Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar has spoken about the importance and value of creativity in all our lives and has given his support to the Creative Ireland Programme.

“I think what makes Irish men and Irish women unique in the world is the way we think. What Creative Ireland does is put art, culture and creativity at the centre of everything we do in the country and at the centre of government.”

The Taoiseach also recently announced, along with Minister Humphreys, the introduction of a pilot scheme to provide professional artists and writers with easier access to social welfare supports, a key commitment under the Creative Ireland Programme.

“I am very supportive of the Creative Ireland programme, which has the potential to be transformative in terms of public policy. Creative Ireland aims to increase both access and participation in artistic and cultural activities.

“By focusing on the creative capacities of every individual, Creative Ireland by-passes the argument about whether the arts should be supported because of their intrinsic value or their instrumental value to the economy. It’s a bogus choice and always was one. Creative children become creative people, and creative people of all ages are happy and more fulfilled in their lives. Creative people have a greater capacity and desire to contribute to their community and society and to the economy and well-being of everyone.”

Read more: Easier access to social welfare support for writers and artists under new scheme

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.