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denied possibilities Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell call on Irish Government to resume kids' acting classes

After eighteen months of closures across the sector, children are being denied the possibilities to dream"

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Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell are calling on the government to resume arts classes for kids.  Photo: Jordan Strauss/ AP)

Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell are calling on the government to resume arts classes for kids. Photo: Jordan Strauss/ AP)

Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell are calling on the government to resume arts classes for kids. Photo: Jordan Strauss/ AP)

Colin Farrell and Saoirse Ronan are among a growing number of stars calling on the government to address the resumption of indoor performing arts classes for children.

Actors Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Charlene McKenna are also supporting the campaign. “This is really imperative for the emotional and mental health of our children,” said Farrell.

The stars are backing the Performing Arts Educators of Ireland, who are calling for a statement regarding the relaxing of restrictions in September. Schools and classes have been closed for most of the past year and have faced closures for most of the pandemic.

The organisation, which supports and connects the schools of performing arts in Ireland, is calling on the government to make a statement on or before August 5th to relax restrictions on children’s performing arts classes for September. The PAEI is also calling on the government to immediately address the resumption of indoor dance classes and the performing arts.

Under current guidelines, indoor group sporting activities including exercise/dance classes are not permitted. During the summer months, the industry was also impacted by the fact that indoor summer camps were not permitted.

“After eighteen months of closures across the sector, children are being denied the possibilities to dream, to create, to experience friendship through drama, through art, through creativity,” said Farrell in an online video to support the campaign.

“The last eighteen months have been so hard for so many children. Children are really innocent victims of this global pandemic. They’ve been kept away from their friends, not able to play sports, not able to get together in a creative environment.

“This is really imperative for the emotional and mental health of our children.

“As someone who has attended the types of classes I’m speaking of, I can attest to the profound importance that they played in my life at a young age, in me trying to figure out not only myself but also the world around me.” Farrell was referring to classes he attended at the National Performing Arts School, run by his brother Eamon Farrell and his business partner Jill Doyle.

Saoirse Ronan has also lent her support to the campaign. “Through these types of classes, young people are afforded the opportunity to express themselves through the arts. These experiences could then inspire and motivate them to pursue working in our sector later on, and even make it a career,” said the four-time Oscar nominee.

“Remember that these young people are the ones that some day, will be in your favourite TV series or films.

“After eighteen months of denying children this access, you are denying them the possibilities to dream, create and experience what could give them the stepping stones to a career. Ireland’s future creative minds need a voice. They must return to classes. The stage is calling for them.”

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