The Government's policy on the arts is to promote and strengthen the arts in all its forms, to increase access to and participation in the arts, and to make the arts an integral and valued part of our national life.
The Deputy will be aware that responsibility for the promotion of the arts at all levels throughout the country is primarily devolved to the Arts Council. Under the Arts Act 2003, the Arts Council is statutorily independent in its day-to-day operations and my Department has no role to play in its executive or funding decisions. Full information on the Council's funding decisions is made available on their funding decisions database on their website www.artscouncil.ie.
Within the current economic constraints, investment in the arts, heritage, culture and creative sectors is more important than ever, having regard to the employment intensity of these sectors. While I know that the Deputy appreciates the funding difficulties facing all Departments at this time, I can assure him that I remain committed to securing the best possible level of funding for these sectors. The specific allocations to be made over the current year will, of course, be dependent on the Department's budgetary position as the year progresses. Full details of all grant payments for the current year will be published on the Department's website in due course.