Press Release

Irish Equity surprised at exclusion of Arts Minister from Cabinet committee on Covid-19

Date Released: 19 August 2021

The Executive of Irish Equity have expressed surprise and disappointment at the exclusion of the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, from the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19.

At a meeting of the Executive of Irish Equity, today (Thursday, 19th August), the group, which represents thousands of professionals in the live performance and theatre sector, discussed the exclusion of the Minister which oversees the industry from this crucial sub-committee. 

Irish Equity President, Gerry O’Brien, said: “Our Arts were one of the first causalities of the pandemic. While it is beyond disappointing that the Government are yet to provide a roadmap for the reopening of the sector, it is unforgivable that the Minister charged with the production of that roadmap does not yet have a seat at the table where crucial decisions on its future are made.”

Irish Equity Executive Member, Ann Russell, said: “The Arts have helped sustain us during the darkest days of this crisis. It is now time for our Government to send a very clear message of solidarity to artists and arts workers. We need an immediate roadmap to reopening so that the sector can start to prepare for the necessary rebuilding.”   

Equity Organiser, Martin O’Rourke, said: “A critical component of any road map for the Arts should also include the pilot of a Universal Basic Income scheme for the sector as promised in the Programme for Government and also in the recent report of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce published in November 2020.”


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