4 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
New Arts Bill 2002 Published By Arts Minister
02 May 2002 :
Síle de Valera T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, announced the publication of the Arts Bill, 2002 at a function in the Arts Council's (An Chomhairle Ealaíon) offices on 10 April 2002.

The Arts Bill 2002 is intended to update the existing legislation to make it more relevant and appropriate to the present day context. It repeals the Arts Acts, 1951 and 1973. Minister Síle de Valera said "the need for the legislation is clear. It is over 50 years since the original Arts Act was passed into law and the changes in all areas of Irish life and society since then has been truly enormous. The original arts legislation was also enacted in the context where there was no Minister with specific responsibility for the arts, which is different from today's situation where the arts constitute a major part of my Ministerial portfolio".

Provisions of the Arts Bill 2002, include

  • A definition of the arts that continues to refer to constituent art forms, but will be sufficiently flexible to include traditional as well as emerging and innovative art forms, and art forms in Irish, English or any other language;
  • Provides that the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands shall promote the arts, both nationally and internationally, and gives recognition to the role of the Minister in formulating overall State policy on the arts;
  • The Arts Council will continue to be the principal State agency with responsibility for the promotion and development of the arts, and the plans and strategies of the Council will be required to be compatible with Government policy on the arts;
  • Specific recognition to the independence of the Arts Council in taking decisions on the disbursement of funding;
  • The Arts Council will be reduced from seventeen to nine members. Rolling membership is being introduced to provide for better continuity in the work of the Council.
  • A provision that public bodies shall, in the performance of any function that relate to the arts, have regard to Government policy relating to the arts;
  • That Local Authorities shall prepare and implement plans for the development of the arts within its functional areas and shall, in doing so, take account of policies of Government in relation to the arts. A Local Authority can also provide financial or other assistance for the arts within their functional areas.

The Arts Council will be required to establish three standing committees on Irish Traditional Arts, Arts Activity by Local Authorities, and New Art and Innovation, to advise the Arts Council on issues falling within their remit.

The publication of the arts bill followed a period of extensive public consultation. The Minister said that "I believe that those who took part in the consultation process will see in the Bill an adequate reflection of their contributions."

Copies of the Bill can be purchased directly from the Government Publications Sales Office, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 or by mail order from Government Publications, Postal Trade Section, 51 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2.


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