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Sectarianism should have no place in Arts Funding

21 August, 2006

Sinn Féin Arts and Culture Spokesperson, East Derry MLA Francie Brolly has said that sectarianism should have no place in Arts Funding after receiving complaints about the Arts Council's £200,000 Place, Identity and Art funding package for 'Protestant working class communities'.

Mr Brolly said:

"There are many criteria that funding for the arts should be based on. However, it is a total disgrace to introduce sectarianism into arts funding.

"It only serves to encourage the types of sectarian myths perpetuated by the DUP. I do not doubt that there are working class communities both urban and rural that could benefit from looking at their identity, by the same token there are many Catholic communities that could similarly benefit.

"If there is funding for working class communities then it should be open to all working class communities and if there is money for rural communities then it should be for all rural communities.

"The Arts Council is making a serious mistake in setting aside clear guidelines on equality. Any approach introduces this sectarian approach willleave the body open to legal challenge because of the clear failure to equality proof this programme." ENDS

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