Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Arts & Heritage Niamh Smyth TD announced today that the party will use its Dáil time next week to put the arts centre stage. She announced that she will table a Dáil motion on the arts so that the house can debate issues facing the sector next Tuesday evening.
Deputy Smyth commented, “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.
“This motion comes in the wake of the Government’s effective downgrading of the arts as a Cabinet portfolio. There was widespread anger at this move, and we believe in the restoration of Arts and Heritage as a portfolio in its own right. Micheál Martin’s appointment of a front bench Arts spokesperson underlines that commitment.
“In the weeks since my appointment I have had many meetings with people in the arts community to discuss their concerns, their priorities and their hopes for the future. This motion is being put forward on foot of those meetings.
“A key concern expressed to me by many people is the need for cross party support for the forthcoming Culture 2025 policy. The Fianna Fáil motion will also call for this strategy to be considered, discussed and voted on by the Dáil before its formal adoption as the official policy of the state.
“With that in mind, I believe that the Minister should publish the strategy in draft form so that it can be discussed with invited stakeholders in an Oireachtas committee. Then, if necessary, it could be revised and enhanced by all parties. After that it could be fully debated in the Dáil.
“I look forward to a lively and constructive debate next week and I hope that all parties can support the motion”.