Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

An Bord Snip Nua KO’s the Department of Fun

Poor Martin Cullen must be wondering what he has done to deserve this. In a report which doesn’t take any prisoners when it comes to recommending snips (snips? You would want to be desperate to go to Colm McCarthy and …

Thu, Jul 16, 2009, 15:55

   

Poor Martin Cullen must be wondering what he has done to deserve this. In a report which doesn’t take any prisoners when it comes to recommending snips (snips? You would want to be desperate to go to Colm McCarthy and friends for a haircut), the recommendations from the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes when it comes to the Department of Arts, Sports & Tourism (AKA the Department of Fun) are quite stark.

“The Group believes that the rationale for a separate Department to administer programmes which mainly involve allocations to national bodies and institutions is significantly diminished. Consideration should be given to the discontinuation of D/AS&T as a Department in its own right.”

Wham, bam and goodbye to the Department of Fun, if the Special Ones have their way. They’re also recommending reductions in the money spent on tourism marketing, sports, the Horse and Greyhound Fund, the Arts Council and various other cultural projects. The Irish Film Board isn’t spared either and its functions, per the Special Ones, should be moved to Enterprise Ireland. Blimey, a good job there was no budget line entry for the Music Board of Ireland.

All of the above will cause much hand-wringing and outraged Letters to the Editor from the arts communities around the country. In fact, those letters are probably being drafted at the moment. It will be interesting to see what efforts Minister Cullen will take to save his department (and his Merc) or if, in the current economic doom and gloom, the department dedicated to arts, sports and tourism as it currently stands really is surplus to requirements.