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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 23 Jun 1998

Vol. 492 No. 7

Written Answers. - Government Programme.

Ruairí Quinn


285 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands the specific commitments, if any, set out in An Action Programme for the Millennium which have been implemented in full; the commitments, if any, implemented in part; the commitments, if any, initiated; the commitments, if any, yet to be initiated and implemented by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15051/98]

The position in relation to matters referred to in An Action Programme for the Millennium which are of relevance to my Department is as follows:


Current position

£26 million budget for Arts Council in 1998.


Arts Council to examine support for disabled artists and more regional emphasis, Arts Council to devote more funding to deal with the arts through the medium of the Irish language.

Suppport for disabled artists, regional emphasis and the arts through the medium of the Irish language to be looked at in the context of the review of current arts plan and preparation of next plan. Review, including wide public consultation, has already commenced. The new Arts Council recently appointed includes members living in ten different parts of the country, a member with a particular knowledge of arts and the disabled and a number of members with an interest in and knowledge of the Irish language.

Establishment of a national cultural institutions council.

Discussion document circulated to directors of relevant institutions. Hoped to have first meeting of NCIC later this year.

Establish Dublin centre for performing arts.

Joint working group set up in collaboration with the Minister for Education and Science to progress establishment. Interim report due end July-early August.

Establish a screen commission.


Establish film industry think tank.


Encouragement of world class residential recording studios, establishment of digital musical libraries, campaign to attract performing artists to live in Ireland.

Being considered in context of possible establishment of a music board.

Protect viewing on RTE and TV3 of major domestic sporting events.

Proposals for legislation in preparation. Legislation to be published in autumn 1998.

Statutory independence for Telefís na Gaeilge.

Implementing proposals being dealt with in context of broadcasting legislation which will deal with digital broadcasting and other broadcasting issues. Proposals to be considered by Government in coming weeks.

Fostering independent radio network including £500,000 fund to set up and maintain transmission sites for local radios.

Being considered as part of general legislative proposals on broadcasting.

Developing a national heritage plan, and also local heritage plans.

Internal committee examining scope, approach and time frame of plan.

Legal protection of sites of artistic, heritage and historical interest, measures to promote the preservation of heritage dwellings.

Package of administrative legislative and financial proposals prepared in collaboration with the Minister for the Environment and Local Government approved by Government and announced. Necessary legislation being drafted.

Reviewing the procedures for implementation of the Habitats Directive (Special Areas of Conservation).

Review completed. Appeals board and local liaison committees in process of establishment. REPS package approved by EU.

Restore cutbacks in schemes operated by the Department in the Gaeltacht areas.


Undertake a re-evaluation of the structures of the official and voluntary Irish language organisations.


Modifying the school curriculum to place more emphasis on cultural and artistic activities.

Discussions have taken place between my Department and the Department of Education and Science, which is primarily responsible for changes in the school curriculum on this issue.

Requiring local authorities to produce three year cultural development plans.

The question of cultural development plans is primarily the responsibility of the Minister for the Environment and Local Government. The Arts Council works closely with arts officers in local authorities.

Special tax incentives to encourage cultural developments.

This matter is being raised with the Minister for Finance.

Ombudsman to monitor State services provided through Irish.

Provision of State services through Irish being dealt with in context of “Bille na Gaeilge” presently in preparation.

Development of industries and cultural tourism in the Gaeltacht.

Ongoing by Údarás na Gaeltachta.

The situation regarding other commitments relating to the Irish language and the islands are primarily matters for other Government Departments and these are being addressed through the interdepartmental committee on the islands, the Gaeltacht and the Irish language chaired by the Minister of State at my Department.