Aosdána and the bureaucrats


Sir, – In your editorial “Aosdána: pay and performance” (April 29th) you state that “Proposals regarding ‘international’ evaluation of Aosdána membership would remove the intended democratic nature of the organisation”. How can Aosdána be called democratic considering it is an invitation-only club with no application procedure?

If lobbying is strictly forbidden, then how exactly did anyone get elected to this state-sanctioned organisation of “elite” artists?

It all seems very North Korean to me. – Yours, etc,


Composer and Musician,

Ballyvaughan, Co Clare.

Sir, – As the bureaucracy of the Arts Council threatens to choke Aosdána’s funding with the insidiousness of Japanese knotweed and drown us all in a despairing sea of paperwork, I suggest it takes a step back and reconsiders.

Back off, bureaucrats. I never had much time for CJ Haughey but he did a good thing in forming Aosdána. Tourists don’t only come for the whiskey and the Wild Atlantic Way, they are enticed here by our artists and writers.

A little respect, please. – Yours, etc,


Swords, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Whatever about the rights and wrongs of Colm Tóibín’s views on Aosdána (“Colm Tóibín slates plan to cut grants for non-productive artists”, April 22nd), and for what it is worth I think he is right, he is the most engaging writer, particularly when he is good and angry about something. Any chance he could have a weekly column? – Yours, etc,


Bray, Co Wicklow.