Last Wednesday and Thursday (April 14 and 15) Aosdána held its 2010 agm in the Armagh City Hotel, under the auspices of the Armagh City and District Council and the North South Ministerial Council, which is based in Armagh.
It was the first meeting to be held in Northern Ireland (the only other agm held outside Dublin was in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo), but the speeches at the welcoming dinner stressed that the meeting reflected the long-standing tradition of all Ireland collaboration and interaction between artists and arts organisations.
The agm was significant in other respects too, not least in the unanimous vote supporting the motion seeking clarifcation of the Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002, proposed by Margaretta D’Arcy, and seconded by Paula Meehan.
The motion reads as follows
With reference to sections 7 (6) and 34 of the Redress Act 2002, Aosdána calls on the Minister for Justice and/or the Attorney General to confirm that nothing in these sections can or should be construed in such a way as to inhibit any truthful treatment of the subject, whether factual or fictionalised, in memoirs, novels, short stories, poetry, plays, film-scripts, etc., or in any other art form.
From the Residential Redress Act 2002 (dealing with compensation to victims of clerical abuse)
7 (6).– A person shall not publish any information concerning an application or an award made under this Act that refers to any other person (including an applicant), relevant person or institution by name or which could reasonably lead to the identification of any other person (including an applicant), a relevant person or an institution referred to in an application made under this Act.
34.– A person who is guilty of an offence under sections 7(6) and 28(9) shall be liable–
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €3,000 (£2,362.69) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €25,000 (£19,689.10) or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.
The motion was passed unanimously.
Source: Philip Casey, member of Aosdána