By Dan Walsh
Wexford Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne has written to the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and to Arts & Culture Minister, Catherine Martin, calling for the Minister and senior Government officials to meet with representatives of the arts, live events and entertainment sector before the end of next week and to agree a clear roadmap for reopening.
He again expressed frustration that “arts and entertainment are not being given sufficient priority, in spite of the fact that those involved have been among the worst impacted by Covid over the last eighteen months.”
Senator Byrne stated that it was “welcome and appropriate that there was high level engagement with the tourism and hospitality sector, as well as with sporting bodies to ensure safe reopening” but added; “Like so many involved in the arts, I am tired of constantly having to seek clarity on cultural and music events after government announcements and worse, not having any sense of priority being given to the safe reopening of these activities.”
“Theatres and arts venues are controlled environments. They are happy to work within clearly defined safety guidelines; they do it all the time. Arts professionals – be they involved in production or dance or drama classes or event management – have a constant awareness of health and safety.”
“I do not accept an aspiration toward having some kind of roadmap at the end of August represents any sort of coherent government policy. There should be the same level of engagement now as we have seen with the tourism and hospitality sector.”