On Friday 8th of May, after 70 days of negotiations, Enda Kenny was reinstalled as the Taoiseach and the cabinet of the 32nd Dáil was announced. What was formally the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has now been increased and is now the Department of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht.
Minister Heather Humphreys will head up the Department with all of the existing responsibilities and extensive portfolio of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with additional responsibility for Regional Development and Rural Affairs, including the rollout of rural broadband and development of post office network. Minister Humphreys, has said that she is delighted and honoured to have been given a bigger, broader Department by the Taoiseach as part of the new Government.
Visual Artists Ireland continues to make representation to the government about the importance of the arts, and in particular the visual arts. Amongst the many things that we are bringing forward is the need for official on-going dialogue with mandated arts representative organisations to ensure that policy and direction is informed in a balanced and open manner. We have yet to hear from Minister Humphries on our most recent communications.