Minister blames bailout for National Museum cuts
A GOVERNMENT minister yesterday defended cuts in funding to the National Museum and said that there was no other choice.
The comments from Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan came following an attack on the Government by respected academic Dr Pat Wallace, director of the museum.
Announcing his retirement after 24 years, Dr Wallace said that he felt "ambushed" by the early retirement scheme.
And he said that cutbacks were a disaster for the institution that took him 10 years to rebuild after the cuts by Ray MacSharry in the 1980s.
Mr Deenihan said that funding was cut by €1.6m in the Budget and that he "would have loved" if that wasn't the case. But he said that all other cultural institutions had to take a hit.
He blamed the constraints of the "current (EU/IMF) deal we're in" for cutbacks across the board.