Aslan’s Christy Dignam said the lack of Government support he has received is “an insult” and that he’s on his last €300.
he Irish musician told the Irish Sunday Mirror that the pandemic has left him so broke that he is not sure of where his next pay packet will come from, and he’s considering becoming a delivery driver.
He said he was “never so upset” to be overlooked for a Government grant that would get Aslan back on the road.
The band was among a number of acts that received letters of refusal from the Department of Tourism, Arts and Culture for its Live Performance Supports Scheme.
“I had savings of €40,000, now I’ve €300 left. I haven’t got next month’s mortgage. This is an insult,” Christy said.
“I’m 40 years in the music industry and we’re renowned as a working band. All we do is tour Ireland.
“I haven’t worked in 14 months, I did everything the Government asked me to do. I cocooned, stopped gigging, did everything right.
“They just said we didn’t have enough points, and we can’t appeal it.”
The 60-year-old has been refused three rounds of grant aid and said the bands offer to play a pilot gig in Royal Hospital Kilmainham was refused.
Christy, who is currently battling terminal cancer, said he pinned everything on this grant as after paying his last month’s mortgage he had €300 left in his account.
“I haven’t got next month’s mortgage, I swear to God I’m not winding you up, I’m telling the God’s honest truth,” he said.
“We were pinning everything on this grant, now we’re f***ed.
“I was going to call up to the local Chinese yesterday to see if they want a delivery driver.”
Aslan’s manager Denise McCormack told the newspaper that she was “floored” by the letter of refusal as the band has toured all across the country over four decades.
“It is beyond insulting at this stage,” she said.
Christy said this could now be the end of Aslan, and that he’s now “going to have to get out of this country”.
“This could be the end of Aslan, after all the trials and tribulations we’ve been through over the years, it’s going to be the Government that finishes us off,” he said.
“I’m going to have to get out of this country, I have to leave, this is a f***ing joke.
“I have cancer, I don’t know how long I have left. I’m doing chemo and now I have this to contend with, it’s a nightmare.
“I’ve never been so upset in my life, we all are.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media told the Irish Sunday Mirror that demand greatly exceeded the total funding of €25million available so it was not possible to provide funding “to many very worthwhile projects.”