Sinn Féin Seanad spokesperson on Culture Senator Fintan Warfield has commended the parties involved in the Abbey Theatre dispute for appearing and presenting to the Joint Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Senator Warfield notes that all parties at the committee agreed that stronger funding of the arts would go a long way to resolving these issues.

Senator Warfield said: “The discussion at the committee was insightful and the witnesses should be commended for presenting their concerns. “There is an onus on all sides to engage in a constructive and meaningful discussion on the Abbey Theatre and its future direction. “While these parties will meet in private on Friday in order to resolve this dispute, there was broad agreement amongst all of the witnesses that increased funding would allow these issues to have been averted. “This should act as a wake call up to the government and Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan who has been silent on the issue. “We already knew that artists were earning 3.5% less income than in 2013 – according to the CSO. “The parties, in my view, had a clear message today that the government must end the chronic underfunding of the arts and return vitality to our national culture and that this must lead to increase pay for artists.”