Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts & Culture Niamh Smyth has expressed disappointment with the art’s budget saying it fails to support struggling artists.

Following the announcement by Minister Paschal Donohoe, Deputy Smyth commented, “While the increased budget of some €36m to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is welcome, the Department’s approach of prioritising capital expenditure over current expenditure – buildings over people – is worrying.  This government is failing to wake up to the fact that artists need to be supported.

“There is no point in having stages without actors, galleries without artists or exhibition spaces with nothing to exhibit. There must be investment in artists.

“The increase in the Arts Council budget by €7m on Budget 2018 is an important step, but the overall allocation (€75m) still lags well behind the €82m which it received in 2008. The Arts Council is the primary vehicle for funding artists in this State. It was established by statute to do this and unless funding levels are returned to their 2008 levels we will continue to fail our greatest asset – the artist”.