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Save our national orchestras!

This petition had 19,266 supporters

RTÉ has announced a review of their orchestral provision, meaning that 31 musicians from the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the Concert Orchestra will lose their jobs from June 2018. These two orchestras, which have been an intrinsic element of Irish musical culture for almost 70 years, have long been a standard-bearer when it comes to public outreach and involvement in the Irish music scene. Should these cuts go ahead, two very valuable and necessary musical organisations will be damaged, perhaps irrevocably.

The future of classical music in Ireland is in great danger. The implications of these cuts are shocking, especially given that Arts and Music Education in Ireland is already severely underfunded, and one of the worst systems in the whole of Europe. Something needs to be done to preserve and develop these orchestral institutions.

Especially in light of recent and not-so-recent events in world and national politics, it's vital we fight to preserve these organisations that exist purely to bring people together, break down boundaries, and express some of the strongest and most vulnerable human emotions, through the medium of sound. 

We strongly believe that this is not a matter for RTÉ alone to decide and that the responsibility is jointly held between the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, The Arts Council, RTÉ and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. We call on the Minister for Culture and Minister for Communications to immediately halt the progress of the current report and to proceed with establishing and implementing a national strategy on orchestral provision, ensuring the maintenance and development of existing orchestras.

Take action to support and save our national orchestras, and ensure the continuance of a rich musical culture in Ireland.

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