An opposition senator has today called on the Irish arts minister to end the delay in appointing members of the Irish Film Board.

An Irish Labour party senator, Dominic Hannigan, has called on the minister for arts, Martin Cullen, to explain the delay in appointing a new board for the Irish film board (IFB). The five year term of the previous board members came to an end on January 16 and there has been no indication of when a replacement board will be put in place

Senator Hannigan claims the organisation is unable to make funding decisions because of the failure to appoint a new board.

'Its work is being hampered by the failure of minister Cullen to carry out his duty by making the necessary appointments in a timely fashion. The IFB's budget was cut by 13.5% last October, from Eu20m to Eu17.3m. If the delay in constituting the board has something to do with this, Minister Cullen should come out and say so. And if it is a sign of broader a Government strategy in efffecting cutbacks he should make that known too,' said Halligan.

Senator Hannigan asserts that the IFB did not consider any production funding applications last December and, despite indicating its intention to do so, it was unable to ratify project funding in January because a new board had not been appointed - or the existing members reappointed.

In response to a query from Screendaily a spokesperson for the Department of Arts would say only that a new board will be appointed, 'in due course', but would not put a time frame on when it would it would happen.