BIG MONEY GRAB FESTIVAL.
KILKENNY ARTS FESTIVAL - THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION TAKEN OUT OF KILKENNY ANNUALLY.
As the 2017 Kilkenny Arts Festival is launched at Butler House at 5.45 pm this evening, The Kilkenny Journal has accounts - proof that the sum of over three quarters of a million Euro is taken out of Kilkenny annually in private profits.
The money is taken by the directors , seven in all, who are basically self-appointed and self-perpetuating. They take advantage of a Victorian loophole in the law governing industrial provident societies to whip the money out of this city into private bank accounts.
The Arts Festival commenced as a genuine community initiative called the Kilkenny Arts Week but was transformed into the present Kilkenny Arts Festival to enable the seven committee members to become the seven directors of the new provident society that they established 17 years ago as an enabling legal mechanism to transfer the money out into their private domains.
This evening they are wining and dining amid all the politicians and media they have in thrall in Butler House - invitation only though the festival is supposed to be a strictly community based event.
The main features of the financing are huge grants from the Arts Council and County Council as well as an estimated 40,000 Euro profit for the week from the main music event in St. Canice's cathedral.
And with all this money drained out of Kilkenny annually there is nothing left, not a single sou for the genuine artists, writers and musicians of Kilkenny. Some of the more troublesome artists who might kick up are wined and dined throughout the week at lavish parties in city hotels and restaurants to keep them quiet , and ditto we are sad to say with the local media.
Once again this year this city is being robbed, it is being bled dry, and it's all done within the Law while young Arts Festival hosts and hostesses are made to feel that they are privileged to work for nothing and the real artists are thrown out to exhibit in the open in the "cardboard city" of the Mayors Walk.
We estimate that approximately £784,000 is thus disposed of annually and we will be making the accounts we have available over the weekend up here on The Kilkenny Journal, the only local media that gives the facts and tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, whatever they may say.
Pictured: Fergus Cronin, Kilkenny Arts Festival director - and director of four Kilkenny festivals, resident of Ranelagh, Dublin.