Dáil Éireann - Volume 482 - 18 November, 1997
Written Answers. - Screen Commission.
Mr. Kenny Mr. Kenny
226. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands when she will appoint a screen commission; the meetings, if any, she has had to date in 1997 in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19622/97]
Minister for Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera) Minister for Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera)
Minister for Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): The former Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht announced the establishment of a screen commission for Ireland on 4 June last. The preferred method of funding was to be from recoupments on loans advanced by the Irish Film Board since 1994. However, the reality was that these funds were not immediately at his disposal and that the screen commission could not, despite his announcement, be established, funded on this basis.
Because the loans being provided by the Film Board are co-funded by the European Union under the Operational Programme for Industrial Development, any decision to use recoupments for the purpose of funding the screen commission  required the express approval of the European Commission. On 6 November last, at a meeting of the monitoring committee for the Operational Programme, at which the necessary technical decisions to allow the funding of the screen commission from this source were taken, my Department received oral approval from the Commission. I await the formal written confirmation of the Commission approval which, I understand, will not be operative until 1 January next.
In the meantime, I am taking the opportunity to meet industry interests, RTE and the Irish Film Board to hear their views on their priorities, for the screen commission. This process commenced on 13 November last, when I met Film Makers Ireland, and will continue with a meeting I have arranged with the Audiovisual Production Federation of IBEC tomorrow, 19 November 1997.
Dáil Éireann 482 Written Answers. Screen Commission.