Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Radio Éireann Orchestras.

Thursday, 26 June 1947

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 107 No. 3

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Mr. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan  Zoom on Oliver J. 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: Information on Alfred Byrne  Zoom on Alfred 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): Information on Patrick J. Little  Zoom on Patrick J. 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. [315] 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. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan  Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan  Would it be possible for the Minister to indicate the number of persons who sat on the interview board and the names of the persons who were on the board?

Mr. Little: Information on Patrick J. Little  Zoom on Patrick J. Little  No.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Deputy has not asked that question.

Mr. Little: Information on Patrick J. Little  Zoom on Patrick J. Little  Obviously, I could not give the names of the examiners.

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan  Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan  Could the Minister give the names of the examiners if due notice were given to him?

Mr. Little: Information on Patrick J. Little  Zoom on Patrick J. 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.

Mr. Flanagan: Information on Oliver J. Flanagan  Zoom on Oliver J. Flanagan  Is it true that a number of former British musicians were on the board?

Mr. Little: Information on Patrick J. Little  Zoom on Patrick J. Little  It is not.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Is it true that if Fritz Kriesler applied for one of these posts he would be excluded because he was not born in Ballybough?

Mr. Little: Information on Patrick J. Little  Zoom on Patrick J. Little  We hope to get people who, if not as good as Fritz Kriesler, will be very good.


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