I propose to take Questions Nos. 156 and 164 together.
I have been briefed on the problems currently being encountered at the Abbey Theatre by the chairperson of the Arts Council. Financial support of the Abbey is a matter for the Arts Council. I understand that the council has been in close dialogue with the Abbey and wishes to support the organisation through its current difficulties. The council is conducting an independent review to help inform the council's response. My Department's role is confined to the overall funding of the Arts Council, which itself decides how funds made available by my Department are disbursed. I am not in the least surprised by a positive public attitude towards the Abbey. The Abbey has an iconic place in the Irish psyche, in our cultural life, and I share the view that the Abbey must be cherished and supported.