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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: January 15, 2009 @ 10:43 am

    The mystery of the Writers’ Centre cuts

    Fiona McCann

    A piece I wrote for today’s paper about the withdrawal of funding for the Irish Writers’ Centre: an Arts Council report cites value for money and quality of service, while the centre is mystified about the cut. Pheonix also has a piece today, mentioning “the low profile” of the centre and the fact that the funding cut has elicited “little public criticism”. Is this true? Do people care what happens to the Irish Writers’ Centre?  

    • Jane says:

      I would guess that public criticism isn’t the most useful measure of how much people care. Many of us could write a letter to the editor on a daily basis if we only had the time. I also suspect that one audience that will really lose out are the tourists interested in Irish writers – I know or have spoken to many who have visited. If the centre can no longer deliver what it currently delivers, the one-off visitor may well be disappointed but not neccessarily know what they are missing. I believe it is a very short-sighted cut. Unfortunately it is one among many at the moment.

    • Tadhgeen says:

      I really couldn’t give a flying feck what happens to the Writers’ Centre. The toilets and rooms upstairs where classes are held and are a disgrace, but the ground floor was recently gutted and transformed at great expense into a ‘resource centre’- for what purpose, nobody knows. People paying good money for classes are not allowed any refreshment; indeed their presence in the building is barely tolerated by those in charge of what is known as the ‘Literature Prevention Centre’. Don’t let me get started on the way they treat their tutors, some of whom are the best in the business…

    • guy says:

      Sad to see cuts in the arts. However, I’m on the IWC mailing list and often wonder about their programming. As a writer, I’m sometime puzzled by their choice of ‘writers’ to lead workshops etc. ‘Experts’ who I never have heard of, and never read anything by them…

    • Ian Oliver says:

      But I think personally that it is the wider issues that are more important here like the issues surrounding the continuation of developing new writers to enhance Irelands reputation as a leading provider of literary culture in the World that is at risk from these funding cuts to the Irish Writers’ Centre. This might seem too bold a statement but personally I am very concerned as to where future writers are going to go to develop thier talents. Finally I would just like to add that if anyone would like to contact me personally in the Centre regarding any of thier comments then I am more that willing to here them. The Centre always welcomes constructive comments and will its best to act on them. The telephone number is 01 872 1302 or email info@writerscentre.ie.

    • yes, people should care, because there are larger, quasi-political issues at stake; as with the Western Writers’ Centre in Galway, who have also had their funding withdrawn, for reasons uncannily similar to those ‘offered’ for the withdrawal of the Irish Writers’ Centre. The Answer may concievable lie in why and how the Arts Council, and some other organisations hare vying for the lucrative title of Dublin ‘City of Culture.’ a designation offered by UNESCO while trying to dump on the Irish Writers’ Centre. Same thing in Galway, though the media have avoided reporting on it.

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