02 April 2005

Daily Ireland

Arts Council accused of prejudice against traditional arts

The Arts Council of Ireland has been accused of prejudice against traditional arts, tampering with official reports and not properly allocating government money.
The claims were made by Marian Harkin, the independent TD and MEP for Sligo and Leitrim.
She is to pursue the matter in the Dáil.
Her claims refer to legislation introduced by the Irish government to revamp the Arts Council and to the creation of three special subcommittees, one of which was to deal with the traditional arts.
A five-member committee had to draft a report for the Dáil outlining money allocation for arts across the island.
The traditional arts committee drew up a report, which was submitted to the Dáil for approval.
The document later went back to the committee to be approved by its authors.
However, two out of the five committee members complained that major changes had been made to its content.
It is claimed that, during the consultation period, the two committee members argued with their counterparts that more money should be funnelled into traditional arts.
However, the two committee members were overruled.
The differences in the report, according to Ms Harkin, “ranged from minor changes to the actual deletion of whole paragraphs.”

>>>Read on

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