[Sinn Fein]

2nd August 1999

Arts Council Should Reverse Decision - Adams

Having watched a performance of the Dubblejoint/Just Us new drama, `Forced Upon Us' Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP has praised the `performances and the hard work of all of those who put this play together.'

Mr Adams said:

``The Arts Council decision to refuse funding for this project only makes sense if one places it in context of political censorship . By every other theatres and venues outside of west Belfast.

Both Dubblejoint and the Just Us groups have staged a series of critically acclaimed dramas which have played to packed houses throughout Ireland and abroad. This play will be no exception.

Mr Adams added; ``It is not the responsibility of the Arts Council to act as `thought police' to decide what is and is not `acceptable' or `proper' drama. The people who will turn out in large numbers this week to `Forced Upon Us' are the only judges who matter. It is the responsibility of the Arts Council to encourage drama and the arts. For their part Dubblejoint and Just Us have succeeded in bringing drama to the people of West Belfast in a way that the Arts Council has never done. Instead of being penalised for their efforts the Arts Council should be encouraging this and similar endeavours''

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