Speech by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, at Creative Ireland Forum Reception


Director, elected members… Colleagues, friends…

Tá lúcháir orm bheith anseo arís san áit iontach seo – bhí mé anseo an tseachtain seo caite le sonraí thaispeántas Shéamus Heaney a fhógairt ag ócáid den scoth. Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghlacadh le Sandra Collins agus lena foireann as fáilte a chur romhainn arís inniu.

I’m glad to see so many people here this evening ahead of the first Creative Ireland Forum.  As you know, the Creative Ireland Programme is a key Government priority and I intend to work right across Government to ensure that the aims and objectives of the Programme are fully met over the next few years.

You all make a huge impact on the lives and wellbeing of the people of Ireland and have in some way been part of the Creative Ireland journey over the past year.  I would like to thank you for giving your time, energy and enthusiasm to the initiative and also look forward to hearing your ideas and thoughts at tomorrow’s forum – particularly as we move forward into year two of the Programme.

With just two weeks in the job, I am really looking forward to meeting many of you over the coming weeks and months.

We will talk about the substance of the Programme tomorrow but for this evening I really want to publicly thank everyone here this evening . The Culture teams and indeed the CEOs of the local authorities – many of whom are here this evening  – for the hard work. It is much appreciated and really has made a difference. I have seen for myself the impact in Dún Laoghaire where the recent People on the Pier Project comes to mind.

The Creative Ireland Team in my Department will continue to work closely with you next year to assist you to really push ahead with your Cultural Strategies.

In this regard, collaboration is key. At central level I will be driving this with help of my Cabinet Colleagues.  Ministers Harris, Bruton and Humphreys will be attending the Forum tomorrow as well as the Taoiseach of course. I’m sure this collaborative approach will be mirrored at local level – within local government and across its local partners.

I am also looking forward to meeting Commissioner Navracsics tomorrow to discuss culture and creativity in a European context – and also to launch the European Year of Cultural Heritage.  I would like to thank Beatrice Kelly from the Heritage Council who is our national co-ordinator for the year, for the work she has undertaken to date.

A chairde, tá ualach oibre déanta cheana féin faoi réimse Chlár Éire Ildánach, ach níl sa mhéid sin i ndáiríre ach tús.  Baineann Clár Éire Ildánach le saoránacht,  leis an bpobal agus lenár gcroíthe.

The Creative Ireland Programme is trying to do something very ambitious – seizing a moment, responding to a widespread sense of hope in our country that with returning prosperity we can do better this time – that we can invest in ourselves, and especially in our children and young people.

Go n-éirí libh agus feicfidh mé sibh amárach.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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