Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

National Cultural Institutions

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
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109. To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she has conducted a needs assessment regarding future funding of the national cultural institutions, in particular the National Archives, National Museum and National Library; if she is cognisant of the urgent need to invest in these areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46865/14]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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In the recent Budget, I was pleased to be able to maintain funding for 2015 for the national cultural institutions, including the National Museum, at the same level as 2014. This brought to an end the cycle of unavoidable cuts that have taken place at all of our national cultural institutions in recent years, as the Government worked to rebalance the public finances.

I was, of course, aware of particular funding issues that continued to exist and I have been engaged in ongoing discussions with Chairs and senior management at a number of our cultural institutions, including the National Museum, about addressing those challenges. I was delighted, therefore, to be able to announce last week that I have secured an agreement with the Minister for Public and Reform Expenditure, Brendan Howlin TD, to provide an additional €2 million in funding for the National Cultural Institutions as part of the Revised Estimates, to be published later this month.

The additional funding secured will be used to deal with a number of issues across the cultural institutions. I believe that it gives more certainty to the institutions and will allow them to continue to deliver on their core objectives, while attracting large numbers of people through their doors, including overseas and domestic tourists.

Our national cultural institutions are an essential component of our cultural fabric. Through their collections and exhibitions, they make a huge contribution to our society. I can assure the Deputy of the Government's interest in, and continuing support for, our national cultural institutions and I remain hopeful that, notwithstanding the continuing pressure on the State's finances, it will prove possible to ease the resource constraints on the institutions even further in the future.


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