Anna Burns among new members elected to Aosdána

Affiliation of creative artists in Ireland elects six new people to vacant positions

Man Booker prize winner Anna Burns is one of six new members elected to Aosdána.

Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland, elected its new members at its annual general assembly in University College Cork on Friday.

Anna Burns became the first author from Northern Ireland to win the Man Booker prize last year for Milkman, a novel set in the Troubles about a young woman being sexually harassed by a powerful man.

Visual artist Aideen Barry; film and video artist Clare Langan; architect Niall McLaughlin; writer Doireann Ní Gríofa; and painter and printmaker Margaret Irwin West were also elected.

Founded in 1981, Aosdána was established by the Arts Council to honour artists for their contributions to Irish society and to support them in their artistic endeavours.

Membership is capped at 250 living artists from a range of creative disciplines. All members are elected by their peers and are entitled to avail of an annual grant, known as a cnuas, worth €17,850 a year for five years.

A minute’s silence was held to remember members who had died since the last assembly.

Those remembered included writer Padraic Fiacc; writer Matthew Sweeney; composer Tommy Peoples; visual artist Melanie leBroquy; writer Macdara Woods and visual artist Sean McSweeney.

Artists must be nominated and then elected by their peers to join.