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28 Jun 2022

Minister visits Kilkenny to celebrate revival of county's arts scene

Butler Gallery

Butler Gallery in Kilkenny

Minister Catherine Martin visited Kilkenny today to celebrate the revival of the county’s arts scene during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister Martin was hosted by Green Party Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, who showed the minister around his hometown. They were joined by representatives from the local Green Party, Kilkenny City Councillor Maria Dollard, Piltown representative Benny McDonagh and Bagnelstown representative Liam O’Brien.

Meetings and visits in Kilkenny centred around film, heritage, festivals and art, tying in culture and tourism initiatives.

As Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin announced several measures this year to assist the arts sector in their recovery, including the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme and some €50m to assist live performance, venues and artists.

This included a €1.7m Music Industry Stimulus Package; €335,500 for the Music Capital Scheme, a €15m Live Performance Restart Grant Scheme; and capital grants of almost €540,000 for arts and culture organisations to upgrade and develop their facilities.

“After a difficult period for the arts in Ireland, it’s wonderful to see the culture and creativity of places like Kilkenny not only recover, but flourish," said Minister Martin.

"My Department is committed to supporting the arts, and I want to thank my colleague Minister Noonan for inviting me to meet the people working to bring so many exciting festivals and events to Kilkenny, and the opportunity to see this cultural investment in action.”

Welcoming Minister Martin to Kilkenny, Minister Malcolm Noonan said Kilkenny delivers way beyond its size in terms of creative and cultural impact, and our reputation as a hub for the arts is well deserved.

"It was fantastic to be able to introduce my colleague, Minister Martin to some of the local people leading the way for Kilkenny, and discuss development opportunities for the city, the wider region and the sector as a whole," he said.

Green Party Councillor for Kilkenny City Maria Dollard said she was delighted Minister Martin was able to visit.

"Kilkenny’s festivals are a great opportunity to welcome people from all around the world to our city and demonstrate both our creativity and inclusivity through a broad range of cultural events and activities,” she said.

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