On Friday, however, the city’s mayor, Cllr Michael Collins, said that following behind-the-scenes communications from his office, the magazine had committed to not only visiting but promoting the city’s business talent.
The event will focus on young up-and-coming entrepreneurs, and it will be covered across the magazine’s global platforms reaching a monthly audience of about 200 million people.
“It was very unfair because we were after spending about 20 years trying to rebuild the Limerick brand,” Mr Collins said of the article which evoked long-outdated cliches about the city.
“I thought maybe we could put Limerick on a bigger map with some sort of Forbes initiative . . . it damaged them as well.
“They have offered the hand of friendship. I think they want to do good by Limerick, and I think it will be good for both of us.”
In his letter to the editor, Mr Collins noted although “you can’t legally defame a city, you can do lasting damage”.
Forbes appeared to immediately recognise its mistake. Not only was the article quickly removed from the website, but the publication was contrite.
“The article by a contributor failed to meet our editorial standards and was removed from our site shortly after it was published,” its chief communications officer, Matthew Hutchison, said in a statement.
Mr Collins said the city had a lot to offer with three “fine universities” in situ.
“There is always talent coming out. I have no doubt there will be plenty of takers [for the event],” he said.