Aosdána rules

Sir, – Dr Dave Flynn asks (May 5th): "How can Aosdána be called democratic considering it is an invitation-only club with no application procedure?"

Aosdána does not issue invitations. Initially, two members have to propose a candidate in separate letters. These letters are subject to rigorous testing by Aosdána’s elected committee, the Toscaireacht, and rejected if they do not meet a variety of requirements, chiefly that the letters are genuine expressions of the proposers’ belief that the candidate has made “an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland”.

Thereafter, two votes are held: first by the candidate’s discipline; then, if she or he has been successful, by the annual general assembly of Aosdána, following a speech by one of the proposers.

I trust this clarifies any misunderstanding. – Yours, etc,



Chair of the Toscaireacht,


Merrion Square,

Dublin 2.