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Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media | Culture, arts, sports and Gaeltacht affairs in Co Kildare

To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media the extent to which she continues to liaise with cultural and artistic groups in County Kildare and throughout the country at large, with a view to encouraging interest in the arts, sports, Gaeltacht affairs and cultural activities given the importance of these issues by way of recovery after Covid; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

My Department’s priorities are set out in its published Statement of Strategy 2021—2023.  The overarching  goal is to ensure the “sectors recover and grow in a manner that underpins social cohesion and supports strong, sustainable economic growth, with a focus on a number  of cross cutting goals of equality, diversity,  social inclusion, the Irish language and  environmental sustainability”.   The Strategy sets out the actions that my Department will take over the coming period, both nationally and regionally, to enrich the quality of life in Ireland through supporting the development of tourism, culture, arts, sports, media and Irish language.  In addition to their immense inherent value, these are valued by all of our communities as important resources for social cohesion, individual and community wellbeing and for the presentation of Ireland as an attractive destination for tourism and sustainable inward investment.   

In the context of culture, the goal is to “support and develop engagement with, and in arts, culture and creativity by individuals and communities thereby enriching lives through cultural activity; and to promote Ireland’s arts, culture and creativity globally while also coordinating the Decade of Centenaries 2012–2023 commemorations programme. 

Earlier this year,   I announced the Government’s decision in principle to extend the Creative Ireland Programme until 2027.  Local authorities across Ireland have been charged with the delivery of Pillar 2 component of the national Creative Ireland plan, ‘Enabling Creativity in Every Community’. Within this, the vision for Kildare is to augment and nurture a valued network of partners that collaborate to achieve shared outcomes for culture and creativity in County Kildare. 

I understand that Co Kildare has strong traditions in choral, orchestral and traditional music, amateur drama, youth theatre and musical societies, with a large cohort of professional artists, arts collectives and creatives residing in, working in and enriching the county. Local history and Irish language initiatives are set against the natural and archaeological heritage. 
Programmes and events such as Cruinniú na nÓg, Culture Night, Kildare Readers Festival, the Library Service annual programme and Play Day punctuate the cultural calendar, alongside a vibrant year-round festival programme. Initiatives such as the ‘Kildare Short Grass Films’ commission support creatives and highlight the county’s offerings.

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