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The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, has announced a new Chairperson designate and five new members of the Arts Council, the Government agency with responsibility for funding and developing the arts in Ireland.

Ms. Sheila Pratschke is the Chairperson designate. In line with procedures for such appointments, her position will be confirmed following an appearance before the Oireachtas Committee at a date yet to be arranged. The five new members of the Arts Council are Dr Éimear O’Connor, Ms Monica Spencer, Ms Miriam Dunne, Mr Brian Maguire and Ms Joan Sheehy.

The Arts Council consists of a Chairperson and 12 members, all appointed by the Minister for Arts and serving a five year term with the last term coming to an end  at the end of 2013.

The Chairperson designate, Ms Sheila Pratschke,was Director of Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris from to 2007 to 2013, and is a former director of both the Tyrone Guthrie Centre from 2001 to 2007 and the Irish Film Institute.