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The European Parliament and Local Elections will be held on Friday 23 May 2014, polling will be between the hours of 7am and 10pm on that day.
Local Elections – changed electoral areas and municipal districts
The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, according to its own website, oversees the operation of the local government system and implements policy in relation to local government structures, functions, human resources and financing. Currently at county/city level, there are 29 County Councils, 5 City Councils, 5 Borough Councils and 75 Town Councils.
Changes to your local electoral area
The Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee Report was published on 30 May 2013 and is downloadable by clicking here. The main recommended changes in local government structures, including a new system of municipal districts, replacing the 80 town councils, will be brought into effect from 1 June 2014, following the local elections on 23 May. Recommendations of the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee Report will provide the basis on which the local elections on 23 May will be held and the electoral registers are now being prepared on that basis.
A map of Ireland setting out the recommended local electoral areas can be downloaded by clicking here, recommended local electoral areas for Dublin City Council here and a map of the recommended local electoral areas for Cork County Council here.
European Parliament Elections – 11 MEPS to be elected in 3 constituencies
In September 2013, new Irish MEP constituencies were announced. Ireland will have 11 MEPs after the next European election on 23 May 2014. Under recommendations by the European Parliament Constituencies Committee, Ireland is split into three constituencies for European Parliament elections. The change to constituency boundaries follows the reduction in the number of seats from 12 to 11 as a number of countries had their number of seats reduced in order to accommodate the admission of Croatia as the 28th member of the EU.
In summary, there is a sole Dublin constituency, while Leinster will be split into two. There will be a three-seat Dublin constituency consisting of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown; Fingal and South Dublin; and the city of Dublin. A four-seat Midlands-North-West constituency with the counties of Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath. The four-seat South constituency will include the counties of Carlow, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow.
For more detail, see Report on European Parliament Constituencies.
Contact your TDs and Senators
Your elected representatives are there to represent you very year, not just in a general election one. Ask for a fair deal for the arts, arts organisations and artist, nothing more and nothing less.
To contact any elected representative in the Houses of the Oireachtas, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or find their number in the Phone book.
List of Members of Dáil Éireann
List of Members of Seanad Éireann.
Galway East and West have an experienced and extremely resilient arts scene. I am one of many who have worked since 2010 to mobilize arts organisations and arts workers in Galway West in the run up to budgets and elections. Over the past three years Galway has been very successful in hosting a number of significant, high profile NCFA events – ‘politicians become artists for a day’ back in 2010 was a huge success. We also have had a number of ‘meet and greets’, which work very well and in 2011 we had more than 250 arts workers attend our hustings just before the general election with all eleven candidates attending. These days we are quietly working in the background, informing and briefing local politicians on the state of the arts in the city and regularly reiterating the importance of and encouraging arts workers to contact, inform and invite local councilors to events etc.
It could be said Galway is in a better place than many other constituencies in that the city boasts a significant number of funded arts organisations. We also have a reputation as a city of festivals and the unofficial ‘cultural capital’ of Ireland etc. However, this is not reflected in the city budget or indeed the attitude or vision of our senior executive officers and councilors toward the arts in the city. We are nonetheless very useful when it comes to tourism and branding of the city.
The lack of trust, understanding and knowledge about how the arts are produced at the moment is worrying and very frustrating. Concerns from arts workers are constantly expressed over the nature of funding allocation and the dispersal of grants. The lack of transparency at play is alarming and not at all adequate. Communication between the arts community and local authority is flawed. The most corrosive of attitudes – that they (artists) will do it anyway, regardless of how diminished their status or financial security – is disrespectful, dis-empowering and only props up a wholly unsatisfactory status quo.
Over the last few years, things have become strained with many local arts organisations receiving large cuts. The value of local authority arts grants awarded, from 2009 to 2011, was 435,000 annually, beginning to fall to 412,000 in 2012 and 367,000 in 2013. In summary, the arts grants have been cut by between 60,000 and 70,000 euro in the last two years. To further put this in context, the total of 367,000 euro in grant funding was spread across 76 arts organisations in 2013.
This continuing trend is having a knock on effect on groups and organisations operating in the area, and should it continue, will be detrimental for the arts in particular the smaller emerging organisations and artists.
Galway is also competing to win the title of European Capital of Culture 2020. However the lack of investment in arts infrastructure over the last 10 years is pitiful, the allocation of new cultural spaces in the city is imperative for future sustainability. Time will tell!
We intend on continuing to work with local government on lobbying and building relationships. Since 2012, I have been a member of the Recreation, Amenity and Culture Strategic Policy Committee as a representative of the Galway City Community Forum. Just before Christmas I was nominated to sit on two new committees to do with the allocation of funding and the development and implementation of policy. It was not easy for us to secure representation on both of these committees, experiencing resistance from the director of services. Nevertheless, this gives us direct contact with councilors SEO’s and director of services and a voice in policy decisions. We hope now to establish an arts subgroup to which I will report to as well as consult with to inform my position on both of these committees. It is a lengthy and arduous battle.
