“As predicted, the effect of the government’s incoherent approach to restrictions as recently announced is having consequences locally”, Deputy Martin Browne has said.
“Following the announcement, I’ve been told by local teachers of Irish dance that they had to send children home on Wednesday morning because under the latest guidelines dancing has suddenly been classified as a ‘sport’.
“Under the sporting guidelines on gov.ie they must restrict gatherings to six.
“This limitation includes the teacher, meaning that with only five children allowed to attend this ‘sporting’ environment, it was not viable to continue their class, he said.
“I have written to the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht to let her know that Irish Dancing is a very important cultural activity and has always been viewed as such.
“The teachers concerned, who operate as part of An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha, have described the government’s reclassification of Irish Dancing as a sport and the restrictions that follow as ‘shocking’, and I must agree with them.
“They are highly responsible and respected members of our community. They must be allowed to teach this beautiful and culturally-important art form and the government must reconsider the restrictions these teachers are now subject to,” added Deputy Browne.
“An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha is an important organisation that also promotes the use of the Irish language. The government should know this and needs to treat them as such.
“I have demanded that the government address the ridiculous restriction they have placed on Irish Dancing, or face being responsible for damaging this cultural tradition that is so dear to our Irish identity,” he concluded.