Autumn 1997


It will be a further sign of Ireland’s cultural and artistic maturity when due recognition and acknowledgement are given to our native traditions in the life of the State. For too many years, elements such as traditional music, song and dance were at best peripheral in many areas such as education, tourism, funding, etc. It will require a radical and generous reappraisal of policymaking to ensure that the magnificent potential which exists in our native artforms has the necessary resources for its development.

The national treasure which is Ireland’s music, song and dance is no mere seven- day wonder; no latter-day commercial innovation - it is a rich, varied and complex fabric which has been woven through the centuries by talented artists and composers. It has not only survived in to modern times but has prospered and been enhanced in times of challenge. It is the legacy of all age groups and classes. It has attracted the attention of scholars throughout the world.

State institutions now have an ideal opportunity to bring our native artforms centre stage in national achnowledgement, policymaking and funding. Not to do so, will earn us the scorn of an observant art world internationally who are more and more attesting to the unique and priceless heritage which we possess.

It should be an urgent priority to establish structures which will enable the Irish nation to avail of the full potential of native artforms. Popular support would exist for any positive moves which help to reflect the vast goodwill of the people in this regard.