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Arts Council chair should not be 'cheerleader for cuts' - Ó Muilleoir

29 January, 2018 - by Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has written to Chair of the Arts Council John Edmund to ask for a meeting to discuss his recent controversial comments and to explore their effect on morale within the Arts Council.

He said: “I am disturbed at Mr Edmund’s recent statements blaming the unemployed for arts cuts and branding arts groups as having a dependency culture.

"Nothing, in my experience, could be further from the truth. Arts organisations are dynamic, innovative, and net contributors to the economy despite often operating on a shoestring.

"Cultural tourism, inward investment and vibrant, diverse communities all depend on adequate funding for the arts.

"There are real questions around why former DUP Minister Paul Givan appointed a Chair who seems totally at odds with the arts groups he is supposed to champion.  

 "Tory-DUP austerity is not acceptable and it’s unfortunate that the Chair of the Arts Council has become a cheerleader for cuts he should be opposing. 

"I am also concerned about the impact of Mr Edmund’s comments on morale within the Arts Council Board and staff." 

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