A lot has come from the first ever National Day of Action for arts and culture which we held last month (Friday 17 September). As a direct result of the day, seven TDs put down a Parliamentary Question to Mary Hanafin about the protection of arts funding. Those TDs were Alan Shatter, Deirdre Clune, Dan Neville, Finian McGrath, Charlie O’Connor, Martin Ferris and Damian English.
In her answer to the PQs, Minister Hanafin said,
“I am committed to supporting the crucial constituent sectors of arts and culture and the Government will continue to fund those sectors within limited available financial resources. Decisions regarding funding, whether within my Department’s Vote or on the part of other relevant Departments will, however, have to be taken in the context of the ongoing Estimates and budget preparation process and in the light of the target aggregate Exchequer savings to be achieved for 2011. In this context, I should like to acknowledge the concerns raised by the recent Campaign for the Arts and to reaffirm my commitment to maximising the place and status of the arts in society … I will endeavour to maximise funding for these sectors, commensurate with their centrality to our economic and social well being.”