Minister for Arts has ‘sidelined’ herself in discussion on reopening sector – SF

Martin ‘capitulating’ by saying she has no role in path of reopening arts – O’Snodaigh

Arts Minister Catherine Martin has been accused by Sinn Féin of capitulating and sidelining herself during the debate on reopening the arts sector.

Ms Martin, who unsuccessfully sought to be included in a meeting of the Cabinet subcommittee on Covid-19 on Thursday, had "deflected and said she had no ability to influence the rollout of a timeframe for the events industry coming back to work fully," Sinn Féin's culture spokesman Aengus O Snodaigh said on Thursday.

“Minister Martin is sidelined, because that’s what she’s done herself by capitulating and saying she has no role in this and it’s over to the Covid committee. That’s not good enough, it’s not good enough as Minister for Culture,” he said.

“Having done so, it shows her own failures. Now in particular it is up to Micheál Martin as Taoiseach, LV as minister for enterprise, to ensure there is clarity as quick as possible as to when the events industry is going to be opened in full.”


Eoin O Broin, the Sinn Féin housing spokesman, also called on the Government to provide clarity and a roadmap for reopening the sector.

“What everybody wants is clarity… surely it is reasonable to give people that roadmap,” he said. “We’ve had it for sports, restaurants, indoor retail, I think the Government needs to provide that clarity for everybody”

Mr O Broin, who was launching Sinn Féin legislation on improving the inspection regime for emergency accommodation, said that he was shocked and saddened by the death of homeless campaigner Anthony Flynn.

“I was both shocked and deeply saddened by the news of his death yesterday, as well as obviously by the events surrounding his death. I would like to express my deepest condolences to his family, to his friends, those who knew him, as well as the staff at Inner City Helping Homeless,” he said.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said that the Health Information and Quality Authority should be given powers to inspect emergency homeless accommodation, and that Sinn Féin would be introducing legislation to do so early in the next Dáil term.

“People experiencing homeless and emergency accommodation, whether it’s singles or families, are already dealing with enough stress and trauma. What they also don’t need to have to deal with is inadequate accommodation”

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times