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'I'm entitled to €400k grant' - producer in row with Alan

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Alan Hughes and Karl Broderick

Alan Hughes and Karl Broderick

Alan Hughes and Karl Broderick

Producer Robert C Kelly has said he "deeply resents" claims that he's not entitled to a €400,000 share of Minister Catherine Martin's €5m Live Performance Support Scheme because he is Scottish.

Drama has broken out behind the scenes of the live entertainment industry after several producers and promoters were left disappointed at not having their funding applications green-lighted.

Questions had been raised on RTE's Liveline over where Mr Kelly pays his taxes and the fact that he was of Scottish nationality.

One of Kelly's companies, Jendagi Productions Limited, is listed to an address in Glasgow while a separate firm, Jendagi Ltd, is listed to an address in Dublin 17, which is the firm that got the green light for funding.

The producer, who has confirmed there will be a panto at University Concert Hall, Limerick this Christmas, told the Herald that he utterly rejects claims that he doesn't pay his taxes in Ireland.

"My phone started exploding, but I understand that Alan Hughes said that because I'm Scottish it might be unfair that I'm getting the grant," he said.

"Jendagi, my Irish company, has been around for a very long time.

"We do a lot of theatre in Ireland, far, far more than Alan Hughes does. We've been doing the panto in Limerick, which we started from ground zero, since 2012.

"I was aggrieved at being attacked like that because this is a time for the industry to stand together and try to get the industry back to work.

"It's not a time for us to be tearing each other apart. I may have a Scottish accent but I operate fully under the laws of the State and pay my taxes in the State."

He added that with the exception of his UK sound operator, most of the cast and crew that he uses every year are Irish.

"I deeply resent the suggestion that I should in some way not get that money because I'm Scottish, I don't think that's fair," he said. "This is a good news story and it's being destroyed unnecessarily."

Heartbroken

Meanwhile, it may be curtains for one of Ireland's longest-running pantos after Hughes and Karl Broderick were passed over for the funding from the €5m scheme.

TV presenter Hughes, whose Christmas show has been running for 22 years, said he's "heartbroken" after their application was rejected by the Department of Arts and Culture.

"I felt like crying," he said.

"We're not a big company, we're two lads from working-class areas who put these shows on every year and feel so sorry for all our crew.

"We had everything, the whole cast and crew ready to go and now we feel totally deflated.

"I just don't understand the rationale behind any of it".


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