from Miriam de Búrca to DCAL 27th April 2006
From: Miriam de Búrca
> Date: 27 April 2006 15:12:16 IST
> To: Lowe, Catherine, DCAL
> Subject: Re: Private Office
> Dear Catherine Lowe,
> Thank you for your response. I appreciate what you are saying, but I
> fear you misunderstand the source of my concern. It is not only about
> the need to reinstate a setup that is to serve the arts community. I'm
> sure it will be of use in some shape or form. Who exactly it is to
> serve, and how effectively it will be run, remains to be seen.
> What my source of frustration is, firstly, how this entire affair has
> been handled by the Arts Council, since they, in the follow-up period
> to the abrupt closure of the OBG, made demands of Hugh Mulholland and
> his staff, which they did and do not of other organisations in
> similar, or even worse predicaments. That in itself is worthy of
> further investigation as it implies irregularities in their
> decision-making process, and also points to a hidden motive to which
> they are not openly admitting.
> Also what worries me, is the implication of a government funded body
> such as the ACNI being permitted to act in such a manner thanks to
> what appears to be a laissez faire approach of the funders' funders,
> namely yourselves. Do these aggressive and untransparent methods of
> control set the standard for the arts in Northern Ireland, and for
> things to come?
> Finally, the most telling display of lack of objectivity is the
> omission of direct engagement with those affected by the closure and
> loss of the OBG as it existed under Hugh's directorship.
> Hugh and supporters of his have been trying to organise a meeting with
> the Arts Council for well over a month, so that questions may be asked
> and answers supplied, with independent bodies to witness the
> discussion. The letter requesting a meeting has not even been
> acknowledged, let alone a date set.
> The only democratic response to the protest would be for DCAL to
> organise a meeting between the Minister, Hugh Mulholland and the
> former staff of OBG.
> That way, both cases will finally have been heard. It is simply not
> enough to take only the Arts Council's word. It is, like any
> organisation, comprised of individuals who are not infallible or
> beyond error.
> Yours sincerely
> Miriam de Búrca