FF call on Government to appoint Arts Minister

Arts Debate 6

Fianna Fáil is calling on the Government to appoint an Arts Minister and increase funding for the sector.

The Dáil will this afternoon debate a motion put forward by Fianna Fáil which calls for increased support and protection for the arts.
The opposition party is also calling on the Government to allow politicians to have an input and contribution to the new arts strategy, Culture 2025.

Fianna Fáil’s Arts and Heritage Spokesperson Niamh Smyth has said the country is now in the position to increase the investment in the arts.
“As a party, we have always been supportive of Irish arts and culture and have a strong record of investment in the sector,” said Smyth.

“The tabling of this motion is testament to our commitment to ensuring that arts and culture remains at the heart of Irish life and that its contribution to a well-rounded society is fully recognised and realised.”


Arts Motion in full

“That Dáil Éireann: accepts that: —    the arts are essential to the wellbeing and advancement of the Irish people; —    a thriving arts and culture sector makes a positive contribution to the Irish nation; and —    while the arts have an intrinsic value of their own in national life, they also represent an important economic sector, in terms of employment and tourism; and acknowledges that: —    there is anger, disquiet and disbelief about the effective dilution of the arts as a Cabinet portfolio; and —    public investment in the arts is low by international standards; commits to: —    protecting the independence of the arts community; —    ensuring a stable, sustainable and secure funding model for the arts with progressive increases in State expenditure in line with improvements in the economy and the public finances; —    enabling full community engagement and benefit from State arts funding; —    supporting the ‘arm’s length principle’ which promotes the Arts Council’s autonomy in disbursing State funding to artists and arts organisations; —    providing much needed investment in the modernisation of facilities offered by the national cultural institutions, where this is lacking; —    enhancing arts provision in our education system and, in particular, increasing music provision in primary schools; —    encouraging all national cultural institutions and, in principle, other bodies in receipt of Arts Council or Government grants to provide discount entry tickets to all young people under the age of 26; —    supporting, in particular, Irish music and dance, and seeking to embrace fully within the arts sector the organisations which provide education, support and events in these areas; —    ensuring that local authorities implement a local arts action plan which benefits local communities and local artists and brings the arts directly to the people; —    re-establishing Culture Ireland as an autonomous entity to promote Irish arts and culture internationally; —    promoting an awareness of the role of arts in society and to promote philanthropy as the heart of that awareness campaign; —    fostering  greater dialogue and partnership between the national cultural institutions and the universities of Ireland; —    maintaining the competitiveness of the Irish film industry and film-making in Ireland through appropriate incentives, whilst facilitating the use of heritage in State ownership, where it can be done without prejudice to its integrity; —    encouraging active co-operation between the Arts Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, in particular tours of the island by selected exhibitions and performances; and —    examining the introduction of an Arts Capital Grants Scheme, similar to the Sports Capital Programme; and calls for: —    cross-party support to be developed on Culture 2025 with its adoption as national policy being subject to the approval of Dáil Éireann; and —    the restoration of the arts as a distinct and clearly defined Cabinet portfolio providing leadership and State support to the sector.” — Niamh Smyth, Bobby Aylward, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, James Browne, Mary Butler, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa M. Chambers, Niall Collins, Barry Cowen, John Curran, Timmy Dooley, Sean Fleming, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Seán Haughey, Billy Kelleher, John Lahart, James Lawless, Marc MacSharry, Micheál Martin, Charlie McConalogue, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Eugene Murphy, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, Darragh O’Brien, Jim O’Callaghan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Willie O’Dea, Kevin O’Keeffe, Fiona O’Loughlin, Frank O’Rourke, Anne Rabbitte, Eamon Scanlon, Brendan Smith, Robert Troy.     [17 June, 2016]


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