Thursday, 26 June 1947
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. Flanagan: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he is aware of the dissatisfaction among Irish musicians regarding the decision to recruit foreign musicians to fill certain vacancies in the Radio Éireann orchestra; if he is satisfied that this decision is, in all the circumstances, justified; and if he will state whether, in order to foster and encourage suitable native talent for the orchestra, he will consider the establishment of a suitable school for training musicians.
Mr. Byrne: asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if, in view of the fact that Radio Éireann musical authorities have stated that Irish musicians are not up to the required standard for Radio Éireann orchestras, he will state what new facilities he proposes to offer to Irish musicians to acquire the standard demanded by the Radio Éireann authorities, and so ensure constant remunerative employment for native talent.
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Little): With your permission, a Chinn Comhairle, I propose to reply to Questions Nos. 15 and 16 together. I am aware that a certain amount of dissatisfaction exists at the results of the recent competition for appointment to posts in the Radio Eireann orchestras, particularly amongst unsuccessful candidates. I have, however, no reason to question or disagree with the findings of the selection board which was composed mainly of persons of distinction in the musical world.  While there is no alternative in the circumstances to going outside the country for performers of adequate standard, I am, nevertheless, anxious that Irish candidates should have a further opportunity of securing appointments in the orchestra. I have accordingly arranged that a limited number of vacancies shall be reserved for a further competition. As regards training facilities, it is not the function of the broadcasting service to provide such facilities for candidates for employment in the broadcasting orchestras. Facilities for students of music already exist in Dublin and elsewhere in the country and, apart from these, the Department of Education arranges special summer courses for advanced students of music in which the broadcasting service co-operates.
Mr. Little: No. The Deputy might as well ask the Civil Service Commissioners to give the names of the examiners for any job in the Civil Service. Our examination was carried out strictly under Civil Service rules.
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