April 26, 2024
My new Bill to recognise the art of comedy is ‘no joke’ – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Gaeilge, Gaeltacht, Arts and Culture, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, has submitted his latest piece of legislation to amend the Arts Act 2003 to ensure comedy and comedians are no longer excluded from Arts Council funding and support.

His Arts (Recognition of Comedy) (Amendment) Bill 2024, which follows on from a public petition that gathered over 1,000 signatures, would add comedy to a list of recognised art forms that already includes visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture, and will now be checked for compliance with standing orders before it can be introduced to the Dáil.

The Dublin South Central TD explained:

“This Bill is no joke. As a result of not being mentioned explicitly in the Arts Act 2003, the art of comedy, and the comedians who write and perform, are in effect being excluded from opportunities for arts funding, resources, and development by An Chomhairle Ealaíon (the Arts Council).

“This doesn’t have to be the case, as the Arts Act of 2003 defines the arts as ‘any creative or interpretive expression in whatever form’, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has stated that the already-recognised art of theatre could be interpreted to include standup, improv and sketch comedy.

“The Arts Council has, however, chosen a narrower interpretation, with comedians explicitly excluded from eligibility for theatre bursaries and the basic income for the arts, left with no pathway to arts funding.

“Other Arts Councils fund comedy, including in Scotland and New Zealand.

“Given the international renown of Irish comedians around the world, it is important that comedians are valued at home, not least because of the joy they inspire, the reflection they provoke, and the jobs and venues they sustain which help facilitate other art forms and community engagement with the arts, none of which are a laughing matter.

“A petition by comedian Ailish McCarthy has already gathered over 1,000 signatures in support of recognition, and making this one-word amendment to the Arts Act could recognise the work and contribution of a cohort within the arts that has long been neglected.

“Many other issues across the arts require attention, and as Sinn Féin continues its current public consultation as we try to develop a more comprehensive policy, we hope to identify what changes are needed to make sure everyone is included.

“We encourage creators, performers, arts workers and art lovers of all kinds to fill out our online arts survey before the 30th April deadline here.”

ENDS

Ní ábhar magaidh é mo Bhille nua chun ealaín an ghrinn a aithint – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Tá urlabhraí Gaeilge, Gaeltachta, Ealaíon agus Cultúir Shinn Féin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, tar éis a phíosa reachtaíochta is déanaí a chur isteach chun Acht Ealaíon 2003 a leasú chun a chinntiú nach gcoimeádfar amach an ghreann nó fuirseoirí as maoiniú agus tacaíochta an Chomhairle Ealaíon a thuilleadh.

Déanfar a Bhille Ealaíon (Aitheantas don Ghreann) (Leasú) 2024 a sheiceáil le cinntiú go ritheann sé le buanorduithe sular féidir é a thionscnú sa Dáil, Bille a eascraíonn ó achainí poiblí atá tar éis os cionn 1,000 sínithe a bhailiú, agus a dhéanfadh greann a chur isteach sa liosta de ealaíona aitheanta a chuimsíonn amharc-ealaíona, amharclannaíocht, litríocht, ceol, rince, ceoldrámaíocht, sorcas agus ailtireacht cheana féin.

Mhínigh an TD ar son Baile Átha Cliath Lár Theas:

“Ní ábhair magaidh é an Bille seo. Toisc nach bhfuileadar sonraithe go soiléir in Acht Ealaíon 2003, tá an ghreann mar ealaíon agus fuirseoirí scríofa agus stáitse fágtha ar láir i bhfírinne ó dheiseanna maidir le maoiniú, áiseanna agus forbairt ealaíon ag an gComhairle Ealaíon.

“Ní gá go mbeadh rudaí mar atá, toisc go ndéanann Acht Ealaíon 2003 cur síos ar na healaíona mar “léiriú cruthaitheach nó léirmhínitheach ar bith i gcibé sórt”, agus tá sé ráite ag an Roinn Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán go bhféadfá brí a bhaint as ealaíon sean-aitheanta an amharclannaíochta go gcuimsítear an ghreann ar na boinn, tobchumtha, nó sceitse.

“Tá sainmhíniú níos teoranta roghnaithe ag an gComhairle Ealaíon áfach, agus tá fuirseoirí fágtha amach go sonrach as sparánachtaí amharclannaíochta agus an mbunioncam ealaíon, gan bealach ar bith teacht ar mhaoiniú ealaíon.

“Déanann Comhairlí Ealaíon eile maoiniú ar an ngreann, in Albain agus sa Nua-Shéalainn mar shampla.

“I gcomhthéacs an aitheantas idirnáisiúnta atá bainte amach ag fuirseoirí na hÉireann ar fud an domhain, tá sé tábhachtach go n-aithnítear a luach sa bhaile, go háirithe toisc an gliondar a spreagann siad, an machnamh a mhúsclaíonn siad, agus na poist agus ionaid atá coimeádta ar an bhfód acu, a éascaíonn cineáil eile ealaíon agus rannpháirtíocht pobail leis na healaíona. Ní cúis gáire ceachtar acu sin.

“Tá os cionn 1,000 sínithe bailithe ag achainí de chuid an fuirseoir Ailish McCarthy i dtaca le aitheantas, agus tríd an leasú seo aon-fhocal a dhéanamh ar an Acht Ealaíon is féidir obair agus ionchur grúpa sna healaíona ar a dhéantar neamhaird go rialta a aithint.

“Tá a lán ábhair eile trasna na healaíona ar gá díriú isteach orthu, agus fad is atá Sinn Féin ag tabhairt faoi comhairliúcháin poiblí reatha chun polasaí níos cuimsithí a fhorbairt, tá súil againn oibriú amach cén athruithe eile a theastaíonn chun gach duine a chuimsiú.

“Molaimid cruthaitheoirí, taibheoirí, oibrithe ealaíon agus daoine ar breá leo gach saghas ealaíon ár suirbhé ealaíon a líonadh amach ar líne roimh an 30ú Aibreáin ag https://outreach.sinnfein.ie/suirbhe-ealaiona/ .”

CRÍOCH

Note to editor:

  • You can view the Arts (Recognition of Comedy) (Amendment) Bill 2024 in full here.
  • You can view the Explanatory Memorandum on the Bill in full here.

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