- 18 May 21
Music, entertainment and the wider arts and events industry are worth an estimated €3.5 billion to the Irish economy annually and gives employment to approximately 35,000 people.
A special All-Party Oireachtas Committee has been established to examine the rebuilding of the music and entertainment industry - which has been closed for over 400 days - after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
The Music & Entertainment Cross-Party Committee (MECPC) is chaired by Fianna Fail Senator Eugene Murphy and includes TDs and Senators from Fine Gael, Labour, Sinn Fein, the Green Party, People before Profits, Social Democrats and Independents.
Speaking at the first meeting of the Committee, Senator Murphy insisted that the industry be supported, especially given the amount of money generated by the industry and the jobs involved.
In terms of a return to some sort of normality, the senator commented much of the entertainment sector would be “at the end of the queue”. Therefore, it's important that the Committee focus on making sure that the industry and its employees are protected. It is Murphy's hope that the Committee would be “speaking up” for the sector.
MEAI delegates said a key aim was to maintain the Pandemic Unemployment Payment at current rates until the sector is operating without COVID-19 restrictions and/or social distancing.
“This committee will bring a stronger, louder and unified voice to our sector which has been decimated as a result of the pandemic over the last year,” said Matt McGranaghan, spokesperson for MEAI.
“Beyond Covid, the MECPC will work towards better recognition of the sector and also help develop it to its fullest,” he added.
The MECPC was jointly established by Oireachtas members and the Music & Entertainment Association of Ireland. This marks the first time such a committee has been established.
The Music & Entertainment Association of Ireland was formed in June 2020 as a result of COVID-19 and represents almost 5,000 members.
Members of the Oireachtas Committee include: Senator Eugene Murphy (Chair); Ciaran Cannon TD (Fine Gael); Steven Matthews TD (GP); Duncan Smyth (Lab); Aengus Ó Snodaigh (SF); Gary Gannon TD (SD); Richard Boyd Barrett TD (PBP); Catherine Connolly TD (Ind); Mattie McGrath TD (Ind); Sean Canney TD (Ind); Senator Frances Black (Ind).
The inaugural meeting of the Music & Entertainment Cross-Party Committee was held today. Chaired by @SenatorEMurphy, it is comprised of 11 Oireachtas members and @meaiireland. The MECPC will be a strong voice for the sector for now & for the future. pic.twitter.com/7qOa6ohly1
— Matt McGranaghan (@MattMcGranaghan) May 17, 2021