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Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Public Arts Schemes.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 8. Miss de Valera Information on Síle de Valera Zoom on Síle de Valera  asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Information on Michael D. Higgins Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  the consultations, if any, he has had with the Department of the Environment concerning the publication of the review by Irish and international consultants on the experience of the public arts schemes in Ireland including the Department's 1 per cent for art scheme. [9221/96]

Mr. Carey: Information on Donal Carey Zoom on Donal Carey To date my Department has had no function in the operation of a “1 per cent” for art scheme, which has been operated through the Department of the Environment and the Office of Public Works.

Arising from consultations with the Minister for the Environment in relation to the 1 per cent arts scheme, a public art research project was initiated in December 1994.

A steering committee to oversee, monitor and advance the project was established under the chair of the [62] Department of the Environment, comprising a representative from my own Department in addition to representation from An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Temple Bar Properties and the Office of Public Works.

The steering committee appointed consultants to carry out research and prepare a report to advise the committee on the approach that should be taken in the development of a more effective strategy in the promotion of art in the public sector for use by public authorities in commissioning art. The consultants' report was submitted to the committee recently. The steering committee has now considered the findings of this research and has finalised its own report, which will be submitted very shortly.

On receipt of the final report from the steering committee, a decision will be taken as to the next stage for the development of a more effective strategy in public art. Arrangements for publication can be considered at that time.

Miss de Valera: Information on Síle de Valera Zoom on Síle de Valera I thank the Minister for his reply. The report to which I referred in the question was promised to be completed by the end of 1995. I am sure the Minister will agree that the 1 per cent for art scheme should be encouraged. He will also agree that such schemes need to be looked at from time to time to ensure they are more effective. Will the Minister agree that such projects should be undertaken in consultation with the community and that there should be more local involvement regarding commissions under public art schemes? I am sure the Minister will agree that more emphasis on involving local people would give them a greater opportunity for further participation and input in the art which will surround them.

Mr. Carey: Information on Donal Carey Zoom on Donal Carey I do not disagree with the Deputy in regard to more local involvement. The application for the 1 per cent scheme for public art has produced some fine exhibitions, one of which is in [63] Bunratty in County Clare. Other projects have been very successful. If we were to fight about which end of the dual carriageway the particular arts object should be located, Bunratty or Lansdowne Bridge, I am sure there would be a difference between Joe Gorman in Cratloe and Sonny Scanlan in Ballycasey. There is a need to involve the local authority. If the occasion arises the local authority should ask for local comments, a recommendation which I believe will be included in the report.

Miss de Valera: Information on Síle de Valera Zoom on Síle de Valera I thank the Minister for his positive reply. In regard to county art plans, there would be a desire for further involvement. Under the arts plan we have been discussing the need for more accessibility, community involvement and equity. I am pleased to note the Minister is prepared to push for further involvement in regard to community art.

Miss Quill: Information on Máirín Quill Zoom on Máirín Quill Will the Minister of State agree it would be a good idea if the report in question was debated in the House? Will he accept that the 1 per cent for art scheme is administered by local authorities up and down the country? Most Deputies who are also members of local authorities have direct experience of how the scheme has been working in practice for the past four or five years. If the report was debated in the House, Members could bring to that debate their own experience as to how the scheme, which is so beneficial to Irish artists at local level, is working in practice and how it could be extended.

Mr. Carey: Information on Donal Carey Zoom on Donal Carey When the report comes to hand the question of a debate in the House will be considered. I hope the report, which can make a valuable contribution, will be debated in the House. That is not to be critical of some of the work undertaken by the Department of the Environment. In recent times exceptional work has been done on the Mal-low-Cork road. The local deer and milk churns etc., certainly highlight local [64] heritage and this is making a valuable contribution. I will convey the Deputy's sentiments to the Minister.


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