Dáil debates

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Priority Questions

Arts Funding

5:15 pm

Photo of Paul MurphyPaul Murphy (Dublin South West, Solidarity) | Oireachtas source

Does the Minister not agree that there is a problem here? Censorship of art is happening under the banner that a referendum is due to take place. How far does it go? What will be censored next? Una Mullaly wrote about her event and stated:

My event was about a book. It was not a campaigning event. It was not a rally or a demonstration or a hustings. If I am said to be "taking a side", then what does shutting down an event about a book look like?

That one cannot hold an event that touches on an issue that is being discussed in a referendum seems to be an extremely over-zealous interpretation on the part of Dublin City Council around the question of the use of public funds. Again, with regard to the Charities Regulator, the interpretation is being used in such a way that the Catholic Church, which has charitable status, can campaign fully for retention of the eighth amendment, as is its right, with no threat to its charitable status because it is said to be linked to its core purpose. Yet an arts centre cannot have a piece of art that refers to and has a slogan about the repeal of the eighth amendment on it because it does not relate to its core purpose, but it is art. It is not campaigning; it is art. The Government can have an opinion on it. It can disagree with the Charities Regulator and have different regulations and a different interpretation of the law or, if necessary, there could be an amendment to the Charities Act.


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