Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions


12:42 pm

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent) | Oireachtas source

They are left with the unemployment payment. I thank the Minister for his endeavours. I know the money is being spent, and I am not denying that, but it is not trickling down to the people. The Minister knows it and the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media knows it. I am appealing again for the Government to look after the musicians. They never put their hand out and they are proud people. They are in a perilous situation. They were knocked off and the industry, venues and gigs were closed down. They had lots of gigs booked. This is the busiest time of the year. They hoped there would be good news. Through no fault of their own, they are now penniless and they are going to the community welfare office. I thank the officials in social welfare who are doing their best. However, there is some blockage at the top, at a very senior level. It is reflected in the way these people are being treated. The Government was forewarned about this by the MEAI months ago. It happened in the first round when they were left out - the big organisations, and I should not be singling any of them out, the arts centres and all the centres. The Arts Council got massive moneys That is not fair, because it has the wherewithal of spin doctors and PR people and all, but the ordinary man in the van ag canadh agus ag imirt did not. I like to dance. Often we had a dance with our wives and other people. We talked about it as we were dancing together. Of course, I like to dance, like many people.


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