The arts and selling children short

 

A chara, – Due to the incredible hard work of the Lambert family, the Lambert Puppet Theatre cultural institution has been run on a shoestring in Dún Laoghaire for 40 years. It would cost a pittance to help keep it going.

I’m struck by the fact that 60 per cent of the costs of the Lambert Puppet Theatre were met by school tours. As discussed last week in the Oireachtas Education Committee’s session on back to school costs, the 2011 cut to the school capitation grant has resulted in public schools no longer being able to afford to bring schoolchildren to plays, Irish-language events or other cultural activities.

In 2016 RTÉ announced it was to cut (and privatise) children’s TV programming due to costs, striking another blow to the incomes of Ireland’s children’s artists.

Many of us have fond collective memories of Socky, Ray D’Arcy’s jumpers, the Morbegs and the plays we went to in the Ark and Lambert Puppet Theatre in primary school.

Many would consider it childish to adhere rigidly to a discredited theory that the market, coupled with public-sector austerity, provides the best outcome for all.

I think that might be selling children short. – Is mise,

SINÉAD MERCIER,

An Cheathrú Rua,

Co Galway.