Pure disappointment – that’s how one local musician’s summing up yesterday’s meeting between entertainment representatives and government officials.
While a commitment was made to maintain Covid supports until restrictions are removed, no date or plan was set for a sector reopening.
Tomas Jackman told KCLR News “Just pure disappointment, we have low expectations now from what representatives are putting forward for us, nothing has happened so it’s just total disappointment in something we had great expectations for”.
He says “From what I can gather, and I’m still only reading through it at the moment, there’s nothing happening at the moment until the vaccination levels go up, the PUP is staying in place until there is a roadmap, but they haven’t given us a roadmap or a date of when that might happen”.
Mr Jackman too feels it’s hard to get a positive outcome when you’re not represented at the discussion point, noting “We’re not represented at the table because the Minister’s not even allowed onto the Covid19 committee that’s going on, they’ve a meeting and she’s not going to attend because she’s not allowed to attend it for some reason, we had 15 groups meeting yesterday with representatives from the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and Chief Medical Officer, that was 15 groups speaking for three minutes each which is 45 minutes we got to put our case to them, in order for the sector to be taken seriously we need the proper support, the Minister that’s representing us has to be at this committee meeting, she has to be there because if she’s the one representing us she should be at that committee meeting, at the moment she’s not at the meeting so we’re not represented”.
And he says they may need to return to the streets in protest which drew about 70 people for a march through Kilkenny City; “We’ve been discussing now since the last protest what we’re going to do and how we’re going to go about it, the last one was a silent protest, the turn out initially we were disappointed in Kilkenny but it turned out to be the biggest turnout in the country. Our social media presence was huge as well so we got support that way as well, I think the next protest if there’s going to be one won’t be a silent one it’ll be a noisy protest of some sort within the regulations, that’s the main thing, the one thing that the sector is certain about is that we will stick to the regulations, whatever the health people say we need to do we will go ahead and we will do that but they’re not giving us a chance”.