I propose to take Questions Nos. 79 and 96 together.
There are no plans at present to set up a working group to investigate the establishment of an Irish academy of theatre arts. I am aware that a recommendation to this effect was contained in the report of the The Forum on Acting, a copy of which was recently provided to my Department and which has yet to be considered in detail. To the extent that it impinges on my Department, the provision of training in the disciplines mentioned comes within the remit of the Arts Council, which supports a range of training initiatives, including theatre and the Irish Film Board, which funds FÁS/Screen Training Ireland based training in a range of film-related courses.
Funding for the Arts Council in 2008 is €83.102 million. Funding for the Irish Film Board in 2008 is €23.1m, of which €1.3m is provided to FÁS/Screen Training Ireland. My Department has also provided one-off funding to Theatre Forum towards its Druidstone project, aimed at providing training specifically in theatre management. Formal training at third level in the disciplines mentioned is already provided by a number of organizations, including the Gaiety School of Acting, the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology and FÁS. Responsibility for such organizations is not within the remit of my Department.