Monday, January 21st, 2013: The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., today addressed Music Education Partnerships participating in Music Generation – the U2 and Ireland Funds’ supported National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network.
This inaugural event, presented by the Department of Education and Skills in partnership with Music Generation, brings together the members of Local Music Education Partnerships now established in Carlow, Cork City, Laois, Limerick City, Louth, Mayo, Offaly/Westmeath, Sligo and Wicklow along with original pilot programmes previously established by the Department of Education and Skills in Donegal and Dublin City.
Addressing the delegates today, the Minister said: “By 2016, the investment by local Music Education Partnerships and Government is expected to be on a par with the €7m donation from U2 and The Ireland Funds. The Department of Education and Skills will commence funding the initiative on a phased basis from July 2014.
“Music Generation is a great example of how when we put our heads together we can deliver really exciting education programmes in new and innovative ways. The programme, in a relatively short time, has achieved a great deal. Over 5,000 children and young people have participated in the many programmes available throughout the country.
“I want, in particular, to acknowledge our philanthropic donors, U2 and The Ireland Funds, and also our diverse range of local partners including local Authorities, VECs, Higher Education Institutes, parents, musicians and schools," Minister Quinn concluded.
The Edge stated, "We are absolutely delighted that the Department of Education and Skills has committed to the long-term funding of this brilliant Music Generation scheme. The response has been incredible with over 5,000 children and young people getting music lessons. It is a source of great pride for U2 that along with The Ireland Funds we were able to step in and keep it going after government cut backs put it in jeopardy in 2009".
Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO, The Worldwide Ireland Funds commented, “We are delighted to see the great impact of philanthropy on the development of a national system of music education in Ireland. The Ireland Funds are proud to support this exemplary initiative in partnership with U2, which is transforming the quality of life for so many children and young people - Ireland’s ‘music generation’ of the future.”
Chairman of Music Generation, Tony Ó Dálaigh said, “Today’s event, which coincides with Music Generation reaching the half-way point of its first five-year phase, marks a significant milestone in the development of Music Generation. I would like to acknowledge the role and commitment of so many critical stakeholders to the process - U2 and The Ireland Funds, Music Network, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships now established in ten areas of the country over the last eighteen months. A brighter musical future is indeed on the horizon for thousands of children and young people.”
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Note to editors
Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and funded by U2 and The Ireland Funds, together with a range of local partners. Music Generation helps children and young people access high quality subsidised music education in their local area.
Music Network established Music Generation on receipt of a €7 million donation in 2009 from U2 and The Ireland Funds, following a ten year campaign for the development of a national system of music education in Ireland. Carlow, Limerick City and Offaly/Westmeath were recently selected for participation and join Cork City, Laois, Louth, Mayo, Sligo and Wicklow where the programme is now operational.
Music Generation works closely with the Department of Education and Skills who have committed to continuing to develop and sustain the Music Education Partnerships with Exchequer funding in future years when the donations cease. Visit www.musicgeneration.iefor further information.