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Restrictions Pressure mounting on Culture and Arts Minister Catherine Martin to reopen live sector

'There are so many livelihoods dependent on the music sector'

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Catherine Martin

Catherine Martin

Catherine Martin

Pressure is mounting on Culture and Arts Minister Catherine Martin to publish a roadmap for reopening of the live sector. 

Ms Martin is to meet representatives of the music industry on Wednesday after promising them that a roadmap for restarting large-scale concerts and cultural events will be published at the end of this month.

The Music and Entertain- ment Association of Ireland (MEAI) is urging the Government to set a date for the reopening, questioning why junior minister Jack Chambers has been able to get tens of thousands of fans into Croke Park and Ms Martin has gone missing.

Under current Government guidelines, 200 people can attend most venues and 500 can attend venues with a capacity of over 5,000.

Twenty-four thousand GAA fans attended last weekend's semi-finals in Croke Park, with the number due to increase to 40,000 for the All-Ireland finals later this month.

"There are so many livelihoods dependent on the music sector.

"Why is it that it has been left ignored?

"Why is it that supports for the industry have taken longer to come than supports for other industries?" said Matt McGranaghan, spokesman for MEAI.

Mr McGranaghan said that Wednesday's meeting with stakeholders should have taken place weeks ago.

Government members of the Oireachtas Culture and Arts committee have said the roadmap needs to be published quicker.

Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne called on Ms Martin to make a statement on the matter and to publish the roadmap immediately.

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"It's crazy on the part of the Government that we still don't have a very clear strategy about how we can safely open up," he said.

Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon said that a roadmap should be "certainly" published quicker.

"This industry has been seriously impacted the last 18 months and I think that like all the other hospitality and publican businesses, they just want to be able to prove that they can reopen in a safe way," he said.

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