The The Irish Street Arts, Circus & Spectacle Network has also expressed its dismay at the announcement.
“So far, no insurance reform put forward by the Government has done anything to protect the provision of liability insurance for the Galway Community Circus or any of our other member organisations,” said ISACS Director Lucy Medlycott, “We call on the local authorities of Ireland, who benefit hugely from the presence of street artists in their communities, to act immediately to instruct the insurance company they own – the Irish Public Bodies mutual – to cover the activities of our members as an emergency measure while we wait for insurance reform to take effect.
“It makes no sense to us in ISACS that the State can support the creation of many projects which are in the public interest but cannot facilitate the provision of insurance to these projects to protect themselves.”
AIR’s Director Peter Boland added, “More and more voluntary groups, community organisations and charities are having to wind-down operations due to unaffordable or unavailable insurance.
“Meanwhile nothing the Government has done in the last three years has resulted in reducing premiums. Indeed the flagship reform of Government, the Judicial Council, has still not even been established after all the fanfare around the legislation earlier this year.”
The Arts Council of Ireland alongside the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, have increased their investment in street art in recent times, recognising its hugely democratic and accessible nature, explained Lucy Medlycott, “They believe in this work and in its benefits for our society. It follows that they would like to support the development of the next generation of artists to continue the work put in to date.
“In order to do that” she said, “it is vital that centres like Galway Community Circus can continue to deliver the high-quality training programmes that they do. GCC has taken years to build these programmes and has grown a particularly specialist team of staff to deliver same. Ireland will be the loser if nothing is done about providing insurance right now to protect the Circus and the 20 jobs GCC provides.”
While the Alliance for Insurance Reform completely endorses ISACS’s call for IPB to cover street artists as an interim measure, it also insists that Ministers D’Arcy, Flanagan and Donohoe “get serious about real insurance reform before the very fabric of Irish society is permanently damaged”.