In the run up to the 2014 Local Elections it will be essential for all of us to lobby both national and local representatives as well as funders to stop the cuts and to really show their support for the arts.
We are delighted that the fourth and final NCFA Colloquy will take place in the West on February 12th, 1.30-5.45pm in the Radisson Hotel, Galway. This colloquy will address the fundamental question of education, arts policy and research in the development of arts participants, audiences and practitioners in the future.
We welcome this series of key research issues for the arts and arts policy in Ireland.
Kate Howard, NCFA Constituency Co-ordinator, Galway West
NCFA COLLOQUY #4
Education and the Arts: Policy, Research and Responsibilities
Wednesday 12th February 2014 at 1.30-5.45pm, Radisson Hotel, Galway.
This colloquy addressed the fundamental question of education, arts policy and research in the development of arts participants, audiences and practitioners in the future. The event featured three speakers: Ms. Hannele Lehto (Finland), Dr. Julian Sefton-Green (UK) and a local respondent.
The aim of the NCFA Colloquia series is to amplify and illuminate key research issues for the arts and arts policy in Ireland. Specifically, to develop a research agenda for the arts/arts policy and to increase understanding and debate about the arts in Ireland and to do this by bringing together key stakeholders in the delivery, reception and policy context of the arts – the public (civil society/public sphere etc.), arts practitioners and the government (including policy makers etc.).
This was the final of four core events in the NCFA Colloquia series curated by Tara Byrne, independent arts manager and cultural policy adviser.
Colloquy #4 Speakers;
Dr Hannele Lehto is Director of Arts Policy at Finland's Ministry of Education and Culture and was educated at the University of Helsinki and the University of Tampere, Finland. She is a researcher, librarian, information scientist and semiotician, whose diverse areas of study have ranged across the history of fine arts, cultural heritage, folklore and comparative religions. In addition to her role at the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland, she is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki and has more than 30 years experience at a senior level in different posts in library and cultural policy. Her widely-praised 2006 publication Fair Culture? explores the ethical dimension of cultural policy.
Dr Julian Sefton-Green is a UK-based independent consultant and researcher working in Education and the Cultural and Creative Industries. He is currently Principal Research Fellow at the Department of Media & Communications at the LSE (London School of Economics) and a research associate at the University of Oslo, exploring learning and learner identity across formal and informal domains. He is Honorary Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham and at the Hong Kong Institute of Education and has worked at the University of Australian developing a city-wide initiative to imagine and implement new kinds of spaces for learning. He has researched and written widely on many aspects of media education, new technologies and informal learning.
Dr. Marian Fitzgibbon is the Head of School of Humanities in Athlone Institute of Technology and a board member of the National Library of Ireland. She worked for many years and in different capacities for the Arts Council and was responsible inter alia for the development of regional arts and the first Irish Arts Plan.
Education and the Arts: Policy, Research and Responsibilities
The far-reaching question of the role of education and research in the development of future arts participants, practitioners and audiences, was the subject of the National Campaign for the Arts' public conversation held on Wednesday 12 February 2014, 1.30 - 5.45pm in the Radisson Hotel, Galway.
Presented as the final part of the NCFA series of public COLLOQUIA, key international thinkers on cultural policy, Dr Hannele Lehto, Director of Arts Policy at Finland's Ministry of Education and Culture, and Dr Julian Sefton-Green, a independent scholar working in Education and the Cultural and Creative Industries. Presentations also included a response by a member of the Irish arts community.
This colloquy considered both the wider and non-formal contexts in which arts education and learning takes place in societies and contributes to the formation of arts participants, as well as the more formal first, second and third level education contexts. The curator of the series, independent cultural manager and researcher Dr. Tara Byrne, sees the Galway meeting as addressing how and why it is that people come to encounter and experience the arts, and some don’t, the value of thinking both within and beyond the formal education system, and the potential for aligning the similar but discrete interests of arts and education policies.
The event was the fourth and final colloquy in the NCFA's 2013-14 series of structured conversations specially devised to challenge how we think and speak about the arts in general and the publicly-funded arts sector in Ireland in particular. A key objective has been to promote a more research-based approach to the development and funding of the arts. Topics already addressed include public engagement with the arts, the understanding of "evidence" in an arts context, and the concept of cultural value in developing appropriate criteria for evaluating the contribution of the arts to the wider society.
The National Campaign for the Arts is a volunteer-led, grass-roots movement that makes the case for the arts in Ireland. It seeks to ensure that the arts are on local and national government agendas and are recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life. The NCFA was established in September 2009 in response to a government public expenditure review of public service numbers and expenditure programmes, known colloquially as the McCarthy Report.
The NCFA COLLOQUIA series is supported by Independent Senator Fiach Mac Conghail.