Thursday, 21 May 2020
Covid-19 (Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht): Statements
Josepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
The Deputy is right that the coming months will be very difficult for the heritage sector. I am not sure whether he was here earlier when I mentioned cafés, franchises and so forth on historical sites. There has been a huge loss of revenue for that sector, and the Heritage Council has carried out a number of surveys in which we have seen that. Some of the sites are free; some are not. There has been increased awareness about heritage, so it would be good to see families continue to use such sites. As the Deputy said, most people will staycation, to use that word, over the coming months.
Although the national parks and reserves have been open the entire time, the centres have not. We will always consider everything but this needs to be put in the context of resources and the fact that there has already been a demonstrative impact on the economics of heritage in general. The point Deputy Gino Kenny is making is really that we should give a boost to or kick-start it. Obviously, we are considering all of those options.