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Government Establishes Culture Ireland Agency
02 Mar 2005 :

Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism John O'Donoghue T.D. has announced the establishment of Culture Ireland, with a budget of €2 million for its first year, the new national agency to promote Irish arts overseas.

"Culture is perhaps the most resonant, identifiable and enduring aspects of our international identity and for the first time Ireland will now be able to take a formal proactive approach to the promotion of our artistic endeavours overseas", said Minister O'Donoghue.

Culture Ireland has been established under the provisions of the 2003 Arts Act, its remit includes the allocation of grants for overseas activity to Irish artists or arts organisations, the funding and facilitation of Irish participation at strategic international arts events and the management of emblematic cultural events either in Ireland or abroad. It is also expected to advise the Minister on international arts and cultural affairs.

The Board will be chaired by Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin who is a world renowned composer, performer, and academic. It also includes;
• Mr Davey Arthur, Musician
• Ms Mary Cloake, Director, Arts Council
• Ms Dearbhla Collins, Pianist and Music Teacher
• Mr Michael Grant, Assistant Secretary, Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism
• Ms Mary McCarthy, Deputy Director, Cork 2005:European Capital of Culture
• Ms Eve Molony, Businesswoman
• Mr Mark Mulqueen, Director Irish Film Institute
• Ms Doireann Ní Bhriain, Arts consultant and broadcaster
• Mr Gearóid Ó Broin, Assistant Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs
• Mr John O'Shea, Traditional music promoter
• Mr Peter Sirr, Poet
• Mr Patrick Sutton, Director, The Gaiety School of Acting

The agency aims to support artists right across the creative spectrum including theatre, music, dance, opera and film.

Culture Ireland Chairman Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin said that the agency would formalise the important work that had been done over the years by Government in promoting Ireland's art overseas. "This is an opportunity for Ireland to celebrate its many voices across many countries and continents, to lift up its own Diaspora in that celebration, and to continue to win the hearts and minds of an emerging global arts community."

Olive Braiden, Chair of the Arts Council welcomed the establishment of Culture Ireland and commented: “This excellent initiative is yet another indication of the value placed on the arts by Minister O’Donoghue and we congratulate him”.



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