Hedge Cutting Season

Question No. 85 answered with Question No. 75.

Ceisteanna (84)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

84. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the measures she will take to monitor the impact on wildlife and biodiversity of the extension to the periods for removing and cutting of hedgerows in 2019 contained in the Heritage Act 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1752/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The new provisions in relation to the cutting of hedgerows under Section 7 of the Heritage Act 2018 give the Minister power by Regulations to allow landowners or their agents to cut, in any hedge or ditch on the roadside during August, subject to such Regulations as the Minister may make. This provision will remain active for a pilot period of two years, with provision for continuation by resolution by each House of the Oireachtas for periods not to exceed 3 years

I am fully aware that these are a very important wildlife habitats, providing food, shelter, corridors of movement, nest and hibernation sites. It is my intention that the change set out in Section 7 of the Heritage Act would not interfere with this.

Ireland has some 300,000 kilometres of hedgerow mainly surrounding fields and properties across the country and only roadside hedges are subject to the provisions of the Heritage Act - a fraction of the entirety of the total hedgerow resource in this country.

In recognition of the importance of hedgerows, the Regulations will require that any cutting in the month of August may only be of the current year's growth and should not involve the use of heavy flails.

My Department will commission a study during this 2-year period focussed primarily on determining if there is any impact arising from the extension of the cutting season on late-nesting species of birds and in particular, the yellowhammer.

My Department will be publishing draft Regulations for public consultation on these issues in due course.

Question No. 85 answered with Question No. 75.

Arts Council Funding

Ceisteanna (86)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

86. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if there is an expectation or obligation on recipients of funding from the Arts Council to promote and develop Irish based productions; and if a proportion of funding is allocated to theatres on this basis. [1676/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Arts Council, which is independent in its funding decisions under Section 24 of the Arts Act 2003, operates within a published 10 year strategic framework entitled Making Great Art Work. This Plan describes the investment strategies, projects and programmes prioritises and sets out the achievements and milestones for this period. This strategy prioritises support for artists throughout their careers, by the involvement of many agencies in cultural provision, by the impact of the arts on the creative economy, and by the depth and breadth of people's engagement with the arts.

I am advised that recipients of Arts Council funding are based in Ireland or making or presenting work for Irish audiences. The majority of the work funded is developed in Ireland. Additionally, the Arts Council recognises the benefit to Irish audiences of experiencing work from overseas, and this is an integral part of the programmes of some festivals and venues. Funding to all organisations is based on the quality and impact of the individual programme or project proposed. No specific quotas or proportions are imposed.

Hare Coursing Regulation

Ceisteanna (87)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

87. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the steps she will take to prevent illegal trapping of hares in view of recent reports from An Garda Síochána of persons travelling to south County Kerry to illegally trap hares with an intention to selling the hares on for coursing events; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1679/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Any allegations made to my Department about illegal trapping of hares will be investigated where possible. If there is tangible evidence of such activities I would urge that it be made available to my Department.

My Department has no information as to the incidents in Co. Kerry mentioned by the Deputy.

Inland Waterways Development

Question No. 89 answered with Question No. 79.

Ceisteanna (88)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

88. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the specific capital funding that will be allocated towards maintenance and improvement works on the Erne and Shannon Waterway in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1765/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

In 2019, Waterways Ireland plans to complete 10.4km of Greenway enhancement towpath on the Shannon Erne waterway and to advance plans to secure funding to create a Greenway along this 64km route.

The specific capital funding that will be allocated towards maintenance and improvement works on the Shannon-Erne Waterway in 2019 by Waterways Ireland is €125,000.

Waterways Ireland is also partnered with local authorities in 3rd party projects in the amount of: €311,500.

These projects are as follows:

- Blueway Leitrim Village to Kilclare Trail Development - €162,000 (Waterways Ireland Contribution) - Partner: Leitrim County Council

- Blueway Ballyconnell to Bellaheady Bridge Trail Development - €124,500 (Waterways Ireland Contribution) - Partner Cavan County Council

- Aghalane to Lock 1 Corraquill Trail Extension Forward Planning Development - €25,000 (Waterways Ireland Contribution - Partner Cavan County Council.

Question No. 89 answered with Question No. 79.

Film Industry Development

Ceisteanna (90)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

90. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to ensure that future public funding for the film industry will be strictly conditional on the provision of quality employment and training, full compliance with employment legislation and participation in the film industry stakeholder forum proposed by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht report on the film industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1771/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Under the Creative Ireland Programme, the Government launched the Audiovisual Action Plan in June 2018. The Plan is a long-term, industry-wide strategy to enable Ireland to become a global hub for the production of Film, TV drama and animation. The Audiovisual Action Plan is underpinned by significant research and extensive consultation with stakeholders across the industry. Research was undertaken into the economic impact of the Audio-Visual Industry in Ireland and into training and skills development in the industry. The Action Plan places strong emphasis on actions relating to both training and the Section 481 tax relief.

