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Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht

National Cultural Institutions (National Concert Hall) Bill 2014: Discussion

3:10 pm

Photo of Ruth CoppingerRuth Coppinger (Dublin West, Socialist Party) | Oireachtas source

I thank the witnesses for the presentation and I have some questions, the first of which relates generally to the purpose of all this. I hear alarm bells ringing when I hear reference to the Government's public service reform programme. Private funding was mentioned so is this an attempt to make the National Concert Hall and other arts institutions more dependent on the private sector and less dependent on the Government? I have spoken to workers in various cultural institutions recently and some have been on strike - I am concerned by the impact on work conditions and terms of employment for staff. How will 24 confirmed staff transfer to the new statutory body on the same terms and conditions as previously?

Will the staff remain public sector workers, or will new staff be recruited on the same terms and conditions?

Reference was made to the controversy concerning the governance and autonomy of national cultural institutions in view of recent events. Mr. Ó Donnchú said that we must have absolute clarity about how these boards will function. Can he confirm whether there are vacancies on the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art at this time?

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