Press release :: 22 June :: Government announces change of Department title

Pack the Dáil this Weds 22 June 2016
20th June 2016
NCFA What Next – Minutes of Meeting 15 June 2016
14th July 2016

Government announces change of Department title to Arts , Heritage, Rural, Regional & Gaeltacht Development


Unanimous support for motion on the Arts as presented by Niamh Smyth TD (FF) by all parties to a full public gallery


Richard Boyd Barrett TD added an amendment to the motion calling for an increase in arts funding, to bring it in line with the European average of 0.6% of GDP


The National Campaign for the Arts was represented by a full public gallery in the Dáil and overflow rooms today on the occasion of a private members motion on the Arts by Niamh Smyth TF (FF). We welcomed the debate and motion as set out by Niamh Smyth, TD and that fact that this motion was accepted by all parties in the house.


Many of the speakers remarked how unusual it was to have such a large number of people in the public gallery; demonstrating the importance of this campaign.


The campaign noted the strong commitment on all sides of the house to the development and agreement of a new national cultural policy with real vision, ambition and concrete targets and looks forward to a robust, democratic process of policy making, involving all parties through the Joint Committee for the Arts as well as the Dáil.


The NCFA welcome that the government, in the course of this evening’s debate, announced a change of title for the department; which was read into the Dáil record by Minister of State Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, TD as The Department of Arts, Heritage, Rural, Regional & Gaeltacht Development.


The NCFA also welcomed the amendment to the motion by Richard Boyd Barrett, TD which included an increase in funding for the Arts to 0.6% of GDP which if adopted, would have a transformative effect on the Arts in Ireland.


During the course of the debate there were contributions by the following 26 Ministers and TDs:

Niamh Smyth (FF), Minister Heather Humphreys (FG), Minister Finian McGrath (Ind), Peadar Toibín (SF), Gerry Adams (SF), Aengus O’ Snodaigh (SF), Maurice Quinlivan (SF), Carol Nolan (SF), Joan Burton (Lab), Richard Boyd Barrett (AAA PBP), Mick Barry (AAA PBP), Maureen O’Sullivan (Ind), Thomas Pringle (Ind), Catherine Connolly (Ind), Michael Healy-Rae (Ind), Michael Collins (Ind), Danny Healy-Rae (Ind), Catherine Murphy (Soc Dem), Catherine Martin (Green), Micheál Martin (FF), Hildegard Naughton (FG), Tom Neville (FG), Junior Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (FG),  Junior Minister Helen McEntee (FG), Kevin O’Keeffe (FF) and Aindrias Moynihan (FF).


The Campaign

Established in 2009 as a response to the McCarthy Report, The National Campaign for the Arts is a nationwide, volunteer-led, grass roots movement that makes the case for the Arts in Ireland.  The NCFA’s pre-election manifesto included calls on the government to:


  1. Commit to increasing annual investment in Arts and Culture to 0.3% of GDP, taking us half way to the European average
  2. Publish the cultural policy document Culture 2025 in draft form for interrogation by the Oireachtas Arts Committee.
  3. Maintain on an annual basis, the €50 million allocated to the Department of Arts for 2016 commemorations, and ring-fence it for The Arts Council and The Irish Film Board.
  4. Implement tax efficiencies/strategies to stimulate corporate and philanthropic giving
  5. Create a new Arts fund from National Lottery funds.
  6. Appoint an expert panel of Artists/Cultural Managers to function as Policy and Strategy Advisors to the Minister and the Department.


* = Assessment of the Economic Impact of the Arts in Ireland 2011, prepared by Indecon International Economic Consultants


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