22nd April 2021 | Green Gazette

Green Ministers announce €40m in sports funding, publish anti-racism report and honour community volunteers

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Minister Martin welcomes €40m in funding by Sport Ireland

Sport Ireland announced an investment of €40 million to National Governing Bodies for Sport (NGBs), High Performance athlete support and to the network of Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) for 2021. Welcoming the announcement, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, acknowledged the importance of sport and physical activity.

“The past year has shown us yet again the important role that sport and physical activity plays in our lives and the vital contribution it makes to our physical and mental wellbeing”, Minister Martin said. “I am delighted to announce today’s funding to the sport sector to further assist the work of National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships to encourage people to be more active and to support their ongoing development. In Budget 2021, the Government made a commitment to support the sector and we are engaging closely with the sector to ensure their needs are met and that sport will emerge from the Covid-19 crisis in a strong position.”

Minister O’Gorman publishes Interim Report of Independent Anti-Racism Committee and outlines changes to Direct Provision

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, this week published the Interim Report of the Independent Anti-Racism Committee and opened its public consultation, as part of the development of a new National Action Plan against Racism for Ireland. The report sets out the overall approach the Committee is taking to its work, which is in keeping with fundamental principles of human rights and informed by United Nations guidance on tackling racism.

“Racism is an ongoing and complex problem, the effects of which are felt throughout society, and I am committed to ensuring that this Government plays a leading role in tackling it”, Minister O’Gorman said. “I look forward to the National Action Plan against Racism that is due later this year, and I will continue to work with the Committee as they proceed with this important work. This is why I welcome the launch of the Committee’s Public Consultation today as it gives everyone an opportunity to have their say about how we can effectively tackle racism in all its forms in Ireland today.”

The Anti-Racism Committee’s Public Consultation will be open until 14 July 2021, and written submissions can be made by email to antiracism@equality.gov.ie.

Minister O’Gorman also outlined this week the changes being implemented to make life better for those currently living in Direct Provision including vulnerability assessments, independent inspections, extending the right to work, access to driving licences and free period products.

“In making a home here, people seeking protection strengthen and enrich our communities, and as a State, we have a responsibility to support their integration”, Minister O’Gorman stated. “We know that the Irish public want to see an end to Direct Provision and see those who come here seeking protection receive better support. The White Paper on Ending Direct Provision and creating a new International Protection Support Service commits us to that.”

Minister O’Brien highlights importance of volunteering at the Volunteer Ireland Conference

Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities this week opened the Volunteer Ireland – National Volunteer Management Conference 2021 by highlighting the importance of volunteers and volunteer managers throughout the country particularly in the context of the Covid pandemic and the immense volunteer efforts that have been evident in communities across Ireland over the past year.

“The exceptional community response that we have witnessed this past year to such extreme adversity and upheaval to all our normal lives – the type of which we could never have imagined – could not have happened without selfless volunteers coming forward to help and, crucially, volunteer managers and volunteer organisations, helping to coordinate and maximise these efforts,” Minister O’Brien said.

“The extraordinary events of the past year have certainly shown us the value of good volunteer management in important areas such as screening and selecting the right volunteer for the right roles, training and inductions, support and supervision, and knowing how to deal with conflict.”

Minister Martin announces the addition of a significant body of artworks to the National Collection

Minister Catherine Martin TD has announced that 422 artworks by 70 artists will be added to the National Collection thanks to the €1m fund provided to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the Crawford Art Gallery in October 2020.

The body of 422 artworks by 70 artists from across the country has been selected through a rigorous process by both institutions to ensure strategic and thoughtful acquisitions for the nation. Spanning from 1972 to 2021, the works consist of paintings, photographic work, drawings, sculpture, installations, moving image, sound work, film, digital work, embroidery and performance.

“We are all aware of how difficult a time this has been for everybody in the artistic community,” Minister Martin said. “I am delighted to provide funding to IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery so that they can support living artists by the purchase of their work. I am confident that our National Cultural Institutions will do justice to these artists in how they represent their work.”

“I look forward to see how IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery will share these new additions nationally and internationally where they can be widely viewed by the public and act as a reservoir for future enjoyment, inspiration and research.”

Minister Hackett chairs Horticulture Industry Forum

This week, the Horticultural Industry Forum (HIF) met with the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Horticulture, Senator Pippa Hackett. The Horticulture Industry Forum (HIF) was formed in 2014 as an umbrella organisation, for growers of Irish produce, to address challenges and highlight opportunities for the industry. HIF brings together the broad elements of the Horticulture Sector including Field Vegetables, Protected Crops, Soft Fruit and Top Fruit, Mushrooms, Amenity and Potatoes.

After co-chairing the meeting, which discussed ways to progress key issues within the industry, Minister Hackett said, “This is a sector with huge potential and today was a welcome opportunity to look at important areas for its development, including grower collaboration, research and development, market opportunities and public policy. Such development will take effort and commitment, which is why I was happy to secure a substantially increased budget allocation for horticulture for the 2021. The 50% budget increase for the scheme of investment aid for the development of the commercial horticulture sector, to €9 million, highlights my commitment to this sector and signals clearly that we are supporting its ongoing expansion and development.”