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Huge fall in number of artists supported by government programme – Tóibín

6 October, 2017

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Culture Peadar Tóibín TD has criticised the huge fall in number of Irish artists who are supported by the Culture Ireland Programme. Deputy Tóibín raised this matter this week with Minister Heather Humphreys at the Committee for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, of which he is chair.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“The number of Irish artists supported by the Culture Ireland Programme has dropped by nearly half since 2013. Indeed, the amount of funding allocated to these artists – totalling €2.5 million is actually less than the tax relief received by one single company for one single film out of many made here last year. 

“A healthy arts eco-system necessitates a bottom-up approach. While large blockbuster movies made in Ireland are welcome, the hundreds of individual artists creating in this country are also extremely important. 

“The government have made excuses for the collapse in funding through the Creative Ireland programme. However, unless we nurture artists at all levels, the next generation of internationally acclaimed artists will be in short supply.

“I’m calling on the Minister to have a balanced approach with regards funding for artists around the country. Given the fact that Ireland is currently on the bottom three EU28 countries in terms of spend on culture, the Minister needs to stand up and do better for this sector in the upcoming budget negotiations.”

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