Funding the arts and culture

 

Sir, – Fintan O’Toole is exasperated by the allocation of funding toward sporting rather than cultural projects (“Do our poets have to shoot birdies to get arts funding?”, Opinion & Analysis, July 30th).

Interestingly his citing of the Olympic medal won by Jack Yeats in 1924 is but one example of the historical blurring of these twin areas of Irish obsession.

Former Preston North End footballer Oliver St John Gogarty also won a medal at the same Olympic Games, for his endeavours in literature.

And of course the cricketer Samuel Beckett is the only player to feature in Wisden and to have a bridge in Dublin named after him.

And were they alive today, all of the above could presumably avail of what may be the most generous form of cultural support to be offered by any state – the artists’ exemption from income tax.

If, on the other hand, our artists paid regular income tax we would be much better positioned to invest in culture at macroeconomic level. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O’BRIEN,

Kinsale,

Co Cork.