Thursday, 21 May 2020
Covid-19 (Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht): Statements
Alan Farrell (Dublin Fingal, Fine Gael)
I apologise to the Minister for not being here for her opening remarks. I have read them.
Last week, I raised with her in the House the fact that I envisage that a considerable or small portion of the Department's budget cannot be expended in particular spheres because of Covid-19 and public performances being suspended, among other things. Is she in a position to outline an internal or departmental road map in respect of how such resources can be reallocated to support various sectors within her Department?
Of course, this relates to performance artists, musicians and all of those who are unable to practise their particular profession.
On heritage, the subject of today's discussions, will the Minister provide more detail on top of what she already mentioned in her opening remarks on the importance of supporting our heritage centres throughout the country to promote tourism? We will see a significant amount of holidaying in Ireland when all of this ends - something that we should encourage - because people will be reluctant to get onto aircraft, which is understandable. From the Department's perspective, are there any initiatives it proposes to roll out in tandem with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to highlight and encourage such activities? In terms of historic buildings and our national heritage sites, we should ensure that these facilities are marketed in Ireland to Irish people as destinations. Are there plans within the Department to improve the facilities being provided, including organising activities at these sites and similar endeavours? Perhaps the Minister would provide a brief outline of any proposals in that area.