Written Answers. - Art Displays.

Pat Carey

Question:

353 Mr. P. Carey asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands if she will review the decision of her Department in relation to allowing paintings, which are the work of people associated with the outreach programme of the Hugh Lane Gallery, to be hung along the railings of the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin 1; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19047/97]

Noel Ahern

Question:

354 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands if she will give approval to the application from Dublin Corporation to allow use of the railings of the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin 1 for Sunday art displays in view of the fact that this is done most successfully in Merrion Square, Dublin 2; if not, if she will give details of her difficulties with this proposal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19068/97]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 353 and 354 together.

The Garden of Remembrance is dedicated to all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom. The garden is reserved exclusively for formal State ceremonials connected with this dedication. It is considered that the commercial basis of the proposed art display is at variance with the ethos of the garden and the tranquil amenity of the memorial may well be diminished by the presence of such displays.

I am sure that Deputies can appreciate that the Garden of Remembrance is a national monument with a singular commemorative significance and purpose - to commemorate all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom. While it is not considered appropriate that it be used for any other purpose, I am prepared to examine the situation further with a view to arriving at a satisfactory solution.