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Minister Humphreys hosts Sectoral Dialogue on Brexit in Cavan

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, is today (Monday) hosting her Department’s Sectoral Dialogue on Brexit at the Kilmore Hotel, Co Cavan. The dialogue provides an opportunity for the Minister and her officials to hear directly from stakeholders in sectors served by her Department regarding the impact Brexit may have on these sectors.

The main topics being discussed are: culture and the Irish language; heritage and outdoor recreation; regional SMEs; the impact on border communities and the impact on other rural communities. The meeting will hear from representatives from the following organisations; the Arts Council; Waterways Ireland; IBEC; the International Fund for Ireland and Irish Rural Link, as well as a wide range of other stakeholders.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“Today’s event is the latest in the series of Sectoral Dialogues which -Ministers have been hosting to prepare for the impacts of Brexit. I view today’s meeting as a listening exercise; I want to hear directly from the key stakeholders across the broad remit of my Department. The aim of today’s event is to capture the key issues and concerns of those on the frontline across the arts, culture, Irish language, rural affairs and heritage sectors and bring those views back to Government.

“We will also examine the particular impacts of Brexit on the border area and consider what are the challenges and opportunities which will be posed for regional SMEs. The Government’s preparations for Brexit are based on consultation; analysis and prioritisation; and engagement. Our headline priorities remain minimising the impact on trade and our economy; protecting the Peace Process; maintaining the Common Travel Area and influencing the future of the European Union.

“Today we will be asking participants if Brexit has already an impact already on their organisation or sector; what impacts can and should be expected in the future and what actions can the Government take in both the short and long term to deal with the impact of Brexit.

“I recently published the Action Plan for Rural Development, which seeks to ensure more balanced regional development, while enriching the economic and social progress across rural areas. We will achieve this by supporting the creation of 135,000 new jobs in rural Ireland by 2020, investing in 600 towns and villages over the next three years, developing an Atlantic Economic Corridor; increasing the number of visitors to rural areas by 12% and a range of other measures right across Government.

“The Action Plan clearly outlines the particular challenges posed for rural Ireland as a result of Brexit. However, significant opportunities may also arise in sectors including manufacturing and financial services. Rural towns and their hinterlands will be well placed to avail of these opportunities with the aid of digital technology.

“Creative Ireland is the Government’s ambitious five year strategy for culture and creativity. Today’s dialogue will also provide an opportunity to examine what impacts Brexit will have on the arts and culture sectors; for example the challenges which may be posed for joint EU funding applications with UK organisations.”

Note to Editors:

As part of the Government’s consultative work on Brexit, the initial meeting of an All-Island Civic Dialogue took place in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Wednesday 2 November, hosted by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Building on the first plenary session, the Government has launched a series of All-Island sectoral civic dialogue events. Led by Ministers, these are an invaluable opportunity to hear directly about the all-island implications of Brexit, from a variety of stakeholders and across a wide range of sectors.

The second Plenary session of the All-Island Civic Dialogue will be held in Dublin Castle on Friday, 17 February, chaired by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. This Plenary session will build on the All-Island sectoral dialogues which will have taken place by then. It will also provide a further opportunity to capture the views of those most directly affected from across the island, as we approach the start of formal negotiations.

The main output from the Civic Dialogue process will be a report which will be used to help inform the Government's position on issues related to the UK’s exit negotiations