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The departure of Eugene Downes as CEO of Culture Ireland coincides with the critical review by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the future structure and independence of Culture Ireland, as well as imminent decisions on the proposed amalgamation of IMMA, The National Gallery of Ireland and Crawford Gallery. NCFA is extremely concerned that the national cultural infrastructure is being undermined and weakened. We call on the Minister to introduce a public consultation procedure so that the public and the arts sector can openly discuss the best way to manage our unique cultural resources. The arts are central to our lives, and have an important part to play in the future wellbeing of our society. Our institutions will be vital to that, and we'll pay a high price later if we undermine them now.
NCFA applauds the signal achievements of Eugene Downes in advancing Ireland's cultural reputation in the international arena. During his five-year tenure as CEO of Culture Ireland, he has transformed the mechanisms through which art from Ireland projects itself internationally, and carved out an enhanced Irish presence in the dynamic, competitive arena of cultural export.