Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the publication of a review that recommends that both the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Concert Orchestra should be retained.

Senator Warfield said:

“The funding issues involved within RTÉ, particularly involving the two orchestras, have been evident for some time. Voluntary redundancies have decimated both orchestras’ numbers.

“Therefore, it’s heartening to see the review recommend that funding be restored to its historical levels. The low staffing and funding have meant that the orchestras have not been able to undertake crucial roles in recent years, such as community outreach.

“The report has made a clear call to government that the current funding situation cannot continue. Ministers Denis Naughten and Josepha Madigan should now move to ring-fence funding to allow the orchestras return to their previous capabilities.

“Furthermore, Sinn Féin believe that the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra should remain as part of RTÉ.

“The national broadcaster has a legislative duty to uphold both orchestras and any change to this would only bring further uncertainty to their structures and shirk the funding issues which need to be solved first and foremost.”