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The Arts Council has introduced a new 'begging' system to help allocate funding for the traditional Irish arts in an effort to cope with a deluge of applications.

Every year there has been an increase in applications to the Arts Council for funding for festivals, concerts and recordings, leading to delays in the assessing of applications. However, with this new 'begging' system, they hope to cut the assessing time in half.

The new begging system will involve applicants having to hand in their funding application personally and beg to be allocated some funding. It is hoped this system will reduce the waiting time for a response, with applicants finding out there and then if they have begged hard enough.

Arts Council spokesperson: "We have always done our best to make sure the traditional Irish arts receive the appropriate amount of funding in line with other forms of art in Ireland. The biggest problem we have had is the amount of applications!"

"We wanted to reduce the assessment time for each application and create a more streamlined approach to allocating funding. Now, this begging system will do that. It also shows us how badly the applicant wants funding, giving an extra dimension to the application."

Applicants will be provided with all the necessary equipment to take part in a successful 'begging' application. Each applicant will be afforded a specific time for interview with a specialised 'assessor', while kneeling pads will be provided at the time of interview.

"Those who beg the hardest will receive the most funding!", said the spokesperson, who went on to clarify reports that some applicants were bringing in poor and hungry musicians into their interview as false and that all interviews are subject to strict rules.

"You cannot pretend to cry, you cannot bring in sad children, you cannot use props, you cannot pretend to be some composer of some fancy new traditional Irish piece for orchestra, and you absolutely cannot dress up as a member of The Gloaming. That would just be cheating."


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