Sunday 4 December 2016

Artists’ protest takes centre stage

Fergus Black

Published 17/09/2010 | 09:05

Performer Sarah Mulligan at yesterday's demonstration in Dublin
Performer Sarah Mulligan at yesterday's demonstration in Dublin

THEY suffer for their art but yesterday they took to the streets to announce they are not prepared to suffer much more.

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For the actors, dancers and musicians who mingled with directors and writers and visual artists, it was more of a performance than a raucous demonstration, but their message was just as loud and clear.

They gathered outside the Department of the Arts in Dublin to protest over what they claim is the collapse in their incomes.

The event formed part of a national day of action staged by the National Campaign for the Arts and by a new alliance – the Association of Artists’ Representatives Organisations (AARO).

Their central demands are for the right to organise and negotiate minimum terms and conditions; the right to social protection; the right of artists to share in the economic rewards from the work they create and the right to hold positions on all relevant bodies, such as the Film Board, Arts Council and the RTE Authority.

Yesterday’s demonstration included a performance by a group of actors to demonstrate what life would be like without the arts.

Des Courtney, group secretary of the actors’ group Irish Actors Equity said: “Things are all but impossible for many artists.”

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