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Buy Irish campaign needed to help out struggling artists, committee hears

An arts committee heard calls for a drive to support artists who have been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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A slogan at the Academy venue in Dublin captures the mood of the arts sector (Brian Lawless/PA)

A slogan at the Academy venue in Dublin captures the mood of the arts sector (Brian Lawless/PA)

A slogan at the Academy venue in Dublin captures the mood of the arts sector (Brian Lawless/PA)

The public has been urged to engage in a Buy Irish campaign to support the arts sector.

With the live performance sector one of the most severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the Oireachtas committee on arts has heard a proposal to mimic the Guaranteed Irish campaign  of the 70s and 80s.

Angela Dorgan, of the National Campaign For The Arts, welcomed the additional supports to the sector in this week’s budget.

But she said more could be done to support struggling artists in the pandemic.

She said: “Buy more Irish books, purchase more Irish work. Go to album charts, go to Spotify Ireland.

“We have a Made in Ireland playlist that we update every Friday with new Irish music.

“I think it would be amazing to do a Buy Irish campaign.

“I remember that growing up in the 80s, that buy Irish campaign.

“I think we’re all making that effort to mind each other in society.

“When there is stuff on digitally, support it.

“If there is a paywall, be aware that art isn’t free to make for the artist, so it shouldn’t be free to consume for us at the other end.

“All of this is of course said in the context that all of society are hurting.

“There is nobody awash with money at the moment because of this pandemic.

“But where and when you can, I think Buy Irish would be great. ”

More than 130 million euro was made available for the Arts Council in the budget.

A 50 million euro package of support for live entertainment was also introduced.

These measures were warmly welcomed by the National Campaign For The Arts.

But Ms Dorgan has warned that the available data suggests that employment levels in the the arts and culture sector will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

Online Editors