At the same time, the Government established an Audiovisual High Level Steering Group to implement the Audiovisual Action Plan. The Steering Group provides for a whole-of-Government approach to the audiovisual industry with representatives from all Government Departments and State Agencies that have an involvement with the audiovisual industry.

As with every industry, the Irish film industry must observe employment law. In addition, everyone in the industry is entitled to a workplace which is dignified and free from bullying, harassment and intimidation of any kind. Screen Ireland is pro-active in this area and in recent years has provided a series of seminars on topics related to dignity in the workplace.

The Employment Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2018 was enacted in December. This legislation introduces important new protections for workers in sectors where employment terms are perceived to be becoming more precarious.

In July 2018, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht published a Report on the Development and Working Conditions in the Irish Film Industry. One of its recommendations is the organisation, by Screen Ireland, of a Film Forum, with an independent Chair, which would allow all stakeholders within the sector to meet and work together to develop mutually beneficial solutions for the industry. I have met with Screen Ireland on arrangements to hold an Forum that can focus on issues around employment and dignity at work.

Screen Ireland has been endeavouring to organise the Forum and had drawn up a list of all stakeholders to invite to the Forum. These include representatives of workers in the industry including:-

- The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)

- SIPTU

- Irish Film Workers Association (IFWA)

- GMBh Trade Union

- Screen Guilds of Ireland

The emergence of disputes between stakeholders have, however, impeded progress on the Forum. I understand that following the transmission of an RTÉ Prime Time programme on the film industry, ICTU and SIPTU stated that they would not attend a Forum to which the IFWA is invited, and that the Screen Guilds of Ireland have given a similar response. Based on the ICTU position, Screen Producers Ireland also indicated that it would not attend.

Screen Ireland has now written to the Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee requesting a meeting and also requesting that the Chair meet with ICTU, SIPTU, Screen Producers Ireland and the Screen Guilds of Ireland.

Meanwhile my Department continues to work with the Audiovisual High Level Steering Group to address issues in the audiovisual industry, and to support the industry and to the people who work in it.

Cultural Policy

Ceisteanna (91)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

91. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the details of the cultural ambassadors initiative and the ambassadors from County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1655/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

On Monday 7 January, 2019 I announced the appointment of five Cultural Ambassadors to assist in and enhance the promotion of Ireland in the global arena under the Government’s Global Ireland 2025 initiative.

Master musician and founding member of The Gloaming, Martin Hayes, leading architects, Shelly McNamara and Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, awarding winning actress Ruth Negga and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon have all accepted the role of Cultural Ambassador for a period of three years.

The Cultural Ambassadors will serve for a period of three years. In their role they will endeavour to raise the public focus on arts and culture as a means of promoting Ireland globally, provide advice and input on strategic cultural initiatives and participate in key events and projects.

The first such event is a conference of cultural stakeholders being held on 24 January which will discuss and debate how best to advance Ireland’s global visibility and strengthen global relationships. Further appointments of Cultural Ambassadors may be made over time in line with the Government's geographic and other priorities.

Of the five newly appointed Cultural Ambassadors two are originally from county Clare, i.e. musician Martin Hayes and architect Shelley McNamara.

Steeped in fiddle playing from an early age, Martin Hayes’ soulful interpretations of traditional Irish music are recognised the world over for their exquisite musicality and irresistible rhythm. He has toured and recorded with guitarist Dennis Cahill for over twenty years, and has collaborated with extraordinary musicians in the classical, folk and contemporary music worlds including performing with Brooklyn Rider and the Martin Hayes Quartet. Martin has contributed music, both original and traditional arrangements to modern dance, theatre, film and television and has performed on stage with Sting and Paul Simon and recently recorded with Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Project.

Martin has been recognized as Musician of the Year (Gradam Ceol) from TG4, Person of the Year by the American Irish Historical Society in New York City and is recipient of the annual Spirit of Ireland award from the Irish Arts Center in New York. He founded The Gloaming with whom he tours internationally and with whom he shared the prestigious Meteor Prize in 2014 for their debut album.

Shelley McNamara, graduate of UCD, is a co-founder with Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects established in 1978. Both, McNamara and Farrell, are Fellows of the RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland), and International Honorary Fellows of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) and elected members of Aosdána, the eminent Irish Art organisation. Teachers at the School of Architecture at University College Dublin from 1976 to 2002 and appointed adjunct Professors in 2015 , they have held the Kenzo Tange chair at GSD Harvard and the Louis Kahn chair at Yale University and have been visiting professors at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland; Accademia d’Archittettura, Mendrisio, Switzerland, where they were appointed as full professors in 2013. They have been external examiners at numerous universities including Cambridge University and The London Metropolitan School of Architecture. As well as public lectures in Dublin and abroad, including the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin and the Royal Academy in London, they have lectured widely in European and American Schools of Architecture.

