The Source welcomes the appointment of Mary Hanafin as minister for tourism, culture and sport

The Source Arts Centre welcomes the appointment of Mary Hanafin as the new Minister for the Arts (renamed Culture). The local connection is one to be celebrated, naturally, but her work to date makes her appointment one to be applauded. Minister Hanafin’s professional record to date incorporates work as a teacher of Irish and History, leading to her ministerial portfolio for Education and Science. In this role her commitment to young people from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds was hugely commendable – commitment to social inclusion is a high priority of the arts, and one The Source takes seriously through many of its activities, most notably its annual outreach project. Education and individual growth and development are intrinsically linked to the arts at all levels, and Minister Hanafin’s knowledge of the importance of these issues will undoubtedly influence her role in the future of the arts in Ireland today – at a local as well as national level. An earlier portfolio as Minister for Children saw the development of first National Children’s Strategy, and most recently her work as Minister for Social & Family Affairs cemented her reputation as a minister committed to investing in the values and rights of everyday citizens in Ireland today. The rights, growth and provision of services for children and young people are again central to a varied and dedicated artistic remit – one The Source embraces in its year round programme.

The Source hopes that, with the challenges facing all sectors in these times, Minister Hanafin will fight for the arts as a key sector in local, regional and national economic regeneration, as well as a valued sector that enhances lives on a rich variety of levels. The year round work of The Source encompasses Culture; Education; Development;  individual confidence building; community cohesion; jobs for local people; support for local businesses such as designers, printers, hardware stores, local accommodation providers, local bars and restaurants, local technical hire companies, local media, local cleaning companies, local electrical suppliers, local stationery suppliers, local cash and carry outlets; annual outreach projects into isolated rural communities and youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds; work experience and career development for school students;  development of professional skills; a vibrant artistic scene for amateur and professional alike and good old fashioned entertainment! We welcome the appointment of Mary Hanafin as someone who recognises all this in her new role as Minister for the Arts.

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