Autumn 2004


Our distinctive and internationally acknowledged cultural traditions could effectively serve as an antidote to excessive globalisation. A small country can be very vulneralbe to the excesses of power structures unless its capabilities and confidence are firmly rooted in self-esteem and independence.

Even the most sceptical will readily admit that in the last 50 years Ireland has experienced what amounts to a cultural revolution in the renaissance of our indigenous arts. Young people in partiuclar have displayed exceptional independence in resisting syndicated conformity and opting for Irish traditional music as a personal and informed choice.

Government must acknowledge and seek to respond ambitiously to the confidence shown by young Irish people in their own native culture. There is a right time for this response and this is it.

The idealism and tenacity of those who against all the odds brought about the renaissance of native culture should be the barometer of action. Cosmetic and public relations exercises would demean this service to the nation. Furthermore, primacy must be vested in the community where these artforms have been cultivated and prospered.

Comhaltas has once again demonstrated its commitment to our indegenous cultural identity by providing a five-year blueprint, based on its track record and experience, for a positive and effective response to the opportunities which now exist.