Louth Arts sector must be adequately supported - Adams
Sinn Féin President and local TD for Louth/East Meath Gerry Adams, speaking following a debate on the arts in the Dáil this week has praised the arts community in Louth, and called on the government to ensure the arts are adequately supported and developed.
Teachta Adams said:“I was very pleased to be able to speak during a debate on the arts in the Dáil this week to support calls for a dedicated Minister for the Arts and for an increase in funding for the sector.
“The arts, despite their contribution to society and our national identity have faced substantial budget cuts and a lack of commitment to their development in recent years, and we see the outworkings of that in the recent decision to downgrade the arts in the reconfiguration of Government Departments.
“Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with local Louth artists, including Anthony Kinahan, Cian O'Brien, Paul Hayes, Bríd McBride, Laurence McKeown, Patricia Duffy and Colette McGahon. They are all involved in the National Campaign for the Arts.
“The Arts in the county are vibrant and provide an invaluable benefit to the community. Each week in 2015, 2,400 attended an arts event in Louth. Droichead Arts Centre hosted 248 events in 2015 and the Highlanes Gallery is open seven days a week. An Táin Arts Centre hosted 180 events last year.
“Louth has become a hub for professional artists, demonstrating that people flock to centres where opportunity is encouraged and valued. Yet, funding has been slashed. In 2015, the Arts Council provided the arts in Louth with €300,000, down from €500,000 in 2008 - a cut of 40%. That must be reversed.
“The support of all TDs and Government is imperative to ensure the arts are prioritised and their potential harnessed." ENDS