Arts & Culture

The arts embody so much of the soul and spirit of our communities. Those who dedicate their working lives to arts and culture need our support.

My priorities as Labour spokesperson on Arts and Culture:

Reversing the decades-long decline of artistic spacesThe past 20 years have seen countless creative spaces bought out and lost forever. We need the State and City Council to turn the tide by directly purchasing, protecting and expanding dedicated spaces for cultural and artistic activities. 

Securing the livelihoods of artists and cultural workersDublin City has more than 27,000 artists and cultural workers but less than 600 artistic workspaces. In 2020, as many as 41% of Dublin's artists were actively seeking a secure space in which to work. We need greater support for existing studios and action to address precarious income patterns for those who make a living in the arts. 

Delivering a fair basic income for artists: Supporting the arts means providing reliable financial support to those who have dedicated their working lives to the sector. A targeted basic income scheme is currently being trialled, but we must ensure it is structured to ensure artists can pay their bills while being afforded the time they need to create. 

Widening access to arts and culture in schools: We must ensure that every child has access to music and drama in this country, and that access is embedded into our education system. 

Ensuring a sustainable future for local and national media: Ireland has a very proud tradition of journalism. It’s vital that we take steps to secure the future of local, national and especially public-service broadcasting in an increasingly digital world dominated by social media giants.

Meaningful long-term investment in the Irish language: Irish is a very special part of our culture and more needs to be done to protect and promote the language. We must increase state funding to services like TG4 which bring our national language to life for so many people.

Promoting a thriving night-time economy with workers at its heart: Ireland's club culture and night economy have been badly hit in recent years. We can refresh and reimagine our country's approach to nightlife through modernising licensing laws, reforming opening hours, greater support for cultural events and, crucially, by promoting secure, well-paid employment in the entertainment and hospitality sectors.