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 Header Item Estimates for Public Services 2020: Messages from Select Committees
 Header Item Covid-19 (Arts): Statements

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 998 No. 5
Unrevised

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Estimates for Public Services 2020: Messages from Select Committees

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly The Select Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage has completed its consideration of the following Revised Estimates for public services for the service of the year ending 31 December 2020: Votes Nos. 34, 16 and 23. The Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach, has completed its consideration of the following Revised Estimates for public services for the service of the year ending 31 December 2020: Votes Nos. 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Covid-19 (Arts): Statements

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin Táim buíoch an deis seo a bheith agam chun plé a dhéanamh ar chúrsaí cultúrtha agus ealaíne. Aithníonn an Rialtas an tábhacht atá ag baint leis an gcultúr agus leis na healaíona don duine daonna, don phobal agus don tsochaí trí chéile chuile lá, chuile sheachtain agus chuile bhliain. Tá sé seo léirithe go rí-shoiléir ag an ngéarchéim Covid-19 agus cuireann sé i gcuimhne dúinn arís agus arís eile cé chomh luachmhar agus atá ár n-ealaíontóirí, ár scríbhneoirí, ár ndamhsóirí, ár n-aisteoirí agus ár bhfilí dár saolta laethúla.

The Government recognises the unprecedented nature of the challenge facing the arts, live performance promoters, producers and artists, not least from a financial point of view. For the past six months, the sector has experienced devastation due to the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The performing arts have suffered considerably in view of the fact that much of the work done by those in the sector is face to face with the public and audiences. They were among the first sectors to close and will continue to experience difficult and challenging times long after other sectors have returned to work.

A particular focus of my approach and that of my Department is to engage in continuous and extensive consultation with all stakeholders, including individual artists, arts organisations, representative bodies, producers and art practices. This engagement is invaluable and has deepened my awareness of the challenges that artists, performers and organisations face, and of the important role they have played in sustaining us all in recent months.

The Arts Council is the statutory body charged with supporting and developing the arts in Ireland. It is statutorily independent in its funding decisions and I, as Minister, cannot intervene in this function. The council received an initial allocation of €80 million in 2020. This has been increased by more than 30% to €105 million to allow the council to address the crisis in the sector. Among the measures introduced by the council are new and additional bursaries and commissions, including supports for freelance artists and those looking to develop projects on a collaborative basis.

I have a background in music and performance and am acutely aware of the challenges being faced by artists and musicians across the country as a result of this devastating pandemic. Many artists and musicians operating in the commercial sector have sought funding from the Arts Council this year. The council provides funding to professional artists in all art forms and genres.


Last Updated: 07/04/2021 15:30:12 First Page Previous Page Page of 120 Next Page Last Page