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Last week, British author Jim Crace became the twentieth writer to win the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, for his novel Harvest.
The win was well-received in the media. The Irish Times critic Eileen Battersby called it “a further endorsement for this very important award”.
But what did you guys think? In last week’s poll, we asked whether Dublin City Council should hand out €100,000 of taxpayers’ money next year – as it did this year – if it still hasn’t managed to find a new sponsor for the award by then. (If you didn’t read last week’s article, you can check it out here.)
Most of you (47 percent to be precise) support continuing the award, but would trim the prize fund, 31 percent of you think it’s great for the city and would keep it as it is, and 22 percent of you want the award scrapped.
If you haven’t made up your mind, here’s what Senator David Norris, who was involved in the birth of the award 20 years ago, emailed in to us during the week:
“I think Dublin City Council are mad to foot the bill this year. I think in the straitened circumstances the country and the city finds itself, for them to pay out €100,000 for a literary prize is certainly very questionable. As far as I can recall when the prize was established there was no consideration given to the ending of funding from IMPAC itself.”
Dublin City Council also sent a response. By spreading the word about Dublin’s literary and cultural heritage, it helps brand the city, attract leisure visitors, and make Dublin look like a great place for businesses to settle, it said.
Plus, their review of media coverage after the 2014 award showed that news of the event might have reached as many as 520 million people around the world. “The purchase cost of such coverage is €12.5 million which we regard as an excellent return on investment,” said press officer Alan Breen.