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 key points from the Referendum Commission, which takes in the Attorney General's advice, is that any information disseminated by Government or any agencies or bodies involving the use of public funds must be equal, fair, impartial and neutral and that the Government is not entitled to spend public money for the purpose of promoting a campaign for a particular outcome. The Taoiseach said in the Dáil that he did not find the mural in any way offensive but he did not think it would be murals or posters that would change people's minds or convince them regarding this issue.

What we need is proper independent information such as we are getting from the Referendum Commission, which just started its work in recent days, and those of us who wish to advocate change going out there and speaking to people one-to-one, not berating them or preaching to them, but listening to their concerns and answering their questions. I think the Deputy is aware of my views about wishing to have the eighth amendment repealed, but we still have to obey the law and the guidelines of the Referendum Commission on both sides of this debate. I also point out that the Project Arts Centre received €718,000 from my Department in 2018. Art has always had the potential to stimulate conversation and be a driver for social change. I hope it will continue to do so.


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