Fianna Fáil Arts and Heritage Spokesperson, Niamh Smyth has said she is disappointed that the highly successful Cruinni na Cásca event which took place at Easter 2017 is not taking place again this year.

Cruinniú na Cásca was a day devoted to arts, heritage and cultural activities that took place on Easter Monday across the country with a special large-scale public event held in Dublin City. Last year, over 500,000 people according the Department’s own estimates took part at four locations in the capital.

“In a series of parliamentary replies to me, Minister Madigan has confirmed that a national event would not take place again this year, but that it would be up to local authorities to apply for funding individually to roll out similar events this year.

“To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. Cruinniú na Cásca was a fantastic event last year that put arts, heritage and cultural activites at the centre of a major national celebration rather than at the periphery.

“Too often, these types of activities are add-ons to other national events, but Cruinniú na Cásca put them front and centre.

“While the Minister has said that a national event will take place in June with a focus on children, it leaves the Easter period – a time when children and families are actively searching for events and activities to take part in together, without a major cultural event.

“The Easter period for a wealth of reasons, none more so than the crucial events that took place 102 years ago that ultimately led to our State’s foundation, needs a centre piece event like Cruinniú na Cásca for families and tourists alike.

“The cost of Cruinniú na Cásca was just €1.3 million in 2017, and it was worth every cent, I believe. It was a mistake by the Government not to put on another similar, national event with a focus on arts, heritage and culture this year. I am urging the Minister to reconsider for 2019 and to ensure that these crucial sectors of our society get the attention they deserve,” concluded Smyth.