Wednesday 18 October 2017

Eamon Delaney: Round of applause for FF, at least it fights for the arts

With philistines in power, we need a debate on the brutal collectivisation of our cultural institutions, writes Eamon Delaney

Good old Fianna Fail. If there is one thing it can be relied upon to do, no matter how small it's become, it is a robust defence of the arts. And this is no mere side show.

Culture and the arts are a central part of our life, the jewel of our international reputation and apparently part of our salvation as a self-confident country. This is what we were told at the big Farmleigh summit. And this is what the State constantly tells us, and with good reason. Ireland is more famous for James Joyce, Van Morrison, U2, Seamus Heaney, and sundry other actors, poets, and painters than it is for anything else. The confidence gained from the successes filmmakers such as Jim Sheridan and Neil Jordan had in the Nineties -- the so-called Riverdance effect -- fostered our economic confidence and then a can-do boom (until we blew it).

This is what the State believes, and yet the same State or at least its current masters are prepared to squander this with a series of 'rationalisation measures' which even they don't seem to believe in, but which they have allowed to be driven through because of apparent economic necessity and the troika.

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