Events representatives express 'anger and frustration' after Government meeting

ireland
Events Representatives Express 'Anger And Frustration' After Government Meeting Events Representatives Express 'Anger And Frustration' After Government Meeting
Events representatives met with Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister for Culture Catherine Martin. 
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Digital Desk Staff

UPDATED: 12:20 30/8/21

The Event Industry Alliance (EIA) has expressed "anger and frustration" following a meeting with Government on the reopening of live entertainment.

Events representatives met with Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister for Culture Catherine Martin.

The group outlined demands for the full reopening of indoor and outdoor events for the fully vaccinated, along with vital industry supports to enable the sector’s recovery.

“Despite EIA specifically writing to Government in advance of this meeting, highlighting our sectors‘ expectations, and requesting a confirmed reopening date for full capacity events, and a strategy to achieve same - the Government failed to provide either," a statement read.

'Disappointed and frustrated'

“We continue to be disappointed and frustrated at the total lack of urgency on the part of Government for the reopening of the Event Industry, which represents 35,000 people and is worth €3.5 billion to the Irish economy. This is despite being the only sector mandated to remain closed for nearly 18 months, far beyond any other industry or sector within Ireland.”

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Earlier on, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said that the Government will give specific dates on Tuesday for the reopening of the entertainment sector.

“That's what the industry is asking for,” he told RTÉ radio's Morning Ireland.

The Government wants to “open up through September” as safely as possible.

Talks with the sector will resume today, following a lengthy five and a half hours meeting last week of the Covid sub-committee, he said.

The chairman of the Entertainment Industry Alliance, Dan McDonnell, has repeated a call for the Digital Covid Cert to be used as a method of access to live events.

The €3.5 billion industry which employs 35,000 will require “continued meaningful engagement” with the Government, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

'Kick start'

The use of the digital cert as a method of access would “kick start” the events economy, he added. A date for the reopening of the sector needed to be set as soon as possible.

Sector specific supports would also need to be kept in place until June 2022 to allow the sector time to recover.

Mr McDonnell said that engagement with the Government needed to be meaningful and “not a box ticking exercise”.

There was a “huge sense of disappointment” within the industry at the lack of progress to date. “We are simply looking to reopen and to get back to work” he said.

“What we are proposing is use of the (digital) cert” along the same lines as it was used for the return of the hospitality sector, he said.

All-Ireland

There had been 40,000 in Croke Park for the All-Ireland hurling final with no vaccination certs or temperature checks required.

Mr McDonnell said that the sector was willing to return using specific public health requirements. “We’re not going to put people’s lives at risk.”

Organising events safely “that’s what we’re good at”. — Additional reporting from Vivienne Clarke

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