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Senator Trevor O Clochartaigh – Arts and culture keynote

25 May, 2012


This Ard Fheis has heard much about the economy, and rightly so, as these are very tough times for many. Over the course of the last number of years, the Government in the south has taken much from ordinary people. However, as Oscar Wilde once stated, “Ordinary riches can be stolen from a man. Real riches cannot. In the treasury-house of your soul, there are infinitely precious things that may not be taken from you.”

The arts and our culture are among these infinitely precious things.

Tá saibhreas faoi leith againne sa tír seo inár gcultúr, agus tá clú agus cáil orainn ar fud na cruinne dá bharr. Ó Yeats go Glen Hansard, ó Beckett, go Murphy - Ó Cadhain, le Brocquy, Gleeson, Neeson agus na céadta eile ina measc. Tá ealaíontóirí den scoth tar éis teacht ón tír seo le fada, agus is í an chultúr ceann de na príomh cúiseanna a dtagann na mílte daoine anseo gach bliain ar chuairt.

Tá sé fíor-thábhachtach nach ndéanfaimid damáiste don ealaín Éireannach le ciorraithe gan ciall, gan reasún. Tá sé deacair luach a chur ar na healaíona, ach tá sé léirithe go saothraíonn an ealaíon i bhfad níos mó don Stát, idir féilte, taispeántais agus eile, ná a chaitear air.

The arts pay their way, and then more.

But what the arts contribute cannot be measured solely in monetary terms. Participation in the Arts has a holistic value all of its own. We see it in the sparkle in the eye of a child on a stage. Or, in the pride which a local community takes in their homegrown, cultural events. And in the myriad of ways ordinary people interact with the arts and artists.

Culture and the arts do not belong to an elite. They belong to us all. It is incumbent on us as republicans to ensure that funding mechanisms and resources reflect that reality, and that art and culture is easily accessible for every citizen.

May I take this opportunity to commend our Minister for Arts, Culture and Leisure in the Assembly, Caral Ní Chuilin, for her great work in all the areas for which she is responsible.

She faces significant challenges, in particular from political opponents hostile to the Irish language. She has however, proven herself to be equal to these challenges.

Treaslaím leis an scéim Líofa 2015 ach go háirithe, agus molaim í mar go bhfuil sí ag Gaelú aicme daoine, nár mealladh go dtí seo.

A chairde, tá mé cinnte gur thug sibh faoi deara, go bhfuilimd faoi láthair i mbun Gaelú an pháirtí. Is mór an sásamh a thugann sé dom eagrán faoi leith don Phoblacht - lán ghaelach - a fheiceáil timpeall na hArd Fheise, ócáidí imeallacha ag tarlú le linn na deireadh seachtaine, úsáid na Gaeilge ón árdán agus dár ndóigh Oifigeach Náisiúnta Gaeilge nuacheaptha ag an bpairtí, rud nach bhfuil ag aon phairtí eile sa tír, Liadh Ní Riada, agus í mbun a cuid oibre go cumasach, cáiréiseach. Tá go leor obair ar siúl, ag is féidir linn a rá go bhfuilimid mar an pháirtí is Gaelaí sa tír.

Ach, tá neart eile le deánamh againn, agus iarraim oraibh leanúint le bhur n-iarrachtaí nuair atá an deireadh seachtaine seo thart.

The language has made huge strides in recent times, as we see with Bernard Dunne’s Bród Club, and the positive census figures. Despite this, the Dublin Government seems laconic, indifferent, and worse - at times belligerent to the language.

The Twenty Year Language Strategy is taking on the status of a fiction classic, as the committees tasked with its delivery talk, but don’t act, and objective after objective falls unachieved. The goodwill of all political parties and of the language community is being tested.

Tá an Rialtas tar éis díriú ar neamhspleáchas an Choimisinéir Teanga a bhaint uaidh, in aineoinn an obair den scoth atá dhá dheánamh aige, ar bhealach trédhearcach, agus éifeachtach. Tá an cinneadh seo dhá dheánamh in aineoinn nach bhfuil bhfuil pingin le sábhail as an gcur chuige seo. Agus tá an Roinn Oideachas freisin ag déanamh scrios ar an oideachas tré Ghaeilge.

Taimid faoi láthair ag fanacht ar an mBille nua Gaeltachta, ach tuigtear dhúinn go cuirfear deireadh le toghadh Bhord an Údaráis an, rud a bhainfeadh de dhaonlathas na heagraíochta. Tá moltaí dearfacha déanta againne áfach, maidir le hathbhreithniú ar an Samhail Nua Maoinithe do na heagrais Ghaeilge.

The Government pays a lot of lip service to our national language. As Republicans, we are committed to challenging the Government, and to ensuring that they do not renege on their duty to the Irish people.

Tá an Ghaeilge tábhachtach don phobal agus tá an phobal tábhachtach don Ghaeilge Caithfear sin a neartú agus a bhuanú do na glunta atá romhainn agus beidh Sinn Féin i lár an aonaigh sin.

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