Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 30 June 2020
Special Committee on Covid-19 Response
Impact of Covid-19: Arts and Entertainment Sector
We are joined by representatives from the National Campaign for the Arts, NCFA, the Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group, EPIC, and the Event Industry Association of Ireland. From committee room 1, I welcome Ms Angela Dorgan, chair of the steering committee, and Ms Aideen Howard, member of the steering committee, from the NCFA; Ms Sophie Ridley, chairperson, and Mr. Shane Dunne, deputy chairman, from the Event Production Industry Covid-19 Working Group; and Ms Elaine O'Connor, joint co-founder, and Mr. David Mongey, industry representative group member from the Event Industry Association of Ireland.
I wish to advise our guests that, by virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, witnesses are protected by absolute privilege in respect of their evidence to the committee. If, however, they are directed by the committee to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and they continue to so do, they are entitled thereafter only to a qualified privilege in respect of their evidence. They are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given and they are asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise or make charges against any person, persons or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable. We expect witnesses to answer questions asked by the committee clearly and with candour, but witnesses can and should expect to be treated fairly and with respect and consideration at all times. If witnesses have any concern in that regard, I ask that they raise it with me.
I invite Ms Dorgan to make his opening statement and ask that he limit it to five minutes as a copies of it were circulated to members in advance.