Minister Martin meets with Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s Minister for Culture and Information Policy

Minister Catherine Martin met with Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister for Culture and Information Policy, Ukraine, to discuss Ireland’s support for Ukraine. Discussions focussed on making Ukrainian news and content available to Ukrainian people in Ireland, cultural programmes in Ireland available to people arriving from Ukraine and cooperation on the conservation and restoration of Ukraine’s cultural heritage.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Martin stated that, “The Irish people understand the importance of receiving news from home, particularly in times of crisis. It is important that Ukrainian citizens here in Ireland are able to access news and content from their homeland in their own language. That is why I have asked my Department to engage urgently with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland on this issue. They will work with their counterparts across the EU and with all Irish television providers to support Ukrainian channels being carried through their service in Ireland as soon as possible.”

Under the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive, if a television channel is licenced in another Member State then it can be carried in Ireland with immediate effect by Irish television providers. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) is engaging with its European counterparts in relation to this matter, given the numbers of Ukrainian citizens now living in the EU. The Minister has asked officials from her Department to work with the BAI and television service providers to support Ukrainian channels to be carried through their service in Ireland, where they have been appropriately licenced in line with the Directive.

At the meeting, Minister Martin also set out that State supported cultural schemes in Ireland are being made available to Ukrainian artists and cultural operators arriving into the country. These include the suite of grant programmes in the Arts Council, Screen Ireland and Culture Ireland. Ukrainian artists and film professionals can apply to these schemes and translation materials are being put in place to facilitate access.

During the meeting, the Ministers agreed to connect the cultural units in their respective Departments including to explore possibilities for cooperation on cultural heritage matters and support for the conservation and restoration of Ukraine’s precious cultural heritage.

Minister Martin concluded the meeting by expressing the solidarity of the people of Ireland with Ukraine and its people and thanking Minister Tkachenko for the meeting. The Minister assured Minister Tkachenko of her continued full support, stating that: “Everything available to Irish people will be available to Ukrainian artists arriving here, you have my word on that.”

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