Worthless promises and false soundbites ring hollow as the Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly, sneakily extends the ban on live indoor entertainment to the 9th of October, with the quick stroke of a pen!
Reacting to the news of Donnelly signing a new regulation banning indoor live entertainment until at least October 9th, the Leader of the Rural Independent Group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath, has described the action as a gross betrayal to Ireland’s live entertainment sector.
Speaking this morning (Tuesday 7th September), the Tipperary TD stated:
“Last week to much fanfare, the government announced the reopening of the Irish economy with almost all remaining sectors set to reopen partially or fully this month. However, it now transpires that the Minister for Health was simultaneously signing new laws, to extend the ban on live entertainment until after the 9th of October.”
“This emerges disappointingly, contradictory to the initial ban due to end on September 9th and various government sources promising this sector that they would be allowed to recommence.”
“Again, this serves to illustrate how appallingly Ireland’s rich entertainment sector, which employs over 35,000 people either directly or indirectly, is being treated by the government.”
“This latest discrimination of this sector, via the ban extension, is shoddy and cruel. This is obvious from the total lack of meaningful consultation with the sector, prior to extending the ban. The Government’s approach is single-handedly forcing the entire sector into an avoidable collapse and potential wipe-out.”
“It is beyond reprehensible that the government would torment and torture the sector in this ongoing laissez-faire manner.”
“Minister Stephen Donnelly’s cruel intervention by the stroke of a pen, on the 1st of September, means that all live performances and dancing (whether a performance of music or otherwise) are banned on all premises. The only exception is a wedding.”
“This action underscores that the government simply does not care about the Irish live entertainment sector. If they did, the Minister would not have signed the SI to extend the ban for another month.”
“This weekend, the same government will again allow over 40,000 people into Croke Park (which I welcome) for the All-Ireland final, but contrastingly, a solo entertainer is banned from performing on a small stage in a pub or alternate venue.”
“It poses the question: What deep-rooted dislike does this government have of artists and entertainers? However, it also raises serious questions of the government’s contradictory and disjointed approach to this pandemic and our emergence from it.”
“Today, I am once again calling on the Taoiseach to intervene here and address this serious dilemma for our country’s entertainers. These people have served this country and every community with distinction and honour for years. They cannot now be abandoned and treated like second-class citizens when they need the state’s support,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.