Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (45)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

45. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the status of talks between representatives of staff and performers and a theatre (details supplied). [16754/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As Minister for Culture, I have responsibility for setting overall vision and strategic direction for Ireland’s cultural sector. In the first instance, issues raised by Theatre practitioners should and are being resolved by dialogue between the Theatre Chair and Board, directors and the theatre practitioners. The Theatre in question and all theatre practitioners are a central part of our national culture and I have taken their concerns very seriously. It should also be noted that the Arts Council has been engaging with the Theatre in recent months about the employment opportunities and remuneration rates it provides for Irish based artists rates.

I would like to thank both the Theatre Practitioners and the Theatre for providing me with updates on the dialogue process to date. It is valuable for me and my Department to hear directly from the Theatre Practitioners and the Theatre on how concerns are being addressed and I appreciate them for taking the time to update me.

I was encouraged to read the statement issued on behalf of both parties after the conclusion of the first dialogue meeting on the 1st February, which stated that the meeting was a positive and productive first step for the Theatre Practitioners and the Theatre. However, I understood that there were a number of concerns which were outlined by the Theatre Practitioners that required continuing discussions and negotiations in order for a satisfactory outcome to be delivered. I am pleased to report that five meetings have now taken place between representatives of the Theatre Practitioners and the Theatre since the first dialogue meeting on the 1st February.

The schedule of meetings is as follows:

March 12: Actors and Agents;

March 15: Designers;

March 19: Directors;

March 22: Playwrights; and

March 27: Producers and Theatre Technicians.

I have been informed that these meetings were informative, constructive and productive. I am very supportive of the collective endeavours of the practitioners and the theatre to resolve the matters raised and welcome the commitment to dialogue and engagement. I look forward to a mutually satisfactory outcome.