The Arts: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Niamh Smyth on Wednesday, 22 June 2016:
"That Dáil Éireann:
accepts that:
- the arts are essential to the wellbeing and advancement of the Irish people;
- a thriving arts and culture sector makes a positive contribution to the Irish nation; and
- while the arts have an intrinsic value of their own in national life, they also represent an important economic sector, in terms of employment and tourism; and
acknowledges that:
- there is anger, disquiet and disbelief about the effective dilution of the arts as a Cabinet portfolio; and
- public investment in the arts is low by international standards;
commits to:
- protecting the independence of the arts community;
- ensuring a stable, sustainable and secure funding model for the arts with progressive increases in State expenditure in line with improvements in the economy and the public finances;
- enabling full community engagement and benefit from State arts funding;
- supporting the ‘arm’s length principle’ which promotes the Arts Council’s autonomy in disbursing State funding to artists and arts organisations;
- providing much needed investment in the modernisation of facilities offered by the national cultural institutions, where this is lacking;
- enhancing arts provision in our education system and, in particular, increasing music provision in primary schools;
- encouraging all national cultural institutions and, in principle, other bodies in receipt of Arts Council or Government grants to provide discount entry tickets to all young people under the age of 26;
- supporting, in particular, Irish music and dance, and seeking to embrace fully within the arts sector the organisations which provide education, support and events in these areas;
- ensuring that local authorities implement a local arts action plan which benefits local communities and local artists and brings the arts directly to the people;
- re-establishing Culture Ireland as an autonomous entity to promote Irish arts and culture internationally;
- promoting an awareness of the role of arts in society and to promote philanthropy as the heart of that awareness campaign;
- fostering greater dialogue and partnership between the national cultural institutions and the universities of Ireland;
- maintaining the competitiveness of the Irish film industry and film-making in Ireland through appropriate incentives, whilst facilitating the use of heritage in State ownership, where it can be done without prejudice to its integrity;
- encouraging active co-operation between the Arts Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, in particular tours of the island by selected exhibitions and performances; and
- examining the introduction of an Arts Capital Grants Scheme, similar to the Sports Capital Programme; and
- calls for:
- cross-party support to be developed on Culture 2025 with its adoption as national policy being subject to the approval of Dáil Éireann; and
- the restoration of the arts as a distinct and clearly defined Cabinet portfolio providing leadership and State support to the sector.”
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
1. (a) To insert the following after “accepts that”:
“— artistic endeavour and creativity define what it is to be human;”
(b) To insert the following after “advancement of the Irish people”:
“and humanity in general”
(c) To delete the words:
“— ensuring a stable, sustainable and secure funding model for the arts with progressive increases in State expenditure in line with improvements in the economy and the public finances;”
and replace with:
“— increasing State funding of the arts to the European average of 0.6 per cent of gross domestic product, GDP; and adding an additional €75 million in funding to the arts in budget 2017;
— removing the ‘availability for work’ requirement for registered artists on jobseeker's allowance to allow artists to do unpaid work;”
(d) To insert the following after “increasing music provision in primary schools”:
“— ensuring all children have greater access to culture and art as a right, both within and outside education;
— establishing a new fund targeted at promoting access to arts in participation in disadvantaged areas for adults and children;
— opening up existing facilities such as schools and colleges for after-school artistic activities for children and teenagers and opening up the National Asset Management Agency’s, (NAMA, buildings for use by local arts organisations;” and
(e) To insert the following after “calls for”:
“— the establishment of a ‘new deal’ jobs programme to deliver at least 5,000 new jobs in the public sector for artists, offering an opportunity for artists to contribute their skills and creativity to society in areas such as education, special needs, disability, mental health and disadvantaged communities and for the elderly;"
- Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett.

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to the Private Members' motion on the arts. On Wednesday, 22 June 2016, on the question that the amendment to the motion be agreed to, a division was claimed and in accordance with Standing Order 72 that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 14; Níl, 94.

  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Coppinger, Ruth.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Wallace, Mick.


  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breathnach, Declan.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Curran, John.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Noonan, Michael.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Mick Barry and Richard Boyd Barrett; Níl, Deputies Michael Moynihan and Fiona O'Loughlin.
Amendment declared lost.
Motion agreed to.

Can Members leaving the Chamber please do so quietly?