Press Statement 19 May 2020
Specific Measures needed to support Arts Community in Limerick to ensure viability -O’Donnell
-Arts ‘major part of fabric of Limerick’ must come through the Pandemic intact
-Call to look at redirection of funding allocated to cancelled events to alternative events and/or training programmes
In a Dail debate last week, Limerick Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell has called for specific measures to support the Arts sector in Limerick to ensure they come through the pandemic intact. These should include redirection of funding for cancelled events into alternative programmes and retraining and Deputy O’Donnell has raised this proposal with Pat Daly, CEO of Limerick City & County Council. Also, we need to look at ways maximising capacity while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
As part for the ‘Roadmap for reopening society and business’ there is a phased approach for Arts centres with theatres set for opening in Phase 5 from 10th August.
Speaking during the Dail debate last week with the Arts & Culture Minister, Deputy O’Donnell said:
“We are very proud of our artist community here in Limerick. Theatres like the Lime Tree, Belltable and UL concert hall are very popular. Venues and practitioners in the community have major concerns about where they stand as we start to reopen. As one of the most exposed sectors of all, we need to put specific measures in place to bring them through this period intact and to look at ways to keep our artistic community viable here.
“Last Monday, I held a Zoom meeting with the arts community in Limerick. I spoke to artists across a range of disciplines. Significant challenges exist for the arts sector in Limerick to come through this pandemic. Venues have serious concerns about the audiences coming back. It is important that both performers and audiences have confidence to do so. Access to public liability insurance when venues resume is also a worry.
“It is important that we are regularly looking at social distancing and practices being followed in other countries to ensure that arts centres and theatres can resume in a way that ensures their viability.
“We also need to look at redirecting funding that was allocated to various cancelled events that were to take place during the pandemic. Perhaps these funds could be redirected to retraining artists and looking at other media in which to perform, such as street theatre and performances in outside areas. This is a matter I have raised with the Limerick City & County Council CEO Pat Daly and he has agreed to look at this proposal. Artists are a major part of the fabric of Limerick city and county and we need to keep artists and practitioners in the system locally.
Deputy Kieran O’Donnell concluded: “The Arts community in Limerick are positive, but, they are extremely apprehensive about the future. Many artists have come out of a crisis and I have no doubt that world-renowned artists will come out of this Covid pandemic. We must ensure they can come through it first.
Notes to editors:
Dail contribution can be viewed here https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/oireachtas-tv/video-archive/dail-videos/3191