I was hopeful, having received a weighty envelope from the Department, but such hope was misplaced. The response consisted mostly of a lengthy set of reasons as to why most documentation was not being released, extracts from the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 & 2003 and the four documents actually released.
The two interesting documents provided are the explanation of decisions and the schedule of documents held by the Department, both below. I will be appealing the decision not to release documents (though the “appeal” is in fact an internal review by the Department).
In the meantime, while it’s not clear what exactly is happening with An Smaoineamh Mór or its backers, it’s certainly clear that its PR machine still operates. Interestingly, a senior figure in an IT organisation that runs a range of blogs itself seems to think blogging is for do-nothing layabouts who fail to spend each and every minute of the day working.