A special outdoor concert in Merrion Square Park, in Dublin, where An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D, delivered the key note address was held on the Thursday, 12th September 2013 to mark the positive impact that funding from the Arts Councils Annual Bursaries is making in promoting the arts in Ireland.
The event which was attended by Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs Pat Breen provided an opportunity for renowned Irish Novelist Anne Enright to recall her Clare Heritage.
“Anne’s father was born in Doughboy in Kilkee and in the late 1940’s he moved up to Dublin to take up a job in the Civil Service. Anne now lives in Bray with her husband and family but recalls her father’s Clare Heritage with pride and we even discussed the success of our Clare hurling teams”, Deputy Breen said.
Anne is one of Ireland’s greatest novelists and in 2007 she won the coveted Man Booker Prize for her novel “The Gathering”, while the following year in 2008, she won the Irish Novel of the Year for the same novel. Last Year, she was awarded the 2012 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for her book “The Forgotten Waltz
Over the past 3 years over €3 million in Arts Council bursaries has been made available to help artists who have no other income to alleviate the financial pressures on them so that they can pursue their talents.
Such is the level of interest in the bursaries that each year, the Arts Council receives hundreds of applications with just one artist succeeding for every seven that apply. Bursaries are provided up to a maximum of €15,000 per annum.
Describing the day as a major success, Deputy Breen said “that the Arts Council through these bursaries are providing much needed support for our budding Artists who are at the beginning of their careers by ensuring that they can develop their talent without having the additional worry of finance. “
Deputy Breen also met Galway born Julie Feeney, who is Irish Composer, Singer and Producer. Julie hails from Co Galway between Abbeyknockmoy and Athenry and regularly returns to visit family there.
There was also a special tribute on the day to the late Seamus Heaney, who was himself an Arts Council Bursary Award Recipien