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Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy has raised issues about equality of access to the Artists Pilot Scheme.

Call for equality in artists’ income scheme

AN APPEAL has been made for equal access for artists with disabilities to a new pilot scheme introduced to support the sector.

At the May meeting of the local authority, Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy said she had been delighted to hear Minister Catherine Martin introduce the Basic Income for Artists Pilot Scheme.

“This is for those who haven’t been able to perform or create any great income due to the pandemic,” Councillor Colleran Molloy said.

“A total of 2,000 applicants at random will be picked to receive €325 per week, paid monthly. This is a very positive thing and it will last for a number of years.

“There has been a call from the music and entertainment industry who have highlighted that the scheme will not be applied equally. Those who have disabilities will not be treated equally.

“This is a very straight forward motion. It is a call on Department of Social Protection to equalise the application of the basic income scheme to ensure those on payments are not disfavoured and do not lose their entitlements if they are chosen for the scheme.”

The Fianna Fáil member said that there were concern over the composition of the taskforce that designed the pilot scheme.

“There was no representation on the taskforce from disability groupings,” she said. “That created a flaw in the development of this scheme. I hope this will be rectified before the allocations are made.”

Councillor Gerry Flynn seconded the motion. “I see the merits,” he said. “If there is a discriminatory element, the Department need to address that. I am all for fair play and a balance. Its very important that the vulnerable in society are supported.”

Councillor Donna McGettigan added her support. 

Councillor Colleran Molloy asked that the motion be forwarded to all other local authorities for their support.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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