Sinn Féin Seanad spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has reacted to comments from An Taoiseach Enda Kenny who has admitted that this state has failed in the past to give the arts the support they deserve.

Senator Warfield said:

“While I welcome comments from An Taoiseach that acknowledge the reality of cultural poverty, actions speak louder than words. Only one month ago, the cultural budget was reduced by 16%.

“The 1916 centenary programme showcased Ireland’s wealth of talent, and the reality for many of those artists, across all forms, is a profession which does not support a living wage.

“Government must take certain responsibility for that and begin to build toward a creative environment where our talent can excel, live, work, and earn a living wage in a vibrant and diverse indigenous industry.

“Public bodies such as the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board all place a particular policy emphasis on the working environment of the artist. It is therefore not beyond the collective ability of Government as a whole to engage and address poverty across creative communities.”