Dáil debates

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Priority Questions

Arts Funding

5:15 pm

Photo of Josepha MadiganJosepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

The event referred to by the Deputy was organised by Una Mullaly from The Irish Timesfor the International Literature Festival. Dublin City Council cited the guidance from the Referendum Commission, which, in turn, restates the guidance from the Attorney General that public funds, as I said earlier, should not be used to promote either side of the debate during a referendum. The mural referred to by the Deputy included the words "Repeal the Eighth" with a heart around them and was on the outside wall of the Project Arts Centre. The mural was created by Maser, an artist originally from Ireland who now lives in the US. Unfortunately, the mural ran contrary to the Charities Regulator's views on this. I know the Taoiseach made comments in the Dáil about it previously in response to a question from Deputy Coppinger. He said:

I understand this decision was made by the Charities Regulator, not the Government, and I assume the Charities Regulator would have taken the same approach or attitude had it been a pro-life or anti-abortion mural. I have no doubt but that the mural will appear elsewhere. Someone who owns a private building may wish to make the space available for the mural to be reinstated. Perhaps even the fact that it has been removed means more people saw it than might have otherwise seen it had it not been removed. While one can paint over a mural, one certainly cannot paint over an issue. The issue is that nine women every day in Ireland are forced to travel overseas to end their pregnancies and three women in Ireland every day - the number will only rise into the future - import pills online and take them without medical supervision and guidance, often in their own homes.


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