“On average $200,000 is spent on this event,” she told the Sunday Tribune. “A portion of the funding comes from Culture Ireland, the Film Board and I raise additional funding from private sources.
“Again, compared to comparable events, this is a low price. The head of the National Endowment for the Arts told me he couldn't believe that we do it for only that cost.”
Vargo added, “You must also recognize the value and profile it brings to people in the industry. Two Irish singers got recording contracts because of our event.”
Mayo TD (member of Irish Parliament) Michael Ring went on Ireland’s top-rated radio show hosted by Pat Kenny last week to express his opposition to the funding.
"That $26.7 million would build four schools in Mayo," he said. “Somebody's priorities are very wrong to be giving away $26.7 million of Irish money when we can't afford it."