Niamh Smyth, Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, was appointed as the new Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport, and the Gaeltacht last week.
In the official announcement shared by the Fianna Fáil website, Deputy Smyth has said that the immediate focus of the Committee has to be how to secure the future of the Arts sector.
“The Government are committed to improving the Arts industry for those working in the sector. I look forward to inviting specialist groups in to address the Committee and ensure stakeholder voices are worked into any legislation or topical matters the Committee is working on.”
Her other plans are to oversee the policy commitments in the Programme for Government as they come through the Committee, among which are support measures to increase the provision of affordable workplaces for artists and creatives, the ongoing implementation of the Creative Ireland Programme and the work of the Arts Council.
Since her appointment she has discussed the needs for enhanced support for Muineachán le Gaeilgean, an organisation that promotes the Irish language within the community) who she says “are doing amazing work on the ground in Co.Monaghan to nurture and promote our native language within the community.”
Before politics, Deputy Smyth was an Arts and Education Officer. She has also qualified from the National College of Art and Design. According to her Fianna Fáil page, Niamh is embarking on a series of regional consultations where she is meeting and listening to a wide range of people working in the arts. Meetings are planned for Dublin, Cavan, Galway, Kildare, and Cork in the coming weeks.