Grafton Architects are winners of numerous international awards including the World Building of the Year Award 2008 for their building for the Universita Luigi Bocconi in Milan, which is widely acclaimed and recognised as a seminal contemporary work. They are currently working on the commission to design the new Marshall Building for the London School of Economics, United Kingdom; the new School of Economics for University Toulouse 1 Capitole; the new Town House Building at Kingston University London; and the Parnell Square Cultural Quarter Project – The New City Library in Dublin, Ireland.

Farrell and McNamara were the curators for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Film Industry

Ceisteanna (92)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

92. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will commission a report on work and conditions in the Irish film industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1709/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Last year, my Department published a wide-ranging comprehensive report on the Irish audiovisual industry which had been commissioned by Department along with the Departments of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Communications, Climate Action and the Environment. The Economic Assessment of the Audio-Visual Industry in Ireland was carried out by international consultants Olsberg SPI with Nordicity.

At the same time I launched the Audio-visual Action Plan an industry-wide, long-term plan, under the Creative Ireland Programme. This Plan represents the Government’s ambition to enable Ireland to become a global hub for the production of Film, TV drama and animation. The Plan is underpinned by significant research and extensive consultation with stakeholders across the industry.

Research was undertaken into the economic impact of the Audio-Visual Industry in Ireland and into training and skills development in the industry. The Action Plan places strong emphasis on actions relating to both training and the Section 481 tax relief.

The Government has established an Audiovisual High Level Steering Group to implement the Audiovisual Action Plan. The Steering Group provides for a whole-of-Government approach to the audiovisual industry with representatives from all Government Departments and State Agencies that have an involvement with the audiovisual industry.

As with every industry, the Irish film industry must observe employment law. In addition, everyone in the industry is entitled to a workplace which is dignified and free from bullying, harassment and intimidation of any kind. Screen Ireland is pro-active in this area and in recent years has provided a series of seminars on topics related to dignity in the workplace.

The Employment Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2018 was enacted in December. This legislation introduces important new protections for workers in sectors where employment terms are perceived to be becoming more precarious.

Meanwhile my Department continues to work with the Audiovisual High Level Steering Group to address issues in the audiovisual industry, and to support the industry and to the people who work in it. In light of these measures, I have, at present, no plans to commission such a report.

Commemorative Events

Ceisteanna (93)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

93. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the role of her Department in planning for State commemorations in 2019. [48203/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As the Minister with responsibility for leading the Decade of Centenaries commemorative programme, my priority is to ensure that the Government's approach to the remembrance of the significant historical events and related themes of the period from 1919 to 1923 is appropriate, measured, respectful, inclusive and sensitive to the different perspectives that persist on the events of this period.

At the Government's first cabinet meeting this year, I outlined my proposed overall approach to commemorations in 2019 and over the remainder of the Decade. This approach will continue to be informed by the guidance of the Expert Advisory Group on Centenary Commemorations - specifically, the principles laid down in the Advisory Group's Second Statement, which was published in October 2017, and also the most recent specific guidance from this Group, which I published on 8th January. The All Party Consultation Group also has a significant contribution to make. I look forward to continued positive engagement and consultation with both groups over the coming period.

Plans to mark the centenary of the Soloheadbeg Ambush on 21st January 2019 are well advanced. Tipperary County Council is supporting this community-led commemoration as part of a broader commemorative programme across the county to mark the centenary of the Independence Struggle. My Department is collaborating with Tipperary County Council to support these plans, in accordance with the most recent guidance of the Expert Advisory Group, which states that:

'Many of the events of this period have great local significance; it is therefore appropriate for local authorities and local community organisations to be encouraged to lead the commemorative process. Some events have been commemorated annually for decades and it would be inappropriate for the State to compete with these established ceremonies.

21st January also marks the centenary of the convening of the First Dáil. It is, I believe, very fitting that the Houses of the Oireachtas has a leading role in developing an inclusive and appropriate programme to mark this significant centenary and I understand that plans are well advanced in this regard.

My objective in developing the State Commemorative Programme for the years from 2019 – 2023 is to ensure that, in remembering this complex period in our history, which includes the Struggle for Independence, the Civil War, the Foundation of the State and Partition, we promote a deeper understanding of the significance of these events, which accepts that the shared historical experience of those years gave rise to very different narratives and memories. It will also take account of sensitivities across communities in Northern Ireland and continue to recognise that very different perspectives persist on many of these events.

This Programme will be based on a four strand approach comprising:

- A State Ceremonial Strand which will comprise a limited number of symbolic acts of national commemoration focusing on themes of remembrance and reconciliation and on the commemoration of all of those who lost their lives during this period.

- A Historical Strand which will comprise a diverse range of activities designed to encourage authentic historical enquiry about this period and promote the use of primary archival sources. Initiatives will be developed in collaboration with State partners, National Cultural Institutions, institutions of learning and other stakeholders.

- A Community Strand, which will involve a collaborative approach – similar to that adopted for the 1916 centenary commemorations – between the State, local authority network and community organisations, including in Northern Ireland where appropriate.

- The Creative Imagination Strand, which will continue to encourage artistic and creative expression in remembrance of the significant historical events of the period from 1919 to 1923 and all of those who lost their lives.