O’Brien calls on Fingal County Council to stop falling behind on music education for children

2nd September, 2019

Green Party Councillor Joe O’Brien has asked Fingal County Council to get involved in a national music education programme that it has remained outside of since its inception almost a decade ago.

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme for children that facilitates access to high-quality performance music education in their locality. It was initiated by Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

“Regrettably, this need and demand were not responded to but perhaps now at a time when public funding is more available, it can be looked at again.”

Cllr. O’Brien stated that:

“Fingal County Council has remained outside of the National Music Education Programme for too long. Via Local Music Education Partnerships across the country young people who would otherwise not have music tuition open to them have now benefited from the programme. To date, the National Music Education Programme has provided 150 programmes in 800 tuition centres nationally. Locally, each Music Generation programme is managed by a Local Music Education Partnership, under the leadership of a Music Development Officer. The partnerships are generally supported and funded by Education and Training Boards, Local Authorities, and a range of local and community organisations. However, to date, Fingal County Council has not moved to set up a Local Music Education Partnership in the county.

There was a study commissioned eight years ago by Fingal County Council to plot a course forward for a Local Music Education Partnership in the county and outlined in some detail the steps that needed to be taken. The study found a high interest in and demand for music education in the county. Regrettably, this need and demand were not responded to but perhaps now at a time when public funding is more available, it can be looked at again.

There is a long and deep musical heritage in Fingal that can be tapped into to help support a local music education programme not to mention the Draíocht and the Seamus Ennis Centres and the Education and Training Board. But perhaps, more importantly, there is a huge untapped resource of musical talent which could have the richest variety nationally considering the wide ethnic diversity of the county. I think its time the Council did justice to the musical potential of the youngest and most diverse county in the country and start moving to set up a Local Music Education Programme in Fingal.”

For more information see www.musicgeneration.ie