In another bizarre move, which deals a further belly-blow to literature in this country, The Arts Council have removed all funding from the Western Writers' Centre, Ionad Scribhneoiri Chaitlín Maude, in Galway. The Centre has been in operation as the only Writers' Centre West of the Shannon for almost seven years (I worked there for a couple of years) and has provided workshops, readings, a website, a newsletter - 'The Word Tree' - and were the first to organise a writers' residence in a Galway hospital (I worked on poetry and memoir with elderly patients in Merlin Park).
Among a lot more, they also run an annual festival, 'The Forge at Gort' which I attended and thoroughly enjoyed last year.
Their Arts Council grant of €10,000 enabled them to plan forward and continue to develop the Centre. Now it's gone. Please take the time to add your name to their petition calling for reinstatement of Arts Council Funding here.