The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin, T.D., today (September 10th, 2020) announced the setting up of an Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce. Martin has put RTÉ\'s former Executive Director of Radio to lead the Taskforce. Clare Duignan has held key leadership roles at RTÉ for over 20 years, and since leaving the broadcaster has been a member of the Board of The Irish Times, The Chester Beatty, Fáilte Irleand, Business to Arts and Ireland Reaching Out. The composition of the taskforce will be announce in the coming days.
The Chairperson of Fáilte Ireland resigned on Saturday 15th of July, 2020. Micheal Cawley resigned after it emerged that he was planning to holiday in Italy, while he and the government were calling on others to holiday in Ireland. Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin TD, accepted his resignation. Many felt the chairperson was hypocritical at this time by deciding to go on a non-essential trip to Italy. The news was first reported in the Irish Independent.
The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and An Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin, has announced a number of job stimulus packages for the media, tourism, culture and sport industries. Irish Tourism will benefit from both the extension of the Temporary Wage Support Scheme (TWSS) and the Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS), while a new €10million Performance and Production Support package will support the culture sector. €2m will be provide to the BAI\'s Sound and Vision Fund along with €3m for TV Drama to be administered by Screen Ireland. €2.5m will be provided to the sports sector to help support the re-opening of swimming pools. Údarás na Gaeltachta will receive an additional €8million to support building works.
Irish low cost airline Ryanair has announced that it will cut 1,000 flights between Ireland and Great Britain. Ryanair have expressed disappointment that Irish authorities have not decisions not to open the republic\'s boarders, while the Northern Irish assembly have chosen to open up air bridges to other to most EU countries. Irish flights account for just 8% of all Ryanair traffic.
The numbers of visitors from Britain to Ireland has dropped by 7.5% according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). However overall the number of visitors to Ireland increased by 1.7% to 3.1 million. Europeans took up the vast majority of visitors with 2.2 million vistors from across Europe, while a small majority of those from Europe came from outside Britain with 1.1million visitors. Just under 1million visitors from outside Europe visited the country the vast majority coming from